Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Troggs—
Everything's Funny/Feels Like A Woman


Released 1972 on Pye
The Seth Man, October 2001ce
I suppose at this stage of their career, The Troggs were striking out in any direction in order to at least partially recapture their past glories of the late sixties. But what they produced here was an extremely schizoid single; one whose A-side was the sort of candy-ass pop with horn and brass arrangements that generally accompanies the main theme in soundtracks of sixties teen exploitation flicks. Except for the memorable refrain of “My, my, my/You know what it’s like when your high” it’s altogether forgettable fluff that goes by so quickly, you’ve already forgotten it. But on the other side of the single resides an altogether different approach...

It is a KILLER.

What if I told you that the B-side of this single was the most rock-bottom, garage-y Sabbath sludge fest festooned and informed by everything that made The Troggs so damn brilliant and beautiful in their late sixties innocence and ugliness? Or that it saw Reg Presley’s usual male horniness-obsessed lyrics ‘adapt’ into a weird unisex celebration through a “Lola” styled transgender saga, but minus the polite (red) cheekiness of that mistaken gender sing-a-long with additional grossness and exponentially-increased double entendres thrown in to boot? Or even that this grossness just about matches its severely molten guitar work?

It starts with no warning, until a single ringing, strangulated, fuzzed-out, distorted guitar right on the edge of eternal feedback goes BRRRAAANNNGGG, and takes its time to fades into wobble-ness. It does it again a few seconds later. It’s also completely AGGRAVATED sounding, probably because it’s not loud enough (although by reasonable standards, it is.) And to make it worse, the bass drum and bass guitar hang in the back plodding a slow beat that is only discernable when the ensuing smoke from the guitar barrage clears somewhat. Vocalist Reg Presley is gently soothing on ostensibly about some woman as sentence gets punctuated with another BRRRAAANNNGGG:


“You got the face of an angel... (BRRRAAANNNGGG!!!)
And there’s love in your eyes... (BRRRAAANNNGGG!!!)
Now I know only too well... (BRRRAAANNNGGG!!!)
THAT IT’S JUST A DISGUISE!”


Now everything really ignites: the guitar is going completely haywire and Reg Presley along with it as he nose-dives into his now trademark, totally crass Troggs’ double-entendre lust/fuck lyrics. Only here, Reg isn’t exactly cold-showered when he discovers his particular cutie-pie isn’t a woman... ‘she’ is a ‘he.’ But to make it worse, said person of unknown sexual orientation is totally hot and sexy. So what does Reg do but completely lose it and his lust is now immovably confounded into eternally overwhelming confusion, so he breaks down the walls of both sexual orientation and, um, ‘requirements’ simultaneously. And rather belligerently, I might add:


“You walk, you talk, you act like a woman --
You look like a woman to me!
You move, you groove, you love like a woman --
You feel like a woman to me!!!”


It kept me guessing. But then again, that’s what The Troggs so excelled at.

Meanwhile, the guitar is still set to abominable levels of volume, distortion and fuzz (probably at the suggestion of producer Roger Bain, who produced the first three albums by Black Sabbath with an extra ‘d’ in his first name), which only expires, and then only with hesitation, by the frantic end of this absolutely blistering track.