Saturday, 1 September 2012
The Troggs were an English rock band from the 1960s that had a number of hits in UK and the US. Their most famous songs include the Hot 100 chart topper "Wild Thing", "With a Girl Like You", and "Love Is All Around". "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.
Fronted by Reg Presley, the Troggs were from the town of Andover in southern England and were originally called the Troglodytes.The Troggs formed in 1964 and were signed by the manager of the Kinks, Larry Page in 1965. They recorded on Page's Page One Records, and Page also leased them to CBS for 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 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—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, "Night of the Long Grass" (UK number 17 in May 1967), and "Love Is All Around" (UK number 5 in November 1967 and US number 7 in May 1968). With chart success eluding the band, they split up in March 1969. Ronnie Bond was the first to release a solo record, with the "Anything For You" single in March 1969, followed in April by Reg Presley with "Lucinda Lee". Chris Britton released a solo album, As I Am, the same year. The band reformed later that year, with former Plastic Penny bassist Tony Murray replacing Staples, and 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" did not capture the public's imagination. A reggae version of "Wild Thing" also failed to chart. The band found a sympathetic ear at French label New Rose in the 1980s, the label releasing 1982's Black Bottom LP and 1990's AU.
In 1991, the Troggs recorded Athens Andover, an eleven-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, netting Presley a handsome royalty.
The band's original drummer, Ronnie Bond, died on 13 November 1992. Dave Wright, another founding member, died on 10 October 2008.
The band played Tunbridge Wells on 11 November 2011.
In January 2012, after over 40 years of touring, Reg Presley retired due to lung cancer, apparently ending the Troggs. However the remaining members, Chris Britton (guitar), Pete Lucas (bass) & Dave Maggs (drums) plan to continue to keep the Troggs flag flying and are going back on the road. They are joined by special guest Chris Allen on lead vocals. He has an excellent musical pedigree, having been in the Denny Laine Band, the Commitments and part time with the Animals. He also plays a mean guitar and bass (from the Trogg's Official website). various sources