The song “Wild Thing” was written by Chip Taylor, the country singer and songwriter who is the brother of actor Jon Voight and the uncle to Angelina Jolie. The American group The Wild Ones first recorded the song in 1965, but it was an international mega-hit for the British band The Troggs. Their cover went to #1 in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It was #2 in the U.K., #5 in The Netherlands and #7 in Germany. In the original recording by The Wild Ones, the instrumental in the middle was whistled. In the version by The Troggs, it is Colin Fletcher, their music director, playing on an ocarina. Another bit of trivia, is that there had a legal dispute regarding distribution, so their single was released from one master on two competing labels, which were Atco and Fontana. In doing their chart calculations, Billboard combined the sales for both labels, and it became the only single to simultaneously achieve #1 for two companies. The performance by The Troggs is on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The song some more than one million copies and earned an RIAA gold record.
The Troggs formed in 1964 in Andover, Hampshire, England, playing their style of rock and roll, garage rock, and a sort of protopunk. The original members were Reg Presley (lead vocals), Chris Britton (lead guitar), Pete Staples (bass guitar), and Ronnie Bond (drums). They also had bit hits wit “Love is All Around” and “With a Girl Like You.” A version of The Troggs band continues to tour and perform.