Why did it have to be troggs?
(Quote from one of the World of Warcraft-dungeons.)
Troggs’ ‘“Wild Thing” is a magnificant garage rock
classic - right up there with the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” Them’s “Gloria”
and the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All Of The Night”.
on the scene in 1966 (after being signed by Kinks-manager Larry Page in
1965) the chaps from Andover were a little too basic in their approach to be
taken seriously by the aficonados as rock was developing with lightning
speed (and on lots of drugs). Sophisticated they were not, and neither was
Larry Page, but they offered a monster riff and clung to it as if their
lives depended on it. They sounded cheesy, old-fashioned, and very 1964/65.
Hey, they even prefered scotch and beer to strange cigarettes and lysergics.
“Wild Thing” did come as some kind of relief to the
young, fumbling musicians on both sides of the Atlantic who sure found it
hard to copy what the big guys like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The
Beach Boys and Bob Dylan were doing in the recording studios. “Wild Thing”
was a totally different ball game, a dead simple riff, a galopping rhythm
section slightly out of control, they could do that.
It hit the dance floors too, and it hit the fresh supply
of teenyboppers who could not relate to all the strange new stuff going on.
“Wild Thing” was easy to understand. It made parents want to lock up their
daughters. Besides, it had that little novelty, the ocarina-solo played by
musical director Colin Fretcher.
The Troggs wanted much more than they got. They needed
the same trial and error phase that the established bands had gone through.
But this wasn’t 1963-65, it was 1966-67, the train had left the station. It
was all sitars and backwards guitars and weird cigarettes from here. The
Troggs in their identical white pinstriped suits looked so out of place, so
Butlins when the rest of the rock world was tripping among the galaxies. The
Troggs wrote no epics, they found it hard enough to make their three-chord
But the Troggs were not stupid. They accepted their own
limitations as musicians and turned it into a strength. Their playing is so
wonderfully basic and minimalistic, the guitar playing anticipates both glam
and metal, and then there’s Reg Presley’s voice, purring and sweet, but with
a blood curdling scream up its sleeve that could scare the panties off a
girl. Presley was an outstanding songwriter, and they were pretty good at
choosing cover songs too.
“From Nowhere - The Troggs” is no classic, mind you, but
it is a promising debut, the album already shows the group’s scope and
potential. They range from pure garage rock (the galopping mock-Holly number
“From Home” is a gas) through lazy strolling summer’s day pop (they do a
marvellous job on Geno Washington’s “Hi Hi Hazel”) and they give the world
its first taste of bubblegum (say hello to “Jingle Jangle”).
They would evolve significantly towards and into 1967,
when elements of light psychedelia and British whimsy sneaked into their
songs. The 1967-albums “Trogglodynamite” and “Cellophane” sound very cool
today, but at the time they passed almost unnoticed.
Today The Troggs are mainly remembered for “Wild Thing”
and the fact that they recorded the original of “Love Is All Around”, later
made insanely famous by Wet Wet Wet.
A great pity. The Troggs were so much more than that.
They released a handful of excellent singles in 1966-67 (the best of them
all being “I Can’t Control Myself”, my, that scream!) plus three very solid
Reg Presley left us earlier this year. Put “From Nowhere…
The Troggs” on your turntable and remember him that way. Bless his memory.
Released: July 1966
1.”Wild Thing” (Chip Taylor) — 2:34
2.”The Kitty Cat Song” (Jimmy Roach, Joe Spendel) — 2:11
3.”Ride Your Pony” (Naomi Neville) — 2:24
4.”Hi Hi Hazel” (Bill Martin, Phil Coulter) — 2:43
5.”I Just Sing” (Reg Presley) — 2:09
6.”Evil” (Shelby S. Singleton, Jr.) — 3:13
1.”Our Love Will Still Be There” (Reg Presley) — 3:08
2.”Louie Louie” (Richard Berry) — 3:01
3.”Jingle Jangle” (Reg Presley) — 2:26
4.”When I’m With You” (Reg Presley) — 2:23
5.”From Home” (Reg Presley) — 2:20
6.”The Jaguar and the Thunderbird” (Chuck Berry) — 2:01
Reg Presley (Lead vocals)
Chris Britton (Lead guitar)
Pete Staples (Bass guitar)
Ronnie Bond (Drums)