Hot Butter

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Hot Butter
OriginNew York City, U.S.
GenresPop, synth-pop
Years active1971–1978
Past membersStan Free
Dave Mullaney
John Abbott
Bill Jerome
Steve Jerome
Danny Jordan

Hot Butter were an American instrumental band fronted by the keyboard player and studio musician Stan Free. The other band members were John Abbott, Bill Jerome, Steve Jerome, and Danny Jordan and Dave Mullaney. They were best known for their 1972 version of the Moog synthesizer instrumental hit "Popcorn", originally recorded by its composer, Gershon Kingsley, in 1969.[1] The track became an international hit, selling a million copies in France, 250,000 in the United Kingdom, and over two million globally.[1]


The group released two albums, Hot Butter (Musicor MS-3242; 1972) and More Hot Butter (Musicor MS-3254; 1973), primarily of covers, on LP issued by Hallmark Records. The two albums were compiled on CD as Popcorn on the Castle Music label in 2000 (with an album cover from the 1974 Australian release of More Hot Butter titled Moog Hits, depicting the five other band members immersed in melted butter produced by Free's synthesizer), though several tracks, including Roger Whittaker's "Mexican Whistler", were deleted.

Tracks written by members of the band were "At the Movies" (the B-side of "Popcorn") and "Tristana", by all the band members except Free, and "Space Walk", by Dave Mullaney and his brother. "The Silent Screen (Hot Butter)" is credited to all the members except for Free, but it's actually an arrangement of the main theme of the first movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 40. Among the other artists covered by the band were Stephen Schwartz, Jerry Lordan and The Shadows, Neil Diamond, Joe Meek and The Tornados, Neal Hefti, Serge Gainsbourg, Robert Maxwell, Piero Umiliani, Jean-Joseph Mouret, Billy Joe & the Checkmates, Joe Buffalo's Band, Teo Macero, Leroy Anderson, Chuck Rio, and Norman Petty and The String-A-Longs. Mullaney and Abbott did most of the arranging. The Jeromes, Jordan, and Richard E. Talmadge produced the albums with MTL Productions for Musicor.

In addition to "Popcorn", another well known track is August Msarurgwa's "Skokiaan", which was included on RE/Search's compilation album Incredibly Strange Music. Follow-up singles included The Shadows' "Apache", Chuck Rio's (Danny Flores) "Tequila", Billy Joe and the Checkmates' "Percolator", Joe Buffalo's Band's "Slag Solution", and Gene Farrow with G.F. Band's "You Should Be Dancing".


Stan Free[edit]

Stan Free
Birth nameStanley Friedland
BornApril 12, 1922
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedAugust 17, 1995 (aged 73)
New York, U.S.

Stan Free (born Stanley Friedland) (April 12, 1922 – August 17, 1995) was an American jazz musician, composer, conductor and arranger. Free was born in Brooklyn in 1922, and received a classical musical education, studying with Alexander Siloti and also at the Juilliard School. While still in his teens, he organized a combo (Stanley Friedland's Royal New Yorkers) that played in the Catskills. He also served as a staff sergeant in the Seventh Cavalry in World War II, seeing combat in the Pacific.

Upon his return, he became active in many musical endeavors, including serving as musical director for one of the first live television variety talk shows, "Cafe De Paris" with Sylvie St. Clair, on WABD, the old DuMont channel in New York (1949). The Stan Free Trio played in many New York jazz clubs of the day, including The Composer, The Embers, The Living Room and Hickory House to name a few. He was the featured performer for several summers at Herb McCarthy's Bowden Square in Southampton, Long Island. He recorded several albums (now out of print) under his own name: Free For All: The Stan Free Trio, Piano A La Percussion and Stan Free Five: Would You Believe? Jazz Alive.[2]

Free's best-known recording was the Moog hit "Popcorn" (1972), with the album named Hot Butter. In addition to Free, five studio musicians contributed to the album. Free also toured and recorded with the First Moog Quartet (1970–72), organized by Gershon Kingsley. Additionally he arranged music and conducted for many performers, notably the jazz vocalist Chris Connor (Chris Craft), and the comedian Jack Carter. He was also a studio musician for many of the rock and pop groups of the 1960s, including The Four Seasons, The Monkees and The Association. In 1979, Free played percussion on the Broadway Show The Most Happy Fella.

He was married with children and grandchildren, and died in New York.



