Top 10 Troggs Songs
Beat merchants turning three chords into pure gold, the Troggs issued an impressive, hard-to-top string of singles from 1966 through 1973. They have been covered by everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the MC5 to Spiritualized, X and R.E.M, and along the way influenced countless garage bands and punk rockers. Some might call the Troggs style simplistic or even neanderthal, but is that such a bad thing? So turn up your speakers, do not relax, and for heavens sake avoid floating downstream. We give you, in all their glory, the Top 10 Troggs Songs:
‘I Can’t Control Myself’
The opening scream of ‘Ohhh Noooo!’ sets the tone for this three minute stomper. Tribal drums push the song forward while the pure garage pop center shines forth. A mid-song bridge alters the mood slightly before everything jumps back into gear. All the while, Reg Presley dishes out a desperate tortured vocal, telling the girl his deep down feelings. Teenage lust never sounded so good!
‘Love Is All Around’
From the loud and brash stomp of much of their material to this sweet and gentle ballad, the Troggs were more than met the ear. This gem from the fall of 1967 features a simple melody, enhanced by strings and a tender vocal with a sort of naive charm. The record was a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic and was covered by R.E.M. in the ’90s.
The Troggs dish out an evil groove on this hard rocking b-side from 1970. The band pummel the riff into the ground, and Presley provides a leering and lecherous serenade — it’s a match made in heaven. The mid-song female recitation in French adds an element of mystery to the proceedings, and the groove never lets up for a moment.
This horn-adorned piece of bubblegum from 1972 is full of sunshine and joy with lyrics about being stoned. “My my my, everything’s funny but you don’t know why.” Like the best bubblegum records of the era, it bridges that gap between the snotty and the sweet. Luckily, Presley had one of the best voices for doing just that. This is upbeat pop at its finest.
‘Night Of The Long Grass’
This haunting little number was issued as a single in 1967 and rose into the top 20 in the UK. Unlike much of the band’s material, it maintains a subtle and mysterious groove throughout it’s three minute ride. An almost eerie swirling vocals resonates in the background as Presley barley raises above a whisper while telling the tale of a mystery lady: “I walk alone in dreams I cannot hear or see, the only thing I know is that you’re real to me.” Understated, but no less captivating, ‘Night Of The Long Grass’ is one of the band’s more unique records.
Strange that a song about a group sex porn film didn’t soar to the top of the charts! ‘Strange Movies’ is, subject matter aside, one of the Troggs’ most powerful singles. Released in 1972, the song combines the ragged and raw approach of the best material from the previous decade and cranks it up with a bit of the glam swagger of T. Rex. The bastard son of ’20th Century Boy’ and ‘Wild Thing,’ if you will. Loud guitars and pounding drums are aided and abetted by snarling and grunting vocals. Pure gold!
‘Feels Like A Woman’
The Troggs’ heaviest rocker remains one of rock and roll’s great lost records. Why this 1972 single isn’t more well known is a mystery. It’s got all the elements that make up a classic– attitude, pounding rhythm and slashing guitars with seductive verses that give way to the ultra catchy chorus. Those guitar bursts during the verse will knock your head off its perch, while the fuzzed out lead break destroys what’s left. Released at the height of UK glam, we’re left to wonder: was this an ode to an encounter with a drag queen, or a simple tale of lust? Punk rockers and grungites had nothing on the Troggs.
‘Any Way That You Want Me’
Another Top 10 hit, and another slice of the kinder, gentler Troggs, ”Any Way That You Want Me’ is a beautiful, heartfelt ballad of the highest order. At its core, it’s really not much different from ‘Wild Thing,’ but the direction those simple chords are taken in make it an entirely different animal. The simple yet effective string section also helps elevate the record above the fray and adds an element of, ahem, “sophistication” to the Troggs catalog. Another group could have easily turned this into pure sap in need of a cheese grater. In the Troggs’ hands, however, it’s a perfect pop record.
‘With A Girl Like You’
Big guitar chords that ring out like they do on the opening of this song are a thing of beauty. From those opening triumphant guitar chords to the last “ba ba ba ba ba” refrain, ‘With A Girl Like You’ is as good a pop record as nearly anyone else was making in 1966. Written by Presley, it was issued in the summer of ’66, and became the band’s only No. 1 record in their homeland. It’s simple three-chord structure is colored by a Motown-like bridge that raises the song to classic status. Looking for simple pop perfection? Here it is!
What can be said about ‘Wild Thing?” The Troggs’ signature song has had a life of its own over the years. The song was written by songwriter Chip Taylor and was first recorded by New York band the Wild Ones. Their take almost bordered on being a Bob Dylan parody. In the hands of the Troggs, however, any novelty was ditched and replaced with urgent teenage lust. One of the most simple guitar riffs pushed this classic all the way to No. 1 in the summer of 1966, checking in at No. 2 in the UK. It was famously covered by Jimi Hendrix at Monterey, where he took the simmering sexuality of the song and put it on full boil. If you are going to be known primarily for only one track, we can think of a lot worse songs to be forever linked to.