BAND INFO (am)
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...+ in allmusic.
ALBUM REVIEW (am)
The Troggs' debut British LP was substantially different, and distinctly inferior to, their first American long-player (Wild Thing), although eight of the songs appear on both records. The tracks unique to the British edition are all covers: "Ride Your Pony" and the obscure "The Kitty Cat Song" (both taken from Lee Dorsey), "Louie Louie," and Chuck Berry's "Jaguar and Thunderbird." And none of them are so hot. "Wild Thing" is the highlight of the disc, and the rest of the set is a mixed bag, peaks being the primordial power of "From Home" and "I Just Sing," as well "Jingle Jangle," the first of Reg Presley's tuneful ballads. The vaudevillian "Hi Hi Hazel," on the other hand, is a lowlight. There's no "Lost Girl," "With a Girl Like You," or "I Want You," all of which made the US Wild Thing a better counterpart to this release, although this didn't prevent From Nowhere from rising to #6 in the British charts. All of the good tracks appear on Archeology, but if you want the material anyway, it's been paired with their second British LP, Trogglodynamite, on a single-CD reissue on BGO.
AMAZING BAND... GREAT GARAGE BEAT...
FULL ARTWORK AND COVERS
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