Tuesday, August 17, 2010

But the Original is Still the Greatest. NOT!!!!

From 1965, please enjoy (if that is the precise word) the perhaps inaptly monikered The Wild Ones and the very first commercially released version of the since often covered rock classic "Wild Thing."

As you can hear, the Wild Ones version is pretty much standard mid-65 folk rock in the style that was all the rage immediately post-"Like a Rolling Stone," and in the immortal words of Nick Tosches, even though it was a bad record it failed to sell. By comparison, of course, The Troggs' eventual 1966 hit reading, which seemed borderline moronic in its primitive minimalism back in the day, now seems a veritable work of genius.

The Wild Ones, for those who missed the decade, were a reasonably successful NYC club band fronted by extremely good looking former hair dresser Jordan Christopher, a guy who made headlines when he married much older actress turned discotheque impresario Sybil Burton, the ex-wife of Richard Burton. Although not particularly gifted in either the musical or thespic areas, Christopher nonetheless managed to parlay said looks and notoriety into a reasonable two decade career as a film and TV performer.

I should also add that "Wild Thing" composer Chip Taylor's original demo (Taylor wrote the song as a favor to the Wild Ones management) provided the basis for the Troggs' version as well. Apparently -- I haven't heard it, although it's probably on the intertubes somewhere -- it's similarly basic and unadorned, which perhaps proves, again, that the Troggs weren't quite as dumb as their reputation suggests.