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The Troggs

Remembered chiefly as proto-punkers who reached the top of the charts with the "caveman rock" of "Wild Thing" (1966), the Troggs were also adept at crafting power pop and ballads. Hearkening back to a somewhat simpler, more basic British Invasion approach as psychedelia began to explode in the late '60s, the group also reached the Top Five with their flower-power ballad "Love Is All Around" in 1968. While more popular in their native England than the U.S., the band also fashioned memorable, insistently riffing hit singles like "With a Girl Like You," "Night of the Long Grass," and the notoriously salacious "I Can't Control Myself" between 1966 and 1968. Paced by Reg Presley's lusting vocals, the group -- which composed most of their own material -- could crunch with the best of them, but were also capable of quite a bit more range and melodic invention than they've been given credit for.

Hailing from the relatively unknown British town of Andover, the Troggs hooked up with manager/producer Larry Page (who was involved in the Kinks' early affairs) in the mid-'60s. After a flop debut single, they were fortunate enough to come across a demo of Chip Taylor's "Wild Thing" (which had already been unsuccessfully recorded by the Wild Ones). In the hands of the Troggs, "Wild Thing" -- with its grungy chords and off-the-wall ocarina solo -- became a primeval three-chord monster, famous not only in its original hit Troggs version, but in its psychedelic revamping by Jimi Hendrix, who used it to close his famous set at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

"Wild Thing" made number one in the States, but the Troggs' momentum there was impeded by a strange legal dispute which saw their early records simultaneously released on two different labels. Nor did it help that the band didn't tour the U.S. for a couple of years. As a consequence, the fine follow-up singles "With a Girl Like You" and "I Can't Control Myself" didn't do as well as they might have. In Britain, it was a different story -- they were smashes, although "I Can't Control Myself" had such an open-hearted lust that it encountered resistance from conservative radio programmers all over the globe.

The Troggs tempered their image on subsequent ballads, which utilized a sort of pre-"power ballad" approach. These weren't bad, and a few of them were British hits, but they weren't as fine as the initial blast of singles which established the band's image. "Love Is All Around," which restored them to the American Top Ten in 1968, was their finest effort in this vein. It was also their final big hit on either side of the Atlantic.

But the Troggs would keep going for a long, long time. In a sense they were handicapped by their image -- they were not intellectuals, certainly, but they weren't dumb either. They wrote most of their songs, and their albums were reasonably accomplished, if hardly up to the level of the Kinks or Traffic, containing some nifty surprises like the gothic ballad "Cousin Jane," or the tongue-in-cheek psychedelia of "Maybe the Madman." By 1970, though, they were struggling. They continued to release a stream of singles, most of which had a straightforward simplicity that was out of step with the progressive rock of the time, all of which flopped, though some were fairly good.

The Troggs' image as lunkheads couldn't have been helped by the notorious Troggs Tapes, a 12-minute studio argument that was captured on tape while the band were unawares. The Spinal Tap-like dialog helped keep their cult alive, though, and as punk gained momentum in the mid-'70s, they gained belated appreciation as an important influence on bands like the Ramones and (earlier) the MC5. They found enough live work (sometimes on the punk/new wave circuit) to keep going, although their intermittent records generally came to naught. In 1992, they rose to their highest profile in ages when three members of R.E.M., which had covered "Love Is All Around," backed the Troggs on the comeback album Athens Andover. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Listen to this song in the back seat of my car, high as hell and yes i was doing the wild thing all f**king night
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Listening to my parents AM radio and wild thing groooooovy
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Dear Mr. Fantasy is incredible. It brings back some of the best memories of my teenage years
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60s music is the BEST!!!!!!
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Love is all around is my all time favorite song. It has been since it came out in 1968. I was in highschool so the song brings back many groovy memories
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Just another great garage band.
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johnnyohania n
Reg Presley (born Reginald Maurice Ball) RIP
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survivor45ae r
to this day i see love is all around as a gift to the troggs and in turn a gift to us. like they were channellng something wonderful- words, music, the whole song- and it was the 1960's so somehow this very true song - this love song- could absolutely live side-by-side with other songs like love is definitely not all around in viet nam. crazy times then and actually they're still pretty crazy, but with fantastic opportunitie s for sanity as long as you carry some craziness and love.
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Wild Thing, come on, come on, Wild thing!!!!!
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cherrycarey8 3
Made the piccolo cool.
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Weren't they called The Troglodytes ? I kind of remember that!
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Come on Charile Sheen in major league classic
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This is a great tune, catchy. It's not just Wild Thing. People, squares slept on them.
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The song come now very cool
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Come on, come on, come on Wild Thing, you make Everything, Wild Thing! Come on hold me Tight......Y o u Move Me! ummmmm.
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RIP Reg Presley.
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Great memories of yesteryear.
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Feel Like A Woman WOW where did that come from!
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These guys were freak'n great..Wild Thing, which they actually didn't write(Chip Taylor..brot h e r of John Voight..of all things) is just one of many great songs. Check out With a Girl Like You, Jingle Jangle, From Home, Our Love Will Still Be There & I Want You..to name just a few.
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I love this band. Too bad they were not appreciated as much as they should have been. The band had a lot to offer and I will always be a devoted fan. They were a little ahead of their time, but we know that!.
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The tune I was referring to is feels like a woman...
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Awesome tune! Sounds like Bon Scott era AC/DC!
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hhrothman
The Troggs were a 2 Hit Wonder Group Johnnyo.....
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johnnyohania n
They had much more to offer. Too bad FM radio was so narrow minded and only plays Wild Thing
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in the womb
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lauriechambe r l i n
Wild thing...I think i love you!!
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lauriechambe r l i n
Do you remember where you were when you heard this?
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Rock AND Roll!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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me and marys wedding song many moon ago.
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you make everythig groovy
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donnagay1
And dont forget house of the rising sun and satisfaction ' s opening chords.
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along with iron man and smoke on the water, is probably the easiest recognizable riff in rock and roll history
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budsasse
yay early punks!
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ksears85
very unique!!!
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michaelkstee l e
Now this is punk, too many years ahead of their time...
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Wow, these guys are so complex.

They may be about as simple as a rock, but they're still great.

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love is all around was my wedding song.got married in1980 loveyou mary
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eddiemanmac
I can still remember the first time I heard wild thing......a n d Im still a troggs fan today...
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redtanhawk
this is good news to me having grown up from influence of the Troggs. I liked them then so I'm glad to get them back!
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holein6
"Get you Tonight" is a great song I've never heard until today. If the Talking Heads were around in the 60's, I imagine they'd have sounded something like this!
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I love Wild Thing.
I also love Love Is All Around, but Joan Jett and the Blackhearts do it better. =)
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don1983
Great band!
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I heard "Wild Thing" first when it came out in '66. Imagine my surprise when it came back around in the movie "Major League." I mean, this song was a stone hilarious riot in the original but as part of the sound track, with all the crowd in the background stompin' their feet and gettin' raucous and the bass thumpin'...d a m n , that's great music makin'.
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ab4hq
Love Is All Around is one of the best & simpliest song 'Around'.
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they should get back together again
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sarah777
me and my mom love the song wild thing
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Trog"lo*dyte \ , n.

1. (Ethnol.) One of any savage race that dwells in caves, instead of constructing dwellings; a cave dweller. Most of the primitive races of man were troglodytes.

In the troglodytes' country there is a lake, for the hurtful water it beareth called the "mad lake." --Holland.

2. (Zo<"o>l.) An anthropoid ape, as the chimpanzee.

3. One who lives in solitude

4. Someone who lives in a cave
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Love Is All Around is a wonderful song.

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