The Troggs (originally called the Troglodytes) are an English garage rock band formed in Andover, Hampshire in May 1964. They had a number of hits in the United Kingdom and the United States. Their most famous songs include the US chart-topper "Wild Thing", "With a Girl Like You" and "Love Is All Around", all of which sold over 1 million copies and were awarded gold discs. "Wild Thing" is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was an influence on garage rock and punk rock.
The Troggs in 1966. L-R: Pete Staples, Ronnie Bond, Chris Britton and Reg Presley
|Also known as||The Troglodytes|
|Origin||Andover, Hampshire, England|
|Associated acts||Ten Feet Five, R.E.M.|
Reg Presley (lead vocals) and Ronnie Bond (drums) were childhood friends and in the early 1960s formed an R&B band in their home town of Andover. In 1964 they were joined by Pete Staples (bass) and Chris Britton (guitar) and became the Troggs. They were signed by Larry Page, manager of the Kinks, in 1965. They recorded on Page's Page One Records, and Page also leased them to CBS for the debut single "Lost Girl". Their most famous hit was the single "Wild Thing" (written by Chip Taylor) (the song on the B-side of the single depended on the country where it was sold), which with the help of television exposure on Thank Your Lucky Stars reached number 2 in the UK (c/w Reg Presley's song "From Home") and number 1 in the United States in July 1966. Its combination of a simple heavy guitar riff and flirtatious lyrics helped it to quickly become a garage rock standard. It was recorded in one complete take (take two) at Olympic Studios in London, with Keith Grant engineering. Because of a dispute over US distribution rights, "Wild Thing" was released (along with the first album of the same name) on two labels: Fontana and Atco. The band's success in the US was also limited by not touring there until 1968.
They also had a number of other hits, including "With a Girl Like You" (a UK number 1 in July 1966, US number 29), "I Can't Control Myself" (a UK number 2 in September 1966; their first UK single release on the Page One label, POF 001; this was also their second and final dual-label release in the US, with Fontana retaining the rights to all subsequent releases), "Anyway That You Want Me" (UK number 10 in December 1966), all at Olympic Studios, "Give It To Me" (UK No.12 1967), "Night of the Long Grass" (UK number 17 in May 1967), "Love Is All Around" (UK number 5 in November 1967 and US number 7 in May 1968) plus "Hi Hi Hazel" (UK No.42, 1967). The band's popularity completely waned the following year. Former Plastic Penny bassist Tony Murray replaced Pete Staples in 1969. Richard Moore filled in for Britton on their 1972–1973 tour. In 1974, after a spell on Pye Records, in an attempt to re-create their 1960s successes, the Troggs re-united with Larry Page, now running Penny Farthing Records. The resulting cover version of the Beach Boys hit "Good Vibrations" failed to chart. A reggae version of "Wild Thing" also failed. Richard Moore and Colin Fletcher substitute for Britton, who temporarily quit music to manage a night club in Spain, for the recording of The Troggs Tapes album released in 1976. The band found a sympathetic ear at French label New Rose in the 1980s, releasing the Black Bottom LP (1982) and AU (1990).
In 1991, they recorded Athens Andover, an 11-song collaboration between themselves and three members of R.E.M. It was recorded in the American band's hometown of Athens, Georgia, and was released in March 1992.
The band attempted to capitalize on this new exposure with a couple of bizarre collaborations on new versions of "Wild Thing". In 1992 they teamed up with actor Oliver Reed and snooker player Alex Higgins, with another version the following year featuring Wolf from the TV show Gladiators, which actually reached number 69 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1994 Wet Wet Wet's cover of "Love Is All Around" was #1 in the UK for 15 weeks, resulting in substantial royalties for Presley.
The band's original drummer, Ronnie Bond, died on 13 November 1992. In January 2012, Reg Presley retired after being diagnosed with lung cancer. The band carried on with new lead singer Chris Allen. Presley died on 4 February 2013.
Legacy and influence
The Troggs are widely seen as a highly influential band whose sound was an inspiration for garage rock and punk rock. Influential American critic Lester Bangs "called the band the progenitors of punk", according to NPR. For example, the Troggs influenced artists such as Iggy Pop, and the early version of British pop-punk pioneers Buzzcocks featured "I Can't Control Myself" in their live repertoire. The Ramones are also among the punk bands who cited the Troggs as an influence. "I Can't Control Myself" is perhaps the most enduring favourite of critics; it continues to be championed for its originality and lasting influence by radio hosts such as "Little" Steven Van Zandt.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience famously covered "Wild Thing" during their appearance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, introducing it as the British/American joint "national anthem", and climaxing with Hendrix burning his guitar.
Performing a live version of "Wild Thing" featured Queen guitarist Brian May to open the Wildlife Rocks' event at Guildford Cathedral in May 2014.
In 1991, "Love Is All Around" was covered by R.E.M. during live performances and was released later that year as a B-side on their "Radio Song" single. They also performed an acoustic version of the song on MTV Unplugged.
In 1994, Scottish band Wet Wet Wet's version of "Love Is All Around" spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK after its inclusion in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The authorship royalties enabled Reg Presley's 1990s research and publication on extraterrestrials and other paranormal phenomena.
The point-and-click adventure game Hopkins FBI features "I Can't Control Myself" and "Lost Girl".
The Troggs was the name of the high school gang in the movie Bang Bang, You're Dead that persuade the main character to join them in attacking their high school.
Trogg is the name of one of Bane's three henchmen in Dennis O'Neil's Batman: Knightfall comic arc. The other henchmen are Bird and Zombie, named after two other popular 1960s rock bands: the Byrds and the Zombies.
