Speaking with Boom 97.3 in Toronto, Ivan Doroschuk told the story of this song. "I wrote 'Pop Goes The World' originally as an instrumental. I was trying to get something like 'Popcorn
' or that type of wacky instrumental, electronic song going. I wrote the song along with 10 or 12 other songs and I just tagged it on the end of the demo as a little kind of instrumental hook.
Sent the demo off to Derek Shulman
, who was the A&R guy at PolyGram in New York. Derek Shulman was also the lead singer of the prog rock band Gentle Giant. I sent him the demo – 12 songs and this little instrumental riff at the end – and he phoned me. He said, 'OK, what I want you to do is take that little instrumental song, that little 2-minute riff at the end, and I want you to write a song like that, a whole song around it. I want you to put lyrics on it and make a real song out of it. And then I want you to take those 10-12 other songs that you wrote, throw those away and write 10 more like that 'Pop Goes The World' song that you wrote.'
And, I was like: 'What?' But, he was one of my prog rock heroes, so I said, 'He might know what he's talking about.' So, that's what I did. I went back into the studio and spent quite a while building a song, writing. It was actually one of the first songs that I sat down and worked on and wrote as a song. And then I tried to write 10 more like it.
We put the album together and put it out. It was great advice and it's advice that I give now to young musicians: Sometimes you have to put your art in your back pocket and listen to people who, like Derek, know what they are talking about. It's sometimes a question of pride, but in my case it turned out pretty good."