Hot Butter

Popcorn

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One of the most intriguing novelty hits of the early '70s was "Popcorn," a spacey pop instrumental that utilized an array of otherworldly textures performed on a Moog synthesizer (and some funky drumming from a flesh-and-blood percussionist) to bring an insanely-catchy pop melody to life. This hit and several other novelties in a similar electronic pop vein can be found on Popcorn, a collection of material by Hot Butter that includes the entirety of their two albums Hot Butter and More Hot Butter. The material from Hot Butter consists mostly of synth-oriented covers of other instrumental hits, plus instrumental covers of a few then-recent vocal hits. The best tunes in this batch are "At the Movies," a pop instrumental that avoids the obvious electronic gimmicks to create a nice mid-tempo melody, and "Love at First Sight," an ethereal re-working of the classic Serge Gainsbourg tune "Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus." The material from More Hot Butter delivers more of the same. This time, the highlights are a catchy cover of "Percolator," a bouncy novelty very close in style to "Popcorn," and "Sounds," a danceable slice of electro-pop driven by hand claps and some insistent drumming. Despite these occasional strong tunes, neither album delivers anything as memorable or durable as "Popcorn," and both suffer from an overload of gimmicky throwaway tunes. Ultimately, Popcorn is a solidly-crafted but inconsistent collection that will only be of serious interest to hardcore fans of novelty pop.

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