The Troggs

Troggs [DVD]

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Be warned that this bootleg DVD of the Troggs consists wholly of a half-hour video documentary, Collection, that was commercially issued on VHS in the mid-'90s. If you're unable to track down that video, or really do need to have this in the DVD format, you don't lose much: it pretty much looks and sounds exactly the same as a commercial release, albeit with Japanese subtitles. The documentary itself mixes archive clips of the band in its mid- to late-'60s prime with 1990s footage of the group (in which singer Reg Presley and guitarist Chris Britton were the only two original members), as well as clips from a 1990s interview with Presley. This is a fun overview of the group, even if the 1990s performances aren't nearly as enjoyable as the vintage footage. True, those old clips are usually of the band lip-syncing in corny, contrived early music videos, but they went through their paces with more of a sense of engaging fun than many of their peers, particularly in Presley's peculiar side-to-side head bob. Whether singing their hits on soundstages or in odder setups like underground train stations (and underground trains), hotels, and outdoor woods (for "Night of the Long Grass"), most of their biggest hits are represented, including "Wild Thing," "I Can't Control Myself," and "Any Way That You Want Me," though "Love Is All Around" is only heard via the 1990s incarnation. The interview with Presley isn't terribly in-depth, but he recounts the basics of the group's 1960s career articulately, in the same pronounced regional accent familiar to fans from The Troggs Tapes. One does wish that more effort had been taken to be more comprehensive in the interview segments; talking to other members of the band and people who worked with them (like manager/producer Larry Page would have been a good start. There aren't any extras on this DVD, but at least the front and back cover has color reproductions of a couple dozen vintage Troggs picture sleeves from around the world.