The Equals in 1968
|Origin||North London, England|
|Genres||Pop, reggae, rock|
|Past members||Eddy Grant
The Equals were a pop/reggae/rock group that formed in North London, England in 1965. They are mainly remembered for its million-selling chart-topper, "Baby, Come Back". Eddy Grant, then sporting dyed blonde hair, founded the group. Completing the original line-up were John Hall, Pat Lloyd, and twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon.
In 1965, the group began playing together on a Hornsey Rise council estate. The Equals released "Hold Me Closer" / "Baby, Come Back" single in 1966. It did not do well in the United Kingdom, but went to the number one position in Germany and the Netherlands. On the song's re-issue in the UK, it also reached the top position, giving President Records their only number one hit. In June 1969, the group received a gold disc for a combined one million sales of the disc. The year 1968 saw the release of "I Get So Excited" , and reached the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart. In September 1969, according to reports, all five group members were injured in a motorway car accident in Germany.
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.
At the beginning of 1971, Grant suffered a collapsed lung and heart infection, following which he returned to Guyana. He promptly left The Equals to pursue his solo career. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Grant released several Top 40 singles, including "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 Equals never charted again after Grant's departure, they remained a popular live act, performing into the late 1970s and beyond.
In 1980, The Clash recorded a cover version of The Equals' song "Police On My Back" (a track from the group's Baby, Come Back album). In 2006 Willie Nile released his cover of "Police on My Back" on his Streets of New York CD.
Original line-up 
- Eddy Grant - guitar (born Edmond Montague Grant, 5 March 1948, Plaisance, Guyana)
- Derv Gordon - lead vocals (born Dervin Gordon, 29 June 1948, Jamaica)
- Lincoln Gordon - bass guitar (born 29 June 1948, Jamaica)
- Pat Lloyd - guitar (born Patrick Lloyd, 17 March 1948, Holloway, London)
- John Hall - drums (born 25 October 1946, Islington, London)
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, US #32)
- "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)
UK chart albums 
- Unequalled Equals - (1967) (UK #10)
- Equals Explosion - (1968) (UK #32)
Compilation albums 
- First Among Equals - The Greatest Hits - (1996)
See 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
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 238/9. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 118. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 202. CN 5585.
- Allmusic.com discography - Charts & Awards
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 185. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Gambaccini, Paul (1996). British Hit Albums (7th ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 127. ISBN 0-85112-619-7.