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Wild Thing (The Troggs song)

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Wild Thing (The Troggs song)

"Wild Thing"
Cover of the 1966 German single
Single by The Troggs
from the album
From Nowhere – The Troggs
B-side "From Home" (UK)
"From Home" (US Fontana)
"With A Girl Like You" (US Atco)
"Lost Girl" (FRG)
Released 1966
Format 7" single
Genre
Length 2:30
Label Fontana
Atco (US)
Hansa (FRG)
Writer(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Larry Page
The Troggs singles chronology
"Lost Girl"
(1965)
"Wild Thing"
(1966)
"With a Girl Like You"
(1966)

"Wild Thing" is a song written by Chip Taylor. Originally recorded by American band The Wild Ones in 1965,[4] "Wild Thing" is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band The Troggs, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966. The song peaked at No. 2 in Britain.

As performed by The Troggs, "Wild Thing" is ranked #261 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Contents

  • Composition 1
  • The Wild Ones 2
  • The Troggs version 3
  • Amanda Lear version 4
    • Music video 4.1
    • Track listing 4.2
  • Other versions 5
  • Use in popular culture 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Composition

The song is in the key of A major, and is based around the chord progression (I - IV - V - IV), which is the basis for the main riff. Also the instrumental parts during the chorus are in key with the rest of the song. However, the guitars are not strictly tuned to middle C in the Troggs' version and the slightly sharp tuning causes the chords to actually be midway between A and Bb. This has mystified many guitar players trying to play along with the record. It has been suggested that The Troggs did this as a joke. As a side note, the middle eight was originally someone whistling, but in The Troggs' version this was replaced by Colin Fretcher, musical director, playing an ocarina.

The Wild Ones

The Wild Ones were the house band at the New York City nightclub Arthur, set up by socialite Sybil Christopher, who had married the band's former lead singer Jordan Christopher. Although they had issued an album, it was not as successful as the band had hoped, and their producer Gerry Granahan contacted Chip Taylor to ask him to write a song for them to release as a single. Taylor said:

I started just chuggin’ away on a couple of chords and within a couple of minutes of getting off the phone I had the chorus and I was kind of likin’ it. I didn’t really know what I was going to say in between but I was thinking there was something cool and sweaty about this. So I went to the studio... Because it was a sexual-kind-of-feeling song, I didn’t want to be embarrassed, I wanted to let myself sing it, so I asked [producer] Ron [Johnson] to turn the lights out when I got there and have my stool ready and have my microphone ready and when I got there, I said, “Put the tape in record and just let it go and let me just keep playin.... And then I stomped on a board, just to give a cool little edge to it and I banged on a tambourine and then Ron was foolin’ around. As the track was playing back, he was doing this little thing with his hands, like when you put a blade of grass in there and you get a whistling sound? Only he was able to it without the blade of grass in it. It sounded cool.... I listened back and I thought it sounded great. I was a little afraid to play it for people because it was so different than anything I’d done before; it wasn’t one of those pretty little country songs. And it was very sexy.[5]

Granahan approved the song and produced the Wild Ones' recording, with vocals by Chuck Alden. However, on its release in November 1965 the record failed to sell, and Alden later said that he regretted not performing the song in the same way as Taylor's demo.[6]

The Troggs version

Because of a distribution dispute, The Troggs' single was available on two competing labels: Atco and Fontana.[7] Because both pressings were taken from the identical master recording, Billboard combined the sales for both releases, making it the only single to simultaneously reach No. 1 for two companies.[8]

On the Atco label, "Wild Thing" is credited to Reg Presley (Troggs' lead vocalist) and "With a Girl Like You" (its flip side) to Chip Taylor. The author credits are reversed. On the Fontana label, "Wild Thing" is credited to Chip Taylor and the flip contains a different song, "From Home", credited to Reg Presley. The Fontana label credits production to Page One Productions, England, while the Atco label credits production as "A Larry Page Production, Recorded in England". They also did a version with Canned Heat.

Amanda Lear version

"Wild Thing"
Single by Amanda Lear
from the album Secret Passion
B-side "Aphrodisiac"
Released 1987
Format 7", 12"
Genre Pop rock, synthpop
Length 3:26
Label Carrere Records
Writer(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Christian De Walden
Amanda Lear singles chronology
"Les Femmes"
(1986)
"Wild Thing"
(1987)
"Aphrodisiaque"
(1987)

French singer Amanda Lear recorded "Wild Thing" for her comeback album Secret Passion and added a synthpop feel to it. The single was produced by Christian De Walden and released in 1987. On the B-side another Secret Passion track was released, "Aphrodisiac", whose French language version [Aphrodisiaque" later became a separate A-side single. 12" single included a remixed version of "I'm a Mistery" and a 1987 re-recording of "Follow Me". "Wild Thing" was performed in a number of TV shows, but failed to chart.

