The Troggs – Live in Dijon, France – October 5, 1981 – RTL, France – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Troggs, live in Dijon France and recorded on October 5, 1981 by RTL, France.
If they did nothing else, The Troggs would go down in history as the band who gave the world Wild Thing – it was required playing by every garage band since the song was released in the summer of 1966. It became an instant anthem and was so popular it was covered by everyone from “Senator Bobby” to Jimi Hendrix. The Troggs became the prototype Garage Rock band and formed much of the musical basis for Punk to evolve during the following decade.
And even though they had several hits as follow up, none equalled the raw power and visceral emotions of Wild Thing.
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 (b/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).
Maybe not a show from their pivotal period, but this gig from 1981 gives you some idea what they were all about in 1967.
It’s still okay to crank this one up. The French announcer gets a little carried away at times, but it’s not the end of the world.