Reg Presley 12 June 1941 – 4 February 2013
February 5, 2013 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday morning Reg Presley, the lead singer of the Troggs, died in his sleep from cancer.

With the Troggs, formed in 1964, Reg Presley had a string of hits: Wild Thing, With a Girl Like You, I Can't Control Myself, but especially Love is All Around, better known perhaps in the Wet Wet Wet version, recorded for the Four Weddings and a Funeral soundtrack. You may also know the REM version of this song, with whom the Troggs also collaborated on the 1992 album Athens Andover (named of course after the two hometowns of the respective groups).

The Troggs internal relationships were not always harmonious, as a famous tape of a curse filled rehearsal made clear.

Reg Presley's voice was immediately recognisable, even when used as background music to a chocolate bar commercial. He retired from the music business early in 2012, after he had found out he was suffering from cancer.

In his private life, Presley had a keen interest in UFOS and other Fortean pursuits, using the royalties received from Wet Wet Wet's success with Love is All Around to fund his research. In his daily life however he had his feet firmly planted on the ground, still living in his hometown of Andover until the day he died. He's survived by his wife, son and daughter.
posted by MartinWisse (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So many timelessly sublime pop songs besides Wild Thing, but damn damn godmotherfucking damn: Wild Thing.
posted by item at 10:30 AM on February 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

Everyone from the 7o's keeps dying! :(
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2013

So bummed to hear this. Reg was a great rock character and one of the most distinctive vocalists. The Troggs would not have been the same with anyone else singing. I love the big Troggs singles ("Wild Thing", "With a Girl Like You", "Love Is All Around", and "I Can't Control Myself" - the latter three written by Reg) and think those are some of the best songs of the era. But Reg also wrote one of my all-time favorites, "Our Love Will Still be There" and several other of my mix-disc staples: "Lost Girl", "I Just Sing", "the Raver", and the wonderfully goofy "Strange Movies".
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:48 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Faint of Butt at 10:57 AM on February 5, 2013

Great post, Martin. I was up all night (again) and thought I'd try an FPP when the news came through this morning, but I wasn't up to it.

One added note: how was Reg Presley like Hedy Lamarr? He was an inventor who devised something really neat -- in his case, a fog-dispersal system for airports -- but nobody picked up on the idea until after his patent expired, and he never earned any royalties.
posted by maudlin at 11:08 AM on February 5, 2013

Many garage, punk, and rock bands have covered the Troggs over the years (there's even a Troggs tribute album called Groin Thunder). Here are a few of my favorites:

Our Love Will Still be There by the Fluid - one of my all time favorite covers

From Home by DMZ - A super revved up version from DMZ, featuring a pre-Lyres Jeff Conolly

I Can't Control Myself by the Ramones

With a Girl Like You by Alex Chilton

Strange Movies by Poison 13

Conversely, one of my least favorite covers from a band I love was X's "Wild Thing"
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:18 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

All the cover bands I had the pleasure of playing with (many themselves preceding in death) will remember it thus:

Wild Thing
You make my thing sting
You smell like Bruce Springsteen

posted by hal9k at 11:58 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Spiritualized covering "Anyway that You Want Me."
posted by mcmile at 12:02 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Can't they just sprinkle some fairy dust on him?

posted by davejay at 12:08 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Those guys scored big during the most vibrant and creative period in pop music. Say no more squire.
posted by Twang at 12:21 PM on February 5, 2013

posted by anagrama at 12:21 PM on February 5, 2013

Thanks, Reg. it was fun, wasn't it?

In tribute:

-- . -. -. -.- .

(In place of a the traditonal dot, a transcription of the first few notes of rock's best known ocarina solo from what Jimi Hendrix called the combined British / American Anthem. Don't get mad. No-o-o . . . don't get mad.)
posted by Herodios at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2013

posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:41 PM on February 5, 2013

posted by whuppy at 1:55 PM on February 5, 2013

"Love Is All Around" is one of my absolute fave tunes. RIP Reg - your voice singing those words gave me hope.
posted by sundrop at 3:12 PM on February 5, 2013

posted by Brody's chum at 3:24 PM on February 5, 2013

Seeing The Troggs live when I was 16 was, seriously, a Major Formative Experience.

RIP, Reg.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:15 PM on February 5, 2013

what Jimi Hendrix called the combined British / American Anthem

oh, yes he did
posted by pyramid termite at 4:52 PM on February 5, 2013


Love "A Girl Like You."
posted by Ironmouth at 5:48 PM on February 5, 2013

posted by Lynsey at 8:27 PM on February 5, 2013

dradio wissen is currently rocking out with an extended tribute to Reg and the Troggs. Nice to hear this getting some coverage beyond the usual english-speaking suspects.

posted by Kinbote at 8:37 PM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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