Monday, 3 November 2014

Tone Loc 'Wild Thing'

Chart Peak: 21
'Wild Thing' has now become one of the biggest-selling records of all time in America... Had reached No. 30 in Britain by 19th February 1989.
With three of the previous four tracks being cover versions, the uninitiated might be forgiven for expecting 'Wild Thing' to be a cover of the famous Troggs hit. It's not, of course, although it's not a wholly original track in that it is based on early Van Halen track 'Jamie's Cryin', though as was the way of things in those days, the rockers were not initially credited or paid. Unusually for a rapper, Tone Loc has no writing credit either, the lyric being penned by UK-born rap pioneer Young MC. That lyric is a typical boast about his sexual prowess, set to a repeating riff from the Van Halen track. It gets to the punchline when one potential conquest asks him to pay upfront for her services.

Obviously, this should be terrible but there's something strangely and inexplicably likeable about it. Perhaps it's the very minimalism that now makes a change from present-day hip-hop and boastful as it is, there's nothing aggressive in it. Tone Loc of course went on to become one of the biggest two-hit-wonders ever; indeed the follow-up 'Funky Cold Medina' did slightly better in the UK and is probably the song he's remembered for here. Despite last releasing an album in 1991, he continues to tour in the US. And very conveniently his first album has just been re-issued.

Available on: Loc-ed After Dark (Expanded Edition)

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