Hot Butter[edit]

  • Musicor MS-3242 (U.S.); Pye International NSPL.28169 (UK), 1972

Side one

  1. "Popcorn" (Gershon Kingsley) (2:30)
  2. "Day by Day" (Stephen Schwartz) (3:44)
  3. "Apache" (Jerry Lordan) (2:50)
  4. "At the Movies" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) (2:31)
  5. "Tristana" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) (3:29)
  6. "Song Sung Blue" (Neil Diamond) (3:54)

Side two

  1. "Telstar" (Joe Meek) (2:34)
  2. "Tomatoes" (Neal Hefti) (2:27)
  3. "Amazing Grace" (Trad. Arr. Abbott, Mullaney) (2:37)
  4. "Love at First Sight" (S. Gainsbourg) (2:38)
  5. "Song of the Narobi Trio" (R. Maxwell) (2:13)
  6. "Hot Butter (The Silent Screen)" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) (2:04)

More Hot Butter[edit]

  • Musicor MS-3254; 1973

Side one

  1. "Percolator"
  2. "Slag Solution"
  3. "Sounds"
  4. "Wheels"
  5. "Skokiaan"
  6. "Pipeline"

Side two

  1. "Space Walk"
  2. "The Masterpiece"
  3. "Tequila" (Instrumental)
  4. "Syncopated Clock"
  5. "Kappa Maki"
  6. "Mah-Na, Mah-Na"

Popcorn with Hot Butter[edit]

Side one

  1. "Popcorn" (Instrumental)
  2. "Day by Day"
  3. "Apache"
  4. "At the Movies"
  5. "Tomatoes"

Side two

  1. "Pipeline"
  2. "Hot Butter"
  3. "Telstar"
  4. "Tristana"
  5. "Song of the Nairobi Trio"
  6. "Amazing Grace"

Moog Hits[edit]

  • Musicor Records, L34954, 1974 (Australia)

Side one

  1. "Slag Solution"
  2. "Sounds Simple"
  3. "Wheels"
  4. "Skokiaan"
  5. "Russian Whistler"

Side two

  1. "Space Walk"
  2. "The Masterpiece"
  3. "Tequila"
  4. "Syncopated Clock"
  5. "Mah-Na, Mah-Na"
  6. "Mexican Whistler"

Popcorn (CD)[edit]

  • Castle Music ESMCD907 (UK), 2000
  1. "Popcorn" (Gershon Kingsley) Bourne Music.
  2. "Day by Day" (Stephen Schwartz) Valando Music.
  3. "Apache" (Lordan) Francis Day & Hunter.
  4. "At the Movies" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) Catalogue Music.
  5. "Tristana" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) Catalogue Music.
  6. "Song Sung Blue" (Diamond) Ardmore & Beechwood.
  7. "Telstar" (Meek) Ivy Music Ltd.
  8. "Tomatoes" (Hefti) Famous Chappell.
  9. "Amazing Grace" (Trad. Arr. Abbott, Mullaney) Artal.
  10. "Love at First Sight" (Gainsbourg) Shapiro Bernstein/Britico.
  11. "Song of the Narobi Trio" (Maxwell).
  12. "Hot Butter (The Silent Screen)" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) Artal.
  13. "Mah-Na-Mah-Na" (Umiliani) Carlin Music Corp.
  14. "Masterpiece" (Mouret, Parnes) September Music Corp.
  15. "Percolator" (Bideu, Freeman) .
  16. "Skokiaan" (Kusarurgwa) Peter Maurice Music Co. Ltd.
  17. "Slag Solution" (Morgan, Ranzzano) Copyright Control.
  18. "Sounds" (Macero) Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
  19. "Space Walk" (Mullaney, Mullaney) Copyright Control.
  20. "Syncopated Clock" (Anderson, Parish) EMI Harmonies Ltd.
  21. "Tequila" (Rio) MCA Music Ltd.
  22. "Wheels" (Petty) Campbell Connelly & Co. Ltd.



  • Musicor MUS 1458 (U.S.); Pye International 7N.25583 (UK), July 1972

Side one

  1. "Popcorn" (Gershon Kingsley) (2:30)

Side two

  1. "At the Movies" (Abbott, Mullaney, Jerome, Jerome, Jordan) (2:31)


  • Pye International (UK) 7N.25598, 20 Oct 1972; Musicor (GDR)12 348 AT, Oct 1972

Side one

  1. "Apache"

Side two

  1. "Hot Butter"


  • Musicor 12 469 AT, 1972

Side one

  1. "Tequila" (1:47)

Side two

  1. "Tomatoes" (2:21)


  • Musicor SMU-88678 (Mus 1473 U.S.); Pye 7N.25609, 1973

Side one

  1. "Percolator"

Side two

  1. "Tristana"

"Slag Solution"[edit]

  • Musicor 1481, 1973

Side one

  1. "Slag Solution"

Side two

  1. "Kappa Maki"

"You Should Be Dancing"[edit]

  • 12" 45 Dynamo DS 12-DS-603-8, 1977

Side one

  1. "You Should Be Dancing" (Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb) (5:13) Hye Fye Music Ltd

Side two

  1. "You Should Be Dancing" (track without lead vocal) (Warren/Farrow) (4:42) Hye Fye Music Ltd

Arranged by B.K. Bowie; produced by Jerry "Swamp Dog" Williams, Jr.


  1. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 314. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ "Stan Free | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-09-12.

External links[edit]