"Wild Thing" is a song written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor. Originally recorded by American band The Wild Ones in 1965,[1] "Wild Thing" is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band The Troggs, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966. The song peaked at No. 2 in Britain.

As performed by The Troggs, "Wild Thing" is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Composition

Composition[edit][edit | edit source]

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. Also the instrumental parts during the chorus are in key with the rest of the song. 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 mystified many guitar players trying to play along with the record. It has been suggested that The Troggs did this as a joke. As a side note, the middle eight was originally someone whistling, but in The Troggs' version this was replaced by Colin Fretcher, musical director, playing anocarina.

The Troggs version[edit][edit | edit source]

The Troggs' version was recorded in mono in one piece on the second take at Olympic Studios, which was then at Carton Street, off Baker Street in London, by engineer Keith Grant.

Because of a distribution dispute, The Troggs' single was available on two competing labels: Atco and Fontana.[2] Because both pressings were taken from the identical master recording, Billboard combined the sales for both releases, making it the only single to simultaneously reach No. 1 for two companies.[3]

On the Atco label, "Wild Thing" is credited to Reg Presley (Troggs' lead vocalist) and "With a Girl Like You" (its flip side) to Chip Taylor. The author credits are reversed. On the Fontana label, "Wild Thing" is credited to Chip Taylor and the flip contains a different song, "From Home", credited to Reg Presley. The Fontana label credits production to Page One Productions, England, while the Atco label credits production as "A Larry Page Production, Recorded in England".

Amanda Lear version[edit][edit | edit source]

"Wild Thing"
Single by Amanda Lear
from the album Secret Passion
B-side "Aphrodisiac"
Released 1987
Format 7", 12"
Genre SynthpopPoprock
Length 3:26
Label Carrere Records
Writer(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Christian De Walden
Amanda Lear singles chronology
"Les Femmes"


"Wild Thing"




French singer Amanda Lear recorded "Wild Thing" for her comeback album Secret Passion and added a synthpop feel to it. The single was produced by Christian De Walden and released in 1987. On the B-side another Secret Passion track was released, "Aphrodisiac", whose French language version "Aphrodisiaque" later became a separate A-side single. 12" single included a remixed version of "I'm a Mistery" and a 1987 re-recording of "Follow Me". "Wild Thing" was performed in a number of TV shows, but failed to chart.

Music video[edit][edit | edit source]

The "Wild Thing" music video was shot in Parisian Hôtel Meurice, in the most luxurious suite, which had been Salvador Dalí's favourite.[4] French actor and singer Jean-Luc Lahaye appears in the clip, sitting in bed in a bathrobe and reading Amanda's 1987 novel L'Immortelle. Amanda takes her bathrobe off, revealing a scant sexy outfit, and dances around the room. Two female dancers appear in the video, dressed as maids, performing minimalistic dance routines.

Track listing[edit][edit | edit source]

  • 7" Single (1987)[5][6]
A. "Wild Thing" - 3:26
B. "Aphrodisiac" - 3:44
  • French 12" Single (1987)[7]
A. "Wild Thing" (Extended Version) - 5:11
B1. "I'm a Mistery" (Remix) - 5:16
B2. "Aphrodisiac" - 3:44
  • Canadian 12" Single (1987)[8]
A. "Wild Thing" (Remix) - 5:11
B. "Follow Me" - 7:20

Other versions[edit][edit | edit source]

"Wild Thing"
Single by Divinyls
from the album Reckless Kelly
B-side "Picture This"
Released April, 1993
Recorded 1992
Genre Rock
Divinyls singles chronology
"I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"


"Wild Thing"


"Love Is the Drug"


"Wild Thing" has remained popular ever since The Troggs' hit single and has been covered many times:

Use in popular culture[edit][edit | edit source]

  • In the UK the song was used heavily by television programme "You've Been Framed", for clips generally involving animals.
  • The song was featured in a prominent scene in the 1997 miniseries Painted Lady featuring Helen Mirren.
  • In 1992, the Troggs' version was used in the film D2: The Mighty Ducks.
  • The 1989 baseball film Major League used "Wild Thing" recorded by L.A. punk band X as the theme song for Rick Vaughn, the team's erratic starting/relief pitcher. Life soon imitated art, when the Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams adopted the song for his entrances from the bullpen, including in the 1993 World Series. During the late 2000s, the song was played at Fenway Park when Boston Red Sox closerJonathan Papelbon would come in from the bullpen, followed by "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphy's.
  • Japanese Pro Wrestler Atsushi Onita used the X version of the song as his entrance theme.
  • A version by Cheap Trick was used for the film Encino Man.
  • In 2003, Aerosmith recorded a version of the song with a video, which was used for commercials and teasers advertising ABC's coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoffs.
  • In 1998, the song was used in The Vicar of Dibley episode "Love and Marriage" - the choir at St. Barnabus' Church sang the song after Hugo and Alice made their vows and were pronounced man and wife.
  • In the Full House episode, "Just Say No Way," Jesse Katsopalis plays this song with the marching band at DJ's school dance (replacing Dogface, a popular high school band, who broke up hours beforehand).
  • The title of the 1986 film Something Wild was itself an inversion of the song title. The film features a scene where two main characters (played by Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith) pick up some hitch-hikers in their convertible and the party then sing "Wild Thing".
  • The song was also sung in the TV show Saved by the Bell.
  • The book "A Punk Rock Love Song" uses Wild Thing as a rock band's audition song, with a character describing it as, "a dumb song, I know, but it's easy. If people can't play that, then hell with 'em." [1]
Preceded by

"Hanky Panky" by Tommy James And The Shondells

Billboard Hot 100 number one single

"Wild Thing" by The Troggs July 30, 1966 (two weeks)

Succeeded by

"Summer in the City" by The Lovin' Spoonful

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