The Equals


The Equals

The Equals were a pop/reggae/rock group that formed in North London, England in 1965. They are remembered mostly for the fact that Eddy Grant, then sporting dyed blonde hair, was in the group. Also in the original line-up were the twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon, as well as John Hall and Pat Lloyd with supporting drummer Paul Pegler.

History

They first started rehearsing on a council estate at Hornsey Rise, North London in 1965cite book
first= Joseph
last= Murrells
year= 1978
title= The Book of Golden Discs
edition= 2nd
publisher= Barrie and Jenkins Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 238/9
id= ISBN 0-214-20512-6
] . In 1966 the group released the "Hold Me Closer" / "Baby Come Back" single, which did not capture much attention in the United Kingdom. However, in Germany and The Netherlands it went to #1 - a position its re-issue would later reach in the UK. Thus, the racially mixed London group gave President Records their only number one hitcite book
first= Jo
last= Rice
year= 1982
title= The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits
edition= 1st
publisher= Guinness Superlatives Ltd
location= Enfield, Middlesex
pages= p. 118
id= ISBN 0-85112-250-7
] . A gold disc was presented to the group in June 1968 for a combined one million sales of the record cite book
first= Joseph
last= Murrells
year= 1978
title= The Book of Golden Discs
edition= 2nd
publisher= Barrie and Jenkins Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 238/9
id= ISBN 0-214-20512-6
] . The year 1968 saw the release of "I Get So Excited" which appeared in the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart. It was reported in September 1969 that all five members of the group had been injured in Germany, when their car ran off an autobahn in a galecite book
first= John
last= Tobler
year= 1992
title= NME Rock 'N' Roll Years
edition= 1st
publisher= Reed International Books Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 202
id= CN 5585
] .

A string of single releases followed up to 1970, all of which charted in the UK. The group also attracted attention as one of the few racially integrated bands of the 1960s, which was reflected in the group's name: The Equals.

In 1971, Grant went home to Guyana, following a collapsed lung and heart infection which put him out of action at the beginning of that yearcite book
first= John
last= Tobler
year= 1992
title= NME Rock 'N' Roll Years
edition= 1st
publisher= Reed International Books Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 224
id= CN 5585
] . He promptly left The Equals to pursue his solo career. He would have eventually release several Top 40 singles in the late 1970s and early 1980s; among them, "Living On The Front Line", "Electric Avenue", and "Romancing the Stone". Grant also topped the UK Singles Chart in 1982 with "I Don't Wanna Dance". Although the band never charted again after Grant's departure, they remained a popular live act, performing into the late 1970s and beyond.

In the late 1970s, The Clash recorded a successful cover version of The Equals' song "Police On My Back". In 2006 Willie Nile released his cover of "Police on My Back" on his "Streets of New York" CD.

The Equals' song, "Green Light", was covered by The Detroit Cobras, on their 2007 album, "Tied & True".

The song "Baby Come Back" refused to go away. The track returned in 1994, when Pato Banton scored an unexpected UK number one with his cover of the song.

Original line-up

* Derv Gordon - lead vocals - born Dervin Gordon, 29 June 1948, Jamaica
* Lincoln Gordon - guitar - born 29 June 1948, Jamaica.
* Eddy Grant - guitar - born Edmond Montague Grant, 5 March 1948, Plaisance, Guyana.
* Pat Lloyd - bass guitar - born Patrick Lloyd, 17 March 1948, Holloway, London.
* John Hall - drums - born 25 October 1946, Islington, London.

cite book
first= Joseph
last= Murrells
year= 1978
title= The Book of Golden Discs
edition= 2nd
publisher= Barrie and Jenkins Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 238/9
id= ISBN 0-214-20512-6
]

Discography

UK chart singles

* "I Get So Excited" / "The Skies Above" - (1968) (UK #44)
* "Baby Come Back" / "Hold Me Closer" - (1968) (UK #1, IRL #2, NOR #4, U.S. #32 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:k9fexqy5ldke~T5] )
* "Laurel And Hardy" / "The Guy Who Made Her a Star" - (1968) (UK #35)
* "Softly Softly" / "Lonely Rita" - (1968) (UK #48)
* "Michael and The Slipper Tree" / "Honey Gum" - (1969) (UK #24)
* "Viva Bobby Joe" / "I Can't Let You Go" - (1969) (UK #6, IRL #3)
* "Rub A Dub Dub" / "After the Lights Go Down Low" - (1969) (UK #34)
* "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys" / "Ain't Got Nothing to Give You" - (1970) (UK #9)cite book
first= David
last= Roberts
year= 2006
title= British Hit Singles & Albums
edition= 19th
publisher= Guinness World Records Limited
location= London
pages= p. 185
id= ISBN 1-904994-10-5
]

UK chart albums

*"Unequalled Equals" - (1967) (UK #10)
*"Equals Explosion" - (1968) (UK #32)cite book
first= Paul
last= Gambaccini
year= 1996
title= British Hit Albums
edition= 7th
publisher= Guinness Publishing Ltd
location= Enfield, Middlesex
pages= p. 127
id= ISBN 0-85112-619-7
]

ee also

*List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
*List of number-one singles from the 1960s (UK)
*UK No.1 Hits of 1968
*List of 1960s one-hit wonders in the United States
*List of performances on Top of the Pops
*List of performers on Top of the Pops
*Caribbean music in the United Kingdom
*IBC Studios
*Laurie Records
*RCA Records

References

External links

* [http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/the_equals Complete list of LPs and singles]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:dmd0yl6jxpbb~T1 The Equals biography] at Allmusic website


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