Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Wild Thing

Originally recorded by The Wild Ones (1965).
Hit version by The Troggs (US #1/UK #2 1966), Bill Minkin novelty (US #20 1967), Sam Kinison novelty (1988).

From the wiki: “‘Wild Thing’ is a song written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor (brother of actor Jon Voight). Originally recorded by New York City-based band The Wild Ones in 1965 (their 1965 album The Arthur Sound hit #149 on the US Billboard 200), and produced by Gerry Granahan (Patty Duke, Jay & The Americans), ‘Wild Thing’ is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band The Troggs – topping the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at #2 in the UK. ‘Wild Thing’ is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“The Jimi Hendrix Experience gave a dramatic performance of ‘Wild Thing’ at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The performance was captured in the 1967 documentary Monterey Pop. Hendrix recorded the song live, as heard on the compilation album The Ultimate Experience. Hendrix lit his guitar on fire at the song’s finish.

“A couple of novelty recordings of ‘Wild Thing’ have been popular. In 1967, comedian Bill Minkin recorded the song in the verbal style of Democratic Senator Bobby Kennedy while a recording engineer is heard giving instructions. The stammering single charted at #20 in the United States.

“Comedian Sam Kinison recorded his hit novelty version in 1988, with a music video featuring cameos from Rodney Dangerfield as well as many well-known rock musicians including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith, Slash and Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses, Billy Idol, Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Sebastian Bach, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, and Tommy Lee. Kinison’s version changed the song to a misogynistic rant against the title subject, with lines such as ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were a demon from Hell’ and ‘The only thing that gets you off is to see me in pain.'”

The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966):

Bill Minkin (as “Senator Bobby”), “Wild Thing” novelty (1967):

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Wild Thing” live performance at Monterey Pop Festival (1967):

Sam Kinison, “Wild Thing” novelty (1988):