Wild Thing (Tone Lōc song)

"Wild Thing" is a single by American rapper Tone Lōc from his 1989 album Lōc-ed After Dark. The title is a reference to the phrase "doin' the wild thing," a euphemism for sex. According to producer Mario Caldato Jr., who engineered and mixed the song, producer Michael Ross was inspired by an utterance of Fab 5 Freddy “Come on baby let’s do the wild thing" in Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, and asked Young MC to write the lyrics.[2]

"Wild Thing"
Single by Tone Lōc
from the album Lōc-ed After Dark
B-side"Loc'ed After Dark"
ReleasedOctober 1988
GenreRap rock[1]
LabelDelicious Vinyl, 4th & B-Way
Songwriter(s)Anthony Terrell Smith, Marvin Young, Matt Dike, Michael Ross
Producer(s)Matt Dike, Michael Ross
Tone Lōc singles chronology
"Wild Thing"
"Funky Cold Medina"
Music video
"Wild Thing" on YouTube

Tone Lōc's song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1989, only behind Paula Abdul's breakthrough hit "Straight Up".[3]

It inspired at least two parodies (the Gilligan's Island-themed "Isle Thing" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which was Yankovic's first rap parody; and "Child King" by Christian band ApologetiX). It eventually sold over two million copies. It also peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2008, "Wild Thing" was ranked number 39 on Vh1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Sampling controversy edit

The song uses an uncredited sample of Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'". Van Halen's management at the time asked for a flat fee (credited in some reports to be US$5,000) as payment to have the song sampled by Tone Lōc. Apparently, the sampling decision was made without consulting the band's original members (credited as co-authors of the song). They had no idea "Wild Thing" would become a major hit. A subsequent civil lawsuit was settled out of court,[4] with Van Halen receiving US$180,000 as settlement payment. Alex Van Halen has said that he had heard partially "Wild Thing" over the radio and didn't realize his song had been sampled until he recognized his (by now famous) tom-tom break at least a few times. Concerning the settlement, he said: "Well, at least we got something. Tone Lōc and his people made millions out of it..."[This quote needs a citation]

Music video edit

A music video directed by Tamra Davis was made for the song at a reported cost of $500, copying the style of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love." Mini-skirted women play guitars next to Tone Lōc; the video was frequently shown on MTV. The leading lady in the video is played by actress Tracy Camilla Johns.

Peaches remix edit

"Wild Thing (Peaches Remix)"
Single by Tone Lōc featuring Peaches
GenreTechno, electroclash
Songwriter(s)Anthony Terrell Smith, Matt Dike, Marvin Young
Peaches singles chronology
"Boys Wanna Be Her"
"Wild Thing (Peaches Remix)"
"Talk to Me"
Music video
"Wild Thing (Peaches remix)" on YouTube

"Wild Thing (Peaches Remix)" is a version of Tone Lōc's "Wild Thing". The song features vocals by Tone Lōc and Peaches herself. This remix was made to celebrate Delicious Vinyl's 20th anniversary. It peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales.[5]

Music video edit

The music video for "Wild Thing Remix" shows Peaches and Tone Lōc performing live at Avalon during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Delicious Vinyl.

Uses in popular culture edit

"Wild Thing" was used in the 1989 film Uncle Buck (starring John Candy) during the scene when the titular character goes to the school of his nephew and niece to talk to the principal.

In 1991, figure skater Tonya Harding used the track of "Wild Thing" in the last third of her free skate to win the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2000 film Bedazzled, the song is used when Brendan Fraser's character, Elliot, first meets the Devil, played by Liz Hurley.

In Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), the song is used to soundtrack the scene in which Cameron Diaz's character, Natalie, rides a mechanical bull. In Taxi (2004), Gisele Bunchen's character Vanessa is introduced by the song walking out of a building with her female henchmen as they prepare for another bank robbery.

The song is also heard, in much-edited form, in the 2016 film The Angry Birds Movie.

In 1989, the song was used in the Season One episode of the TV series Midnight Caller entitled "The Fall". Also in 1989, the song was used in the pilot episode of Doogie Howser, M.D. .

In 2012, Bob Sinclar and Snoop Dogg made an electro house cover.[6]

Charts edit

Weekly charts edit

Charts (1988-1989) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 15
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 18
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[9] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 23
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 2
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[16] 3
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[17] 1
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[18] 2
US Hot Crossover 30 (Billboard)[19] 1
West Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 18
Chart (2008) Peak
US Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales[5] 4

Year-end charts edit

Chart (1989) Position
Australia (ARIA)[21] 41
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[22] 96
Germany (Official German Charts)[23] 66
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[24] 52
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[25] 50
United States (Billboard)[26][27] 33

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[28] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ Charnas, Dan (1 November 2011). The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop. Penguin. ISBN 9781101568118 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy". www.redbullmusicacademy.com.
  3. ^ "The Hot 100 : Feb 18, 1989 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. 1989-02-18. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  4. ^ Hart, Ron (2019-01-25). "Tone Loc Talks His Debut Turning 30 & His Run-In With Eddie Van Halen". Billboard. Retrieved 2023-03-11.
  5. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Tone-Loc > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  6. ^ "Bob Sinclar - Disco Crash (Album) / 2KMUSIC.COM". 2kmusic.com. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Tone Loc – Wild Thing". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Tone Loc – Wild Thing" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ Canada Top Singles peak RPM Magazine
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  11. ^ "Tone Loc – Wild Thing" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ "Tone Loc – Wild Thing". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Tone Loc – Wild Thing". Swiss Singles Chart.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Tone Loc Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  16. ^ "Tone Loc Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  17. ^ "Tone Loc Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  18. ^ "Tone Loc Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  19. ^ "Hot Crossover 30: February 18, 1989" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tone Loc – Wild Thing" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.
  21. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  22. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 8, December 23, 1989". RPM. December 23, 1999. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  24. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1989". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1989". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  26. ^ "1989 The Year in Music: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 101, no. 51. December 23, 1989. p. Y-22.
  27. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1989".
  28. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Tone Loc – Wild Thing". Music Canada. Retrieved August 2, 2023.
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Tone Loc – Wild Thing". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 21, 2022.