In the late seventies, I borrowed a single from a friend and that was Wild Thing by the Troggs. I loved the raw sound. If there was ever a garage band that hit the big time…it was the Troggs. Wild Thing (1966) was a massive hit that sold over 1 million copies. Their other big hits were With A Girl Like You (1966) and Love Is All Around (1967).
The Troggs influenced a lot of Punk and Garage bands. Their songs could be played with a little practice. Almost every band starting out will play the 3 chord Wild Thing at least a few times.
Their songs have been covered by a countless number of unknown bands. Three more known artists have been Jimi Hendrix playing Wild Thing at Monterey and REM and Wet, Wet, Wet covered Love Is All Around.
The original members were Reg Presley, Ronnie Bond, Chris Britton and Pete Staples. Reg Presley was the lead singer and wrote Love Is All Around which went to #7 and With A Girl Like You that went to #29.
The band is probably more known for a failed recording session which was leaked out more than they were for their hits. They are swearing and fighting with each other. It is funny…if you are put off by swearing don’t listen but when you hear “Oh, we’ll put some fairy dust over it. I’ll piss over the tape”….it’s hard to resist. It was recorded in 1970 and leaked out in the early seventies on bootlegs called The Troggs Tapes…this became the inspiration for a few Spinal Tap scenes.
After Love Is All Around in 1967 the band’s fame waned. They released some more singles but nothing approached their three big hits. REM made an album with the Troggs in 1992 called Athens Andover.
Reg Presley passed away in 2013. Chris Britton still plays some gigs with the Troggs today as the only original member left.
Wild Thing like Louie, Louie was an important song in the history of Rock and Roll. It was much more important than the band that brought it to us…
This group was not one of the super British bands of the sixties, not even close. They will never be on anyone’s top ten, twenty, or higher best band list…but they left a few small memorable songs, a large one and some influence …and a hilarious bitch session on tape for posterity…