Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kingsley) first recorded it for his 1969 album Music to Moog By. In 1971 the song was re-recorded by Kingsley's band First Moog Quartet. Stan Free, a member of the First Moog Quartet, covered the instrumental with his band Hot Butter in 1972. The record was one of a rash of Moog synthesizer-based releases that characterized 'synth pop' of the 1960s and 1970s.
The title refers to the short staccato or sharp "popping" sound used.
There were two 7" covers, both released in 1972 under Musicor Records and Stateside labels.
Hot Butter's version became the first primarily electronic-based piece of music to reach the American popular music charts, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Pop Singles and #4 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. The single had a great success in Australia where it reached number one for ten weeks. It was also #1 in Switzerland, where it topped the chart for ten weeks and stayed for 17 weeks in the top ten. In Norway, it was #1 for nine weeks and featured for 21 weeks in the top ten. It was also number one in Germany and reached #5 on July 22, 1972 in UK and #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.
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