February 18, 1989 - "Wild Thing" by Tone Lōc peaked at No.2 on the Hot 100, behind "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul. It eventually sold over two million copies. It also peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.
It is taken from his 1989 album Lōc-ed After Dark. According to producer Mario Caldato, Jr., who engineered and mixed the song, producer Matt Dike (founder of his label, Delicious Vinyl) was inspired by an utterance of "wild thing" by Fab Five Freddy in Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, and asked Young MC to write the lyrics.
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, this decision was taken without consulting the band's original members (credited as co-authors of the song), who in turn did not expect "Wild Thing" to become the major hit it became. A subsequent civil lawsuit was settled out of court, with the band receiving US$180,000 as settlement payment. Alex Van Halen has gone on record saying that he had heard the song over the radio halfway and didn't realize it 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.
A music video directed by Tamra Davis was made for the song at a reported cost of only $500, copying the style of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" with mini-skirted women playing guitars next to Tone Lōc, which went into heavy rotation on MTV. The leading lady in the video is played by actress Tracy Camilla Johns.