THE TROGGS - Any Way That You Want Me / 66-5-4-3-2-1 - Fontana - 1967
As I was listening to "Any Way That You Want Me" I realized that I've always sort of regarded the Troggs as an unintelligent group of guys. Then when I played the flip side, "66-5-4-3-2-1," I realized that this group of dummies could certainly write a hell of a song.
The A-side of this single isn't one of the better songs the Troggs ever recorded. It's a real lightweight number but reuses the same rhythm that's instantly recognizable as the "Wild Thing" beat (which is far better suited for heavier songs like that, or their version of "I Want You,") and has some of the stupidest lyrics imaginable. Nothing to be disappointed about though. I bought this record for the B-side anyway.
"66-5-4-3-2-1" is, on the other hand, one of the best songs they ever wrote. Somehow they managed to continually write goddamn amazing songs using only a few very simple elements, usually based on one or two parts, and this song fits that mold pretty well. Basic, perfectly minimalistic drumming, short and simple structure, and a guitar leads that kicks dicks in. These fools were on-point when they wrote this tune. I love it.
Also, this song is apparently on the soundtrack to a Vietnam game for Playstation. I can't confirm that though.
Why am I so convinced that the Troggs were dummies? I don't have a solid answer. Maybe it has something to do with their consistently bad & corny lyrics, or maybe The Troggs Tapes have influenced that assumption (which is vaguely worth a listen,) or maybe it's the reggae jam version of "Wild Thing" they released in the mid 70's in a lame attempt to chart again. It could also be their regrettable collaboration with R.E.M. in the 90's, or the not one, but two different new versions of "Wild Thing" they released in the 90's for whatever silly reason, one of which featured Wolf of the show Gladiators. (Yup, the British version of American Gladiators.) Certainly not the smartest choices ever made.
It doesn't matter though, some of my favorite music was written by complete dimwits. You can't really hold it against them.
But honestly, someone please take the guitars away from these guys ASAP. No one's excited for an updated 5th version of what was originally a classic, killer tune.