An in-studio tape of Reg Presley's running commentary on a recording session, filled with in-fighting and swearing (known as The Troggs Tapes), was widely circulated in the music underground, and was included in the Archaeology box set, as well as the compilation album, The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records. The group infighting is believed to be the inspiration for a scene in the comedy film This Is Spinal Tap, where the band members are arguing. Some of this dialogue was sampled by the California punk band the Dwarves on their recording of a cover version of the Troggs song "Strange Movies".
- Chris Britton – lead guitar, backing vocals (1964–1972) (1979–present) (selected gigs only)
- Pete Lucas – lead guitar (1974) bass, backing vocals (1979-present)
- Darren Bond – Drums (2018–present)
- Chris Allen – lead vocals (2012–present)
- John W Doyle – lead guitar, backing vocals (2017–present)
- Reg Presley – lead vocals (1964–2012; died 2013)
- Ronnie Bond – drums (1964–1988; died 1992)
- Pete Staples – bass, backing vocals (1964–1969)
- Tony Murray – bass, backing vocals (1969–1977, 1979–1984)
- Jo Burt – bass (1977–1979)
- Richard Moore – lead guitar (1972–1979; died 2016)
- David Wright – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1972–1974; died 2008)
- Colin Fletcher – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1974–1976)
- Dave Maggs – Drums (1988–2018)
- Trogglomania (1969)
- Live at Max's Kansas City (1981)
- Best of the Troggs (1967)
- Love Is All Around (1968)
- Best of the Troggs Volume II (1969)
- Contrasts (1970)
- The Troggs Tapes (1972)
- With a Girl Like You (1975)
- Vintage Years (1976)
- Hit Single Anthology (1991)
- Archeology (1967-1977) (1992)
- Greatest Hits (1994)
- The EP Collection (1996)
- The Singles: A's & B's (2004)
|1965||"Lost Girl"||"The Yella In Me"||—||—||7||—||—||—||—||—||non-album (UK)
Wild Thing (US)
|1966||"Wild Thing"||"From Home"
"With a Girl Like You" (US)
|2||1||5||1||1||1||5||7||From Nowhere (UK)
Wild Thing (US)
|"With a Girl Like You"||"I Want You"||1||29||1||11||1||—||1||2||non-album (UK)
Wild Thing (US)
|"I Can't Control Myself"||"Gonna Make You"||2||43||7||—||—||—||7||2||non-album (UK)
Love Is All Around (US)
|"Any Way That You Want Me"||"66-5-4-3-2-1"||8||—||5||—||—||—||21||14|
|1967||"Give It To Me"||"You're Lying"||12||—||—||—||—||—||21||10|
|"Nights of The Long Grass||"Girl In Black"||17||—||—||—||—||—||33||—|
|"Hi Hi Hazel||"As I Ride By"||42||—||—||—||—||—||39||—||From Nowhere (UK)
Wild Thing (US)
|"Love Is All Around"||"When Will The Rain Come"||5||7||4||3||—||—||19||15||Cellophane (UK)
Love Is All Around (US)
|1968||"Little Girl"||"Maybe The Madman?"||37||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Mixed Bag (UK)
Hip Hip Hooray (US)
|"Little Red Donkey"||"Seventeen"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Cellophane|
|"Surprise Surprise"||"Marbles And Some Gum"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Mixed Bag (UK)
Hip Hip Hooray (US)
|"You Can Cry if You Want To"||"There's Something About You"||—||—||—||12||—||—||—||—|
|"Hip Hip Hooray"||"Say Darlin'!"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||16|
|1969||"Evil Woman"||"Sweet Madeleine"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album|
|"That's What You Get Girl'"||"I Don't Know Why"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1970||"Easy Lovin'"||"Give Me Something"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1971||"Lazy Weekend"||"Let's Pull Together"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972||"Everything's Funny"||"Feels Like a Woman"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1973||"Listen To The Man"||"Queen Of Sorrow"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Strange Movies"||"I'm On Fire"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974||"Good Vibrations"||"Push It Up To Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Troggs|
|"Summertime"||"Jenny Come Down"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Troggs|
|"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"||"Memphis, Tennessee"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976||"I'll Buy You An Island"||"Gonna Make You"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album|
|1977||"Feeling For Love"||"Get You Tonight"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978||"Just a Little Too Much"||"Supergirl"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1980||"Coz We're Dancing"||"Fast Train"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982||"Black Bottom"||"I Love You Baby||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1984||"Every Little Thing"||"Black Jack And Poker"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989||"Wild Thing '89"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"Don't You Know"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992||"Wild Thing" (with Oliver Reed and Hurricane Higgins)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993||"Wild Thing" (with Wolf)||—||69||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (30 December 2000). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 90. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Unterberger, Richie. "The Troggs biography". allmusic.com. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 21 March 2008.
- Strong, Martin C. (2002). The Great Rock Discography, 6th edn. Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-312-1.
- Clayson, Alan; Jacqueline Ryan (2000). Rock's Wild Things: The Troggs File. Helter Skelter. ISBN 978-1900924191.
- Murrells, Joseph (1979). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 213–214, 232. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Laing, Dave (1985). One chord wonders: power and meaning in punk rock. p.12, Open University Press
- "Presley: Troggs Never Left Scene". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. West Virginia, Bluefield. 13 August 1975. p. 49. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1192. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- Billboard – Google Books. Books.google.com. 9 July 1966. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Billboard – Google Books. Books.google.com. 3 December 1966. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Reg Presley". The Telegraph. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
- "Reg Presley of the Troggs dies aged 71". BBC News. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Ulaby, Neda, "Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies", NPR, 5 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "The World's Music Chart (Song Artist 676 – The Troggs)". Tsort.info. Retrieved 5 February 2013.