Music video

The "Wild Thing" music video was shot in Parisian Hôtel Meurice, in the most luxurious suite, which had been Salvador Dalí's favourite.[9] French actor and singer Jean-Luc Lahaye appears in the clip, sitting in bed in a bathrobe and reading Amanda's 1987 novel L'Immortelle. Amanda takes her bathrobe off, revealing a scant sexy outfit, and dances around the room. Two female dancers appear in the video, dressed as maids, performing minimalistic dance routines.

Track listing

  • 7" Single (1987)[10][11]
A. "Wild Thing" - 3:26
B. "Aphrodisiac" - 3:44
  • French 12" Single (1987)[12]
A. "Wild Thing" (Extended Version) - 5:11
B1. "I'm a Mistery" (Remix) - 5:16
B2. "Aphrodisiac" - 3:44
  • Canadian 12" Single (1987)[13]
A. "Wild Thing" (Remix) - 5:11
B. "Follow Me" - 7:20

Other versions

"Wild Thing"
Single by Divinyls
from the album Reckless Kelly
B-side "Picture This"
Released April, 1993
Recorded 1992
Genre Rock
Divinyls singles chronology
"I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
(1992)
"Wild Thing"
(1993)
"Love Is the Drug"
(1993)

"Wild Thing" has remained popular ever since The Troggs' hit single and has been covered many times:

Use in popular culture

  • In the UK the song was used heavily by television programme "You've Been Framed", for clips generally involving animals.
  • The song was featured in a prominent scene in the 1997 miniseries Painted Lady featuring Helen Mirren.
  • In 1992, the Troggs' version was used in the film D2: The Mighty Ducks.
  • The 1989 baseball film Major League used "Wild Thing" recorded by L.A. punk band X as the theme song for Rick Vaughn, the team's erratic starting/relief pitcher. Life soon imitated art, when the Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams adopted the song for his entrances from the bullpen, including in the 1993 World Series. During the late 2000s, the song was played at Fenway Park when Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon would come in from the bullpen, followed by "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphy's.
  • Japanese Pro Wrestler Atsushi Onita used the X version of the song as his entrance theme.
  • A version by Cheap Trick was used for the film Encino Man.
  • In 2003, Aerosmith recorded a version of the song with a video, which was used for commercials and teasers advertising ABC's coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoffs.
  • In 1998, the song was used in The Vicar of Dibley episode "Love and Marriage" - the choir at St. Barnabus' Church sang the song after Hugo and Alice made their vows and were pronounced man and wife.
  • In the Full House episode, "Just Say No Way," Jesse Katsopalis plays this song with the marching band at DJ's school dance (replacing Dogface, a popular high school band, who broke up hours beforehand).
  • The title of the 1986 film Something Wild was itself an inversion of the song title. The film features a scene where two main characters (played by Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith) pick up some hitch-hikers in their convertible and the party then sing "Wild Thing".
  • The song was also sung in the TV show Saved by the Bell.
  • The book "A Punk Rock Love Song" uses Wild Thing as a rock band's audition song, with a character describing it as, "a dumb song, I know, but it's easy. If people can't play that, then hell with 'em." [2]
Preceded by
"Hanky Panky" by Tommy James And The Shondells
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
"Wild Thing" by The Troggs

July 30, 1966
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Summer in the City" by The Lovin' Spoonful

References

  1. ^ Talevski, Nick (8 May 2006). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door.  
  2. ^ Peter Doggett (27 August 2015). Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone – 125 Years of Pop Music. Random House. p. 421.  
  3. ^ Dylan Jones (14 August 2014). Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died. The Overlook Press. p. 68.  
  4. ^ The release was United Artists 947. See history at Second Hand Songs.
  5. ^ , November 2012Pop(ular) Culture ElectiveFrank Mastropolo, ""Wild Thing” – The First Punk Rock Song?", . Retrieved 30 October 2015
  6. ^ Justin Tricarico, "The Wild Ones without Jordan". Retrieved 30 October 2015
  7. ^ Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. July 6, 1966.  
  8. ^ Mojo Magazine #173 (April 2008), pg. 39
  9. ^ "The Hotel Meurice". daliplanet.blogsome.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  10. ^ "WILD THING 1987 France". amandalear_singoli.tripod.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  11. ^ "Wild Thing / Aphrodisiac by Amanda Lear : Reviews and Ratings". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  12. ^ "Wild Thing / I'm A Mistery / Aphrodisiac by Amanda Lear : Reviews and Ratings". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  13. ^ "Amanda Lear - Wild Thing / Follow Me (Vinyl) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  14. ^  
  15. ^ "Show 47 - Sergeant Pepper at the Summit: The very best of a very good year. [Part 3] : UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  16. ^ Sprague, David (2007). "Unrest".  
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Divinyls - Wild Thing". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  18. ^ "Winning Is Fun (Wild Thing Cover)". YouTube. 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 

External links

  • Original United Artists press release for "Wild Thing" by the Wild Ones
  • The Screamin Sam Show Tribute to Sam Kinison
  • Cover history at Second Hand Songs
  • Tablature and chords
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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