The Equals

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The Equals
The Equals (1968).jpg
The Equals in 1968
Background information
Origin North London, England
Genres Pop, R&B, rock[1]
Years active 1965–1979
Labels President Records[2]
Past members Eddy Grant
Derv Gordon
Lincoln Gordon
Pat Lloyd
John Hall

The Equals were a British pop, R&B and rock group,[1] that formed in North London, England in 1965.[3] They are mainly remembered for their million-selling chart-topper, "Baby, Come Back". Eddy Grant, at times sporting dyed blonde hair, founded the group. Completing the original line-up were John Hall, Pat Lloyd, and twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon.[3]


In 1965, the group began playing together on a Hornsey Rise council estate.[4] 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.[3] On the song's re-issue in the UK, it also reached the top position, giving President Records their only number one hit.[5] In June 1969, the group received a gold disc for a combined one million sales of the disc.[4] 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.[6]

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.[3]

At the beginning of 1971, Grant suffered a collapsed lung and heart infection, following which he returned to Guyana.[6] 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.[3]


The Equals music has continued to be influential. 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).[7] In 2006 Willie Nile released his cover of "Police on My