The Troggs

I Can't Control Myself

Song Review by

"I Can't Control Myself" was the Troggs' third consecutive huge hit in Britain in 1966, making number two, although controversy over the lyrics kept it out of the Top 40 stateside. Barely concealed lust had been well in evidence in the Troggs' earlier recordings, and it was even more in evidence on "I Can't Control Myself," which opened with an unforgettably anguished Reg Presley screaming "oh no." A zoom of a bass line downwards and the band was into the main verse. As in the Troggs' previous hit, "With a Girl Like You," there were goofy vocal scats of "bah bah bah"s following several lines in the verse, though the melody was different this time around, and also these were done by the band, not by Presley alone. Where the lyrics of "With a Girl Like You" were unobjectionably innocent, however, "I Can't Control Myself"'s words were blatantly suggestive, to the point where the words weren't making suggestions but spelling sexual desire out pretty clearly. In particular the line about the slacks hanging low and hips showing, sung with unsuppressed hunger, didn't leave much to the imagination. Nor did the final parts of the verse, where the melody ascended dramatically before pausing for Presley to seethe the title phrase, after which the band crashed conclusively on a chilling minor chord. The sense of longing became more pronounced on the bridge, as the guitars alternated between two minor power chords, the rhythm slowed to a near waltz, and Presley slurred out his joy of loving to maximum sensuous effect. Presley also got pretty hot under the collar on the fade-out, his lyrics approaching screams as he repeated the song title. By the standards of the 21st century, the lyrics are just another walk in the park, but by the measure of 1966, they were very daring and caused enough curtailment of airplay in the United States to destroy the song's chart chances.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
From Nowhere 1966 Repertoire 3:05
No Image 1966 Collectables 3:05
No Image 1968 Fontana Distribution 3:04
No Image 1976 3:04
No Image 1991 Polygram
Archeology (1967-1977) 1992 Polydor / Chronicles 3:07
The Best of the Troggs [Fontana/Chronicles] 1994 Fontana Distribution / Fontana / Chronicles 3:05
The Best of the Troggs [Griffin] 1995 Griffin 3:07
Their Very Best [Pickwick/Hallmark] 1995 Hallmark Recordings 3:07
Golden Hits 1996 Intercontinental Records
Songs of the Swingin' 60's 1997
Various Artists
Mega Stars 2:55
The EP Collection 1997 See For Miles Records 3:06
Summer of Love Album 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:03
High Profile 2000 Direct Source 3:13
Love Is All Around: The Very Best 2001 Hallmark Recordings 3:08
All the Hits Plus More 2001 Prestige / Prestige Elite Records 3:10
Hot Days: A Decade in the Sun 2001 Park South Records / Town Sound 3:07
Love Is All Around [UK Import] 2002 Import 3:05
Wild Thing [Prism] 2003 Blumountain Records 3:07
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Olla / Only Lovers Left Alive Ltd. 3:02
Box of Rock 2003
Various Artists
Import 3:07
Greatest Hits [Spectrum] 2003 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 3:07
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection 2004 Mercury 3:06
Hit Single Anthology 2004 Polygram / Fontana 3:05
Wild Thing: The Best of the Troggs 2005 K-Tel Distribution 3:04
The Singles A's & B's 2005 Repertoire 3:05
The Singles 2007 BR Music 3:07
Hot Fuzz [Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Interscope / Cherrytree Records 3:02
The Solid Silver 60s: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 2009
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:04
Total Drivetime 2010
Various Artists
Universal 3:04
The Ramones: Heard Them Here First 2012
Various Artists
Ace 3:05
Box of Rock [Disc 4]
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:07
Greatest Hits [Universal] Universal 3:05
The Many Faces of Ramones: A Journey Through the Inner World of Ramones
Various Artists
Music Brokers 3:04
The Troggs [Single] BR Music
Total Hits, Vol. 2 [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 3:04