Wild Thing (2:39)

Cover of The Ultimate Sixties Collection

From The Ultimate Sixties Collection and 536 other releases

“Wild Thing” is a hit song written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor and originally recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965. The song is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band The Troggs, which reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966. The song charted one position lower in Britain, reaching #2.

The song as sung by The Troggs is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Composition

The song’s central guitar riff is immediately recognizable and frames the central lyric:

Wild thing –
You make my heart sing –
You make everything … groovyThe music stops for the counter lyric:
Wild thing, I think I love you (or you move me) …
But I WANNA KNOW for sure.
So come on, and hold me tight –
I love you (or you move me)
The song is in the key of A major, and is based around the chord progression (I - IV - V - IV), which is the basis for the main riff, and the instrumental parts during the chorus. However, the guitars are not strictly tuned to middle C in the Troggs version and the slightly sharp tuning causes the chords to actually be midway between A and Bb. This has, of course, mystified many guitar players trying to play along with the record. The middle eight was originally someone whistling, but in the Troggs’ version this was replaced by Colin Fretcher, musical director, playing an ocarina.

Troggs single

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