Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Hot Butter - Popcorndotdotdot
artworkThis is one of those really scary moments in history. Thirty years before there was the Spaghetti Surfers version of Miserlou, there was this studio project, which yielded not only the album's title hit, but also a like-styled version of "Apache," "Telstar," and "Pipeline." You'll need your Dramamine® for this journey.
Picks: Popcorn, Day By Day, Apache, At The Movies, Tomatoes, Pipeline, Hot Butter, Telestar, Tristana, Song Of The Narobi Trio, Amazing Grace

Track by Track Review


Popcorn dotdotdot
Bursting With Flavor (Instrumental)

At the dawn of the disco era in 1972, George Kingsley's tune is played by Moog session man Stan Free. "Popcorn" raged through the clubs and charts. It's percussive "popcorn popping" style and effective production is reminiscent of Billy Joe & the Ckeckmates' "Percolator" from the Maxwell House coffee TV ads. The album this comes from features a version of "Pipeline."

Day By Day dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Soft-soap slushy electro reeds wistfully float this like an afternoon afterthought. Almost sidewalk cafe fare, with real MOR focus. 'Bout halfway through, it gets in gear, saving itself from the total junk heep, though certainly not rising above the Broadway musical sound.

Apache dotdotdotdot
Electric Indian (Instrumental)

No where near as cool as Electric Indian's "Keem-O-Sabe," yet with a nightmarish magnetism. I can just imagine Jerry Lordan, the Shadows, and Jorgen Ingman crawling away in shame. It's "Popcorn" esthetics and real drums make "Apache" hard to ignore, no matter how cheesy. The rolling glissandoes on the keys in the bridges are amazing!

At The Movies dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Percy Faith strained through a (Fred) Waring® Blender, whistling fluff with Leslie and Wurlitzer making even a mall seem like a concert hall. Very strange.

Tomatoes dot
Beefsteak MOR (Instrumental)

This MOR classic is fluffed up and make to cry with wah wah on the keys and real drums. Bizarre.

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well, ain't this a gas! The Chantays' "Pipeline" morphed into a "Popcorn" paramour, with cool drums, thumping bass, and damped reverb percolator leads. The same rolling key glissandoes employed in "Apache" drive the breaks here. The guitar carrying the rhythm plays glissandoes and is quite surfable. This is a living sickness for your reverb tank. Too cool!

Hot Butter dotdotdot
Dairy (Instrumental)

A "Pipeline" oom-pah-pah rhythm line gives this a polka carnival air, as the melody floats atop the circus. Interesting.

Telestar dotdotdot
Space (Instrumental)

In a courageous move towards technical correctness, the spelling of "Telestar" matches the spelling of its namesake satellite, unlike the title of Joe Meek's classic instro which it is. Cheesy is an understatement, and yet it is some how kinda cool, like the occasional lounge singer. No, there's none of the murk and power of the Tornados' original, but there is some fuzz electronics and assorted weirdness.

Tristana dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Soft and flighty, "Tristana" moves sadly and slowly through a sorta Ferrante and Teicher pomp. Listenable.

Song Of The Narobi Trio dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Oom pah jungle pop with percolator leads. Definitely on the cheese tray of music, "Song Of The Narobi Trio" forces a grin across an unwilling mug.

Amazing Grace dotdotdot
Electro Church (Instrumental)

Think bagpipes, then think electro cheese. Yes, the Moog harmonizes with drones of Scottish intent. I can't stand it! OK, maybe it's kinda cool.