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Profile: The Troggs


The Troggs

The Troggs

source: retrosellers.com


1964 (Andover, Hampshire, England)


Garage Rock, Frat Rock, British Invasion, Folk Rock, Pop-rock

Original Members:

Reg Presley (b. Reginald Maurice Ball, June 12, 1943, Andover, Hampshire, England): lead vocals
Chris Britton (b. Charles Christopher Britton, January 21, 1945, Watford, Hertfordshire, England): guitar
Pete Staples (b. May 3, 1944, Andover, Hampshire, England): bass
Ronnie Bond (b. Ronald James Bullis, May 4, 1943, Andover, Hampshire, England; d. November 13th, 1992, Winchester, Hampshire, England): drums

Contributions to music:

  • A big influence on punk and metal bands, largely for their huge Sixties hit "Wild Thing"
  • Helped bring garage rock into the mainstream
  • One of the few British Invasion acts to write most of their own material
  • Pushed the boundaries of acceptable radio lyrics with their UK hit "I Can't Control Myself"
  • With their later singles, helped develop the "power ballad"

Early years:

Reggie Ball was a bricklayer in Andover, England, in the early Sixties when a coworker, Dave Wright, who played guitar, suggested they form a band with Reg on bass. Although it wasn't his instrument, he soon learned, and the Troglodytes were born in 1964. (The name comes from a disturbing trend among some English youth to go off and live in caves.) By 1965, the band had mutated into the classic lineup, and were soon signed by Kinks manager Larry Page, who'd heard their version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" -- supposedly rawer and superior overall to even the original!


The hit came from a strange place -- actor Jon Voight's younger brother, Chip Taylor, who had already scored with "I Can't Let Go," a British hit for the Hollies. His song "Wild Thing" was originally done by at least two bands, but both versions flopped, largely due to the poppish arrangement. Recorded in just under 20 minutes at the end of leftover studio time from another Page-managed band, their version became a huge smash on both sides of the ocean with its raw sexuality and heavy riffing. (Page's original choice for the next single had been "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" by the Lovin' Spoonful.)

Later years:

The group stayed afloat on the British charts for some time, despite a licensing snafu with "Wild Thing" that held up the push on subsequent singles (Fontana and Atco both released the same single of "Wild Thing" in the States, a first for any record). In 1968, they also bounced back in the US with "Love Is All Around," a gentle folk-rock ballad. But the group's original projected image as untrained savages hurt them in the coming years, and they would have to wait until the advent of punk to be taken seriously again. The group continues to tour today under Reg's direction, with one other original member.

Other facts:

  • Reg's stage surname of Presley was given him by his manager, who thought it would get them some Elvis-related attention
  • Their followup hit "With A Girl Like You" was recorded at the same ten-minute session as "Wild Thing"
  • The original solo on the "Wild Thing" was Chip Taylor whistling; it's replaced on the record by an ocarina
  • Jimi Hendrix covered "Wild Thing" at Monterey, calling it "the national anthem"
  • An infamous 15-minute tape of the band arguing at a session for the mid-Seventies song "Tranquility" was used as the basis for the film This Is Spinal Tap
  • The band R.E.M. recorded an album with the Troggs in 1992


  • Ivor Novello Awards (1994)

Recorded work:

#1 hits:
  • "Wild Thing" (1966)
Top 10 hits:
  • "Love Is All Around" (1968)
Other important recordings: "With A Girl Like You," "I Can't Control Myself," "Anyway That You Want Me," "Give It To Me," "Night Of The Long Grass," "Hi Hi Hazel," "The Yella In Me," "From Home," "I Want You," "Jingle Jangle," "Our Love Will Still Be There," "I Just Sing," "Gonna Make You," "66-5-4-3-2-1," "Give It To Me (All Your Love)," "I Can Only Give You Everything," "You Can't Beat It," "Last Summer," "I Want You To Come Into My Life," "Cousin Jane," "Girl In Black," "Too Much Of A Good Thing," "Seventeen," "Her Emotion," "My Lady," "All Of The Time," "Somewhere My Girl Is Waiting," "When Will The Rain Come," "Little Girl," "Maybe The Madman," "Surprise, Surprise (I Need You)," "You Can Cry If You Want To," "Hip Hip Hooray," "Purple Shades," "Heads Or Tails," "That's What You Get Girl," "I Don't Know Why," "Easy Loving," "Lover," "Come Now," "The Raver," "Everything's Funny," "Feels Like A Woman," "Queen Of Sorrow," "Strange Movies," "I'm On Fire," "Summertime," "I'll Buy You An Island," "Get You Tonight"
Covered by: X, R.E.M., Wet Wet Wet, Sort Sol, Cheap Trick, DMZ, Liz Phair, The Ventures, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Kinison, Jeff Beck, Supersnazz, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Runaways, The Creatures, Alex Chilton, Cold Chisel, Spiritualized, The Ramones, The Devil Dogs, Fancy, Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hank Williams Jr., Rolf Harris, Divinyls, Buzzcocks, MC5, Wolfsbane, Spirit, The Dwarves, Senator Bobby
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