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How 'Wild Thing' Became the Ultimate Rock Anthem

Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, 2017

'WILD THING', as performed by the Troggs, is a perfect distillation of rock 'n' roll's primitive impulses, and became so central to the basic cultural vocabulary that few people who have lifted an electric guitar can resist bashing it out, from Hendrix and the Ventures, to Springsteen and Petty, to Jeff Beck and Cheap Trick, to Warren Zevon and Chrissie Hynde. Through the decades, its declamatory chorus – "Wild thing! You make my heart sing!" – has been adopted by punk bands (the Damned) and country artists (Hank Williams Jr.), done with a Latin groove and a Jamaican lilt, hashed out in rehearsal basements and chanted by tens of thousands of baseball fans.

Total word count of piece: 2324


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