arachnekallisti: (act her age)
[personal profile] arachnekallisti
You could make a case that it was in 1969 that synthpop as we know it was born. The first time that it occurred to someone that you could make purely electronic music that you could dance to. That case would be a track called "Popcorn", recorded by Gershon Kingsley on his album Music to Moog By.

"Popcorn" has gone on to become something of a synthpop standard. It's been covered by everyone from Aphex Twin to the Swedish Chef. There's at least 79 versions around, but these are my personal favourites:

1. Gershon Kingsley, 1969.
The original, and possessed of a certain retro charm. Quite different from later versions - the melody's slightly different, and it doesn't have the chorus in.

2. Hot Butter, 1972.
Arguably the definitive version, and the basis for all subsequent ones.

3. Marsheaux, 2004.
Probably my favourite. Chilly and ethereal.

4. Muse, 2010.
Prog-rock version with lots of guitar.

5. Fiddler's Green, 2003.
Folk-metal version. THIS IS AWESOME.

6. Aphex Twin, 1992.
Uncompromising experimental electronica version.

7. The Popcorn Orchestra, 1972.
Actually Jean-Michel Jarre, before he was famous.

8. The M & H Band, 1987.
Not actually Jean-Michel Jarre, although they're doing a pretty good impression of him.

9. Guru Josh, 1990.
Live acid house version. Quite fun, but goes on a bit.

10. Necronomikids, 2009.
Surf rock thrash version. Fast, fun, but over a bit too soon.

Date: 2011-06-14 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suspect this will be my earworm for a week. But lots of different versions! Yay!

(Only on the third so far, so can't tell you my favourite)

Date: 2011-06-14 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It can be pretty damn earwormy, and the ten I've picked are just the tip of the iceberg.

Date: 2011-06-14 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahh, I hadn't realised that the M&H version wasn't JMJ's version.. I have it somewhere on MP3 listed as JMJ. It's one of my favourite versions..

Personally I like my synthpop with good production values and more layers (and preferably sounding like it's playing inside my head), so I'm not as much a fan of the Gershon Kingsley or JMJ versions. I'd put Marsheaux or M&H as my favourite, depending on my mood at the time.

Date: 2011-06-14 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did a bit of digging, and the M&H version often gets misattributed to JMJ. There's also a DJ Voyager version that often gets confused with the Aphex Twin one.

I'm mainly interested in the Gershon Kingsley and JMJ versions as historical curiosities. I prefer the Marsheaux version to the M&H one, and I do have a soft spot for the Fiddler's Green one for sheer audacity in weirdness.

Date: 2011-06-14 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Pengo version was definitive.

Date: 2011-06-14 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are many great chiptune versions. I think it was used for one version of Digger, as well.

Date: 2011-06-14 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That takes me back. The only arcade game (apart from "Gauntlet") at which I was ever any good.

Date: 2011-06-14 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My first exposure to the tune was via a Russian cartoon that is perhaps vaguely equivalent to Tom and Jerry. Except with a wolf and a hare. (I believe it's the Hot Butter version used)

Anyway -

It's one of those tunes that's just immensely enjoyable and I've greatly enjoyed various variations.


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