"Popcorn" is an early electronic pop instrumental, originally composed by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 on his album Music to Moog By. The same year this tune was released and recorded at Audio Fidelity Records label in New York City.
In 1972, Hot Butter's rerecording was a huge hit in many countries. That version is by far the most well-known of this tune. "Popcorn" has since been covered by a great number of artists.
It has since been covered by various artists, including DJ Voyager, Anarchic System with vocal version, a pre-fame Jean Michel Jarre (under the pseudonyms of The Popcorn Orchestra and Jamie Jefferson), Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Unter Null, Richard D. James AKA Aphex Twin, Goodiepal, M&H Band, Muse, DJ Fantomas, Gigi D'Agostino, Guru Josh, Iranian artist Shadmehr Aghili, Afrosound, The Time Frequency (TTF), Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Norrie Paramor & the Midland Radio Orchestra, Ronnie Aldrich, The Treble Spankers, the Boomtang Boys, Space Penguins, Pattie Brooks (disco version as part of a medley that also included Black is Black & Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye), Bass Bumpers (fronted by the Crazy Frog cartoon), Liars, Finnish band Seidat, Swedish DJ Richi M, the Irish DJ Showey, South African Psytrance act Parana, Italian pop band La Strana Societa, Japanese electronic artists Denki Groove, Russian Virtuoso Guitar Player Victor Zinchuk, Spanish rock band Los Pekenikes, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, and the Swedish Chef. It has also been remixed by Hexstatic on the Pick 'n' Mix album. In fact, more than 500 cover versions of the song exist, some of which add lyrics (lyrics have been added in at least six different languages). In 2003 Greek synthpop Duo Marsheaux released a darker mix of "Popcorn" as their debut single, which became a radio play hit in Europe. The song was also featured as the background music in the first version of the 1982 arcade game Pengo, the 1983 IBM PC game Digger, and the 1984 Mikro-Gen microcomputer game Pyjamarama. Many cover versions were made on popular home computers such as Atari, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amiga, often by anonymous artists. On the 17th of September, 2007, Electropop group Plemo released a free track on based on the original "Popcorn" melody. It includes samples from "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" of the Beastie Boys.
Big band arranger James Last recorded "Popcorn" in 1972 A Soviet cover version was recorded by Vyacheslav Mescherin's Orchestra.
The song has never been covered by Kraftwerk although there are mistagged copies of the song allegedly by them (most frequently the version by M&H Band) in circulation. There is also a version circulating on the internet that is claimed to have been made by avant-garde group The Residents even though it sounds vastly different from The Residents' usual experimental sound. This version is actually made by the hard house artists called The Rezidents, hence the confusion between the two.
A variation of "Popcorn" was used by WDIV in Detroit, Michigan as background music for the station's Michigan Lottery Lotto drawings during the 1980s.
Most recently, alternative rock band Muse performed this song live in Teignmouth, UK during their two nights at The Den. The song featured prominent electric guitar along with heavy percussion and bass. A studio version of their cover was released on the 2010 single "Resistance". Faith No More covered the song live in Argentina in The Second Coming Tour.
The Muppets recorded a cover of the song featuring it as the theme of a new Swedish Chef sketch, hence its naming as Popcorn, which was released in July 2010.
In 1976, the tenth episode of the Soviet animated series Nu, Pogodi! included this song as Volk (The Wolf) is chasing Zayats (The Hare) at a construction site.
The song was used in the 1982 arcade game Pengo and the next