The stereotype of the Troggs that is fixed in the minds of many listeners is that of the crude cavemen of "Wild Thing" fame. The Troggs did indeed offer lewd beat on that song and many others, but it mustn't be overlooked that they had a surprising facility for tender ballads. There is no better, and better known, example of that talent than "Love Is All Around," a Top Ten hit in 1968 (and their only big hit in the United States aside from "Wild Thing"). The record opens with a gentle, playful, circular guitar riff, with little backup rhythm save a light metronome-like tick-tock. Reg Presley's vocals often blended a sardonic sense of camp with suppressed fury, but in this case they were, to all appearances, sincere in their loving tones, if witty in their images of feeling love through fingers and toes. The vocals, too, are either double-tracked or fattened by backup unison harmonies from the rest of the band. The constantly rising melody is simple but ingratiating, the basic guitars joined by tasteful strings in the latter verses. The bridge is pretty neat, the verse stopping with a sequence of unaccompanied descending low guitar notes, after which Presley and the violins go for the heartstrings, again coming to a dead stop, in which an unaccompanied guitar leads back to the verse, though this time with an ascending series of notes. "Love Is All Around," in sum, is one of the loveliest flower-power ballads of the hippie era, working in no small part because it's understated. Certainly the best known cover of the song is the one done by R.E.M.