BRI­TISH R&b

The Troggs’sim­ple but pow­er­ful sound in­spired the 60s garage rock move­ment and paved the way for the birth of punk rock later in the 70s.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Phil Capone un­earths the style of The Troggs and plays like a Wild Thing!

We drove up to Lon­don with all the gear, set it up and in ten min­utes recorded Wild Thing and With a Girl Like You.

The Troggs weren’T from the big city like their peers; they came from the quiet ru­ral town of An­dover in hamp­shire. But that didn’t stop them from sin­gle­hand­edly pi­o­neer­ing an ex­cit­ing new 'proto-punk' sound. Formed in 1964 the orig­i­nal line-up fea­tured reg Pres­ley (vo­cals), Chris Brit­ton (gui­tar), Pete sta­ples (bass), and ron­nie Bond (drums). In 1965 they were signed to Page records (owned by Kinks manager Larry Page). Their first sin­gle Lost Girl flopped, but their sec­ond at­tempt wild Thing, a cover of a song penned by song­writer Chip Tay­lor, was a world­wide suc­cess (it was even cov­ered by hen­drix). with its sim­ple, pow­er­ful three-chord riff the song was an in­stant suc­cess, reach­ing no2 in the UK and go­ing no1 in the UsA. The band achieved their sound by keep­ing things sim­ple, record­ing di­rect to a four-track tape recorder.

As Chris Brit­ton re­called in a re­cent pre-tour in­ter­view, “we drove up to Lon­don with all the gear, set it up and in 10 min­utes recorded wild Thing and with A girl Like You.” The hit was an in­spi­ra­tion to teenagers world­wide. The band were no strangers to con­tro­versy ei­ther, their fourth sin­gle I Can’t Con­trol My­self was banned by the BBC be­cause of the im­plied sex­ual con­tent - and yes, you did read right, ‘im­plied’ sex­ual con­tent! In 1967 their last big UK hit Love Is All Around her­alded a change of di­rec­tion; the band were fo­cus­ing more on pop bal­lads than the pri­mal sound of their ear­lier hits. They con­tin­ued to re­lease sin­gles and al­bums, but by the early 70s their sound was out of step with the new sound of prog and heavy rock and chart suc­cess eluded them. In re­cent years The Troggs have en­joyed some­thing of a re­nais­sance, and con­tinue to per­form and re­lease new ma­te­rial de­spite the death of vo­cal­ist reg Pres­ley in 2012. gui­tarist Chris Brit­ton is the only sur­viv­ing orig­i­nal mem­ber in the cur­rent line-up of the band.

Like all the bands in this se­ries, The Troggs were heav­ily in­flu­enced by Amer­i­can mu­sic of the 50s. This is not im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent when lis­ten­ing to the sugar pop bal­lads that fol­lowed the suc­cess of their early sin­gles, but dig a lit­tle deeper and their in­flu­ences be­come much more ap­par­ent. Their first two al­bums From nowhere (1966) and Trog­glo­dy­na­mite (1967) not only con­tain cov­ers of Chuck Berry and Bo Did­dley songs, but the more ad­ven­tur­ous al­bum tracks also demon­strate Chris Brit­ton’s ac­com­plished, bluesy solo­ing style. rather than merely mim­ick­ing his Amer­i­can idols, Brit­ton de­liv­ers es­tab­lished rock'n’roll and r&B vo­cab­u­lary with a con­tem­po­rary 60s sound, us­ing a fuzzbox to pro­vide fat, creamy sus­tain.

Prob­a­bly held back by the suc­cess of the band it­self, Brit­ton has never re­ally re­ceived the recog­ni­tion he de­served for be­ing a player on the cut­ting edge of the 60s rhythm and blues scene. But he was a gui­tarist who not only de­fined the sound of the 60s, but also helped The Troggs take Amer­ica by storm.

The Troggs: Reg Pres­ley front and Chris Brit­ton right

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