Wild Thing (The Troggs song)

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"Wild Thing"
Wild Thing (The Troggs song).png
Single by the Troggs
Released 22 April 1966 (1966-04-22)
Format 7-inch single
Studio Olympic Sound, London
Length 2:30
Songwriter(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Larry Page
The Troggs UK singles chronology
"Lost Girl"
"Wild Thing"
"With a Girl Like You"
The Troggs US singles chronology
"Wild Thing"
"I Can't Control Myself"

"Wild Thing" is a song written by American songwriter Chip Taylor and popularized by the English rock band the Troggs. It was originally recorded and released by the American rock band the Wild Ones in 1965,[5] but it did not chart. The Troggs' single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart in 1966. Their version of "Wild Thing" was ranked at number 257 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6] It has also been performed by many other musicians.


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 later explained:

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.[7]

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.[8]

The Troggs' version[edit]

Due to a distribution dispute, the Troggs' single was available on two competing labels: Atco Records and Fontana Records.[9] 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 number one for two companies.[10]

On the Atco label, the author credits of both sides are reversed as "Wild Thing" is credited to Reg Presley (Troggs' lead vocalist) and its B-side, "With a Girl Like You", to Chip Taylor. On the Fontana label, "Wild Thing" is correctly credited to Chip Taylor and the flip contains a different song, "From Home", by 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". One further difference between the two singles is that there is a noticeable "click" on the Atco single after Presley says "You move me" and just before the music starts again; this click is edited out of the Fontana version.

The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on issue date June 25, 1966. Two weeks later (July 9), it leaped from number 47 to number six. The song then rose to number two where it remained for the next two weeks (July 16 and July 23), while "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells occupied the top spot. On issue date July 30, 1966, "Wild Thing" hit number one where it remained for two weeks. The song ultimately logged eleven weeks on the chart, with eight of those weeks in the Top 10. In Canada, the single (Fontana 1548) reached number two on the RPM magazine charts on August 8, 1966.

The Troggs recorded a new version of the song in 1993, which peaked at number 87 in the UK Singles Chart.


Chart (1966) Peak
Austria[11] 5
Belgium[12] 15
Germany[13] 7
Netherlands[14] 5
UK Singles Chart[15] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 1

Other versions[edit]

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


  1. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie. "The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time". Paste. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Nick Talevski (April 7, 2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-85712-117-2. 
  3. ^ Peter Doggett (27 August 2015). Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone – 125 Years of Pop Music. Random House. p. 421. ISBN 978-1-4481-3031-3. 
  4. ^ Dylan Jones (14 August 2014). Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died. The Overlook Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-4683-1042-9. 
  5. ^ Original United Artists press release for "Wild Thing" by the Wild Ones
  6. ^ "Rolling Stone : The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". www.rollingstone.com. 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  7. ^ ""Wild Thing" – The First Punk Rock Song? (Interview)". popularcultureelective.wordpress.com. November 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Justin Tricarico / The Wild Ones without Jordan". justintricarico.pbworks.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. July 6, 1966. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  10. ^ Mojo #173 (April 2008), p. 39
  11. ^ "Discographie The Troggs" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  12. ^ "The Troggs - Wild Thing" (in Dutch). www.ultratop.be. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  13. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts" (in German). www.offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  14. ^ "Discografie The Troggs" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  15. ^ "TROGGS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  16. ^ "The Troggs Chart History". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  17. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man. : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ "WILD THING 1987 France". amandalear_singoli.tripod.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "Divinyls - Wild Thing". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02.