Saturday, July 30, 2016

Today in Music (1966): The Troggs “Wild Thing” hit #1

Wild Thing

The Troggs

Writer(s): Chip Taylor (see lyrics here)

Released: April 22, 1966

First Charted: May 5, 1966

Peak: 12 BB, 11 CB, 11 GR, 12 HR, 1 CL, 2 UK, 2 CN, 12 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 18.38 video, 96.27 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Wild Thing” is “the foundation stone, the Rosetta Stone and the Magna Carta of rock & roll.” TC It “set the benchmark for perfect raw rock & roll and has never been bettered.” TC Chip Taylor, the professional songwriter and record producer who penned the song, said, “It’s not like the chords don’t sound like a thousand other songs. But there’s something within the simple structure that’s magical. It’s still inspired, even in its dumbness.” TC

Taylor wrote it at the request of Gerry Granahan. He was producing Jordan Christopher & the Wild Ones and wasn’t happy with the songs they had. He asked Taylor if he “could give me something different, something unique.” SJ Taylor had a demo session for a country song scheduled at 5pm, but came up with a guitar riff about 4pm, hummed a song to it on the way to the studio, and let the tape roll with the plan “to do this nonsense thing and see what came out.” SJ

He came up with a six-minute song and carved it down to under four minutes. He said, “I was on the floor laughing when I was through. As soon as I did it I said ‘What is this monster?’ Because, basically, it was just a guttural expression, some kind of sexual thought.” TC

Taylor sent it to Granahan as promised and they recorded it, but very differently, “with horns, and changed the rhythm and stuff like that.” SJ Taylor was embarrassed by the song and glad when it wasn’t a hit. However, against Taylor’s wishes, the publisher sent “Wild Thing,” along with everything else they’d published, to Dick James Music in England. The Troggs went through about fifty songs before landing on “Wild Thing.” SJ

They wanted “something unusual to kick-start their career” TB and thought “Wild Thing” just might be it. t’s “an eccentric record replete with…pauses that defiantly fall out of step with the song’s rhythmic pulse.” TB It also uses a Ocarina, which is a musical toy generally used by children. TC


First posted 9/18/2023; last updated 9/28/2023.

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