British Beat Groups of the 1960s

Book Review: Rock's Wild Things- The Troggs Files by Alan Clayson and Jacqueline Ryan

October 2000

They came up from the country and turned the music scene upside-down. Think of the Troggs and you tend to think of Wild Thing. More recently Reg Presley's Love is all Around brought the Troggs back into the limelight. However, there was much more to them than these two songs. Neither of the best-known songs hit the number one slot. that was reserved for With a Girl Like You. Personal favourites are I Can't Control Myself and Night of the Long Grass. The former was banned by the BBC on account of its alleged provocative lyrics. 

The book looks at how the Troggs may the transition from local band in Andover to world superstars. On the way they joined in the London music scene, dumped Larry Page and toured the world and elsewhere. Later they teamed up with REM to record an album called Athens Andover (REM had been covering Love is all Around long before Wet Wet Wet).

One of the highlights of this book is the transcription of The Troggs Tapes, the legendary and fruity studio disagreements that inspired one of Spinal Tap's greatest moments- 137 swear words in only a few minutes. Surely a record! 

Further influence was in the "punk" era when the simplicity of Troggs material was reflected in the set up of songs by artists such as the Ramones. 

Alan and Jacqueline have produced a very informative book about one of the most underrated groups of the 1960s. Alan's own credentials have already been demonstrated in Making Time through a previous book Beat Merchants. There is a high level of detail, starting with the "Andover scene" and it is clear that the authors have researched the work meticulously not just through music press and interviews but also in the local area. This is evident in the descriptions of local places and personalities. 

OK The Troggs may not have set the world alight in the same way as the Beatles or the Stones but they were an essential part of the 1960s music scene and created one of the biggest selling records of the 1990s. If you like the Wet Wet Wet version of Love is all Around, you will be astounded by the original which is head and shoulders above it.

mp, September 2000

The Troggs Files



Published in 2000 by Helter Skelter

ISBN: 0-436-28866-4


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Last Updated: 30 September 2000

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