10 Great Versions of "Wild Thing"


Sam Kinison
After the rotund, ill-tempered Kinison broke out of the mid-'80s Houston comedy scene, one of the first things he did as a "star" was round up half the Sunset Strip (Billy Idol, Slash, Tommy Lee, dudes from Ratt and Aerosmith) to appear in a video for "Wild Thing" featuring ex-model Jessica Hahn of PTL Club infamy as his sparring partner. Arguably sets male-female relations back to pre-19th-amendment days in about four minutes; on the other hand, Rodney Dangerfield shows up.


Hank Williams Jr.
Rockin' Randall Hank was well into his self-parody period when he cut the song for 1995 album Hog Wild, because what it really needed was for Bocephus to add an extra verse. Where he raps. It's possible to make it through the whole thing without cracking up, just not easy.


Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
"Wild Thing" has never been graceful, could never be graceful. But Taylor, author of "Wild Thing," and Austin-born singer-songwriter-violinist Rodriguez, with whom he recorded several albums in the 2000s, almost made it that way in their live show, which is preserved with maximum twang on the 2007 album Live From the Ruhr Triennale.


Tone-Loc
Co-written with Young MC and Van Halen via "Jamie's Cryin'," this definitely counts as being in the "spirit" of the original "Wild Thing." Don't forget the electro-dizzy remix featuring Canadian filth-pusher Peaches too.


Liz Phair
Ever the lo-fi queen, Phair put an acoustic-powered version of "Wild Thing" on the bonus/demo disc of 2010's Funstyle, flipping the title and familiar chord structure into a tale admiring a maneating, free-spending golddigger. YOLO and all that.





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