Martian Hop

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"Martian Hop" is a song written by the Ran-Dells which was released in 1963. It has been described as a one-hit wonder novelty song and it reached #27 on the black singles chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] The song was later covered by Rocky Sharpe and the Replays as well as by Joanie Bartels.

Cultural climate[edit]

The pop culture of the late 50s and 60s was saturated with the beginnings of the Space Age. John Glenn orbited the Earth in 1962 and John F. Kennedy had just announced the intention of the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. This excitement over space related material increased the song's popularity, assisting its rise as a one-hit wonder.[citation needed]


According to a post by Mark Frauenfelder on the blog Boing Boing, the song is the product of impromptu beach jam sessions of Ran-Dell band members Robert Lawrence, Steven Rappaport, and John Spirt. The song, which tells of Martians throwing a dance party for "all the human race,"[1] is the product of the three band members joking around in John Spirt's living room at his residence in Wildwood, New Jersey.[2]

Early electronic music[edit]

Though the Ran-Dells have been recognized for innovative and pioneering use of a sine wave generator (a first for the pop music genre), the musicians actually responsible for the sine wave tones heard in "The Martian Hop" received no credit for the composition. The twelve-second introduction at the beginning of the song is an uncredited sample from the first 30 seconds of "Moon Maid" by Tom Dissevelt and Dick Raaymakers, aka Kid Baltan. It appeared on their experimental album, The Electrosoniks - Electronic Music in 1962, a year before "The Martian Hop" was recorded.

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