“Popcorn” is an early synthpop instrumental, composed by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and first appearing on his album Music to Moog By.
However, in 1972, instrumental cover band, Hot Butter, did their version of the song and the track became an international hit, selling a million copies in France, 250,000 in the United Kingdom, and over two million globally.
The title may refer to the short staccato or sharp "popping" sound used, or to pop music and its being 'corny', i.e., kitschy. The title is generally written as one word, although some single sleeves (such as the one illustrated) present it as two words, "Pop Corn".
Hot Butter's version became the second primarily electronic-based piece of music to reach the American popular music charts, three years after "The Minotaur" by Dick Hyman & His Electric Eclectics. The Hot Butter recording peaked at no. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no. 4 on the Easy Listening chart. The single had great success in Australia where it reached no. 1 for 8 weeks.
It was also no. 1 in Switzerland, where it topped the chart for 10 weeks and stayed for 17 weeks in the top 10. In Norway, it was no. 1 for 6 weeks and featured for 21 weeks in the top 10. It was also no. 1 in Germany and reached no. 5 on 22 July 1972 in UK and no. 15 in Canada - October 1972. In France, this version of "Popcorn" is the 131st best-selling single of all time, with about 900,000 sales.
The Year is 1972...
The world population was around 3,842,873,611
- Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary-General of the United Nations. (Jan. 1)
- Pierre Hotel Robbery: Six men rob the safe deposit boxes of The Pierre hotel in New York City for at least $4 million. (Jan. 2)
- MGM's 1951 Show Boat is presented on television by NBC for the first time. This marks the first complete network telecast of any version of Show Boat (it had already been filmed as a part-talkie in 1929, and as a full-sound musical in 1936). (Jan. 3)
- The first scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) is introduced (price $395). (Jan. 4)
- Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge at the Old Bailey in London. (Jan. 4)
- U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the development of a Space Shuttle program. (Jan. 5)
- Iberia Airlines Flight 602 crashes into a 462-meter peak on the island of Ibiza; 104 are killed. (Jan. 7)
- Howard Hughes speaks to the press by telephone to denounce Clifford Irving's hoax biography of him. (Jan. 7) ...
The year 1972 in film involved several significant cinematic events including the release of Francis Ford Coppola's Academy Award-winning film, The Godfather. There were also:
- The Poseidon Adventure
- What's Up, Doc?
- Behind the Green Door
The Original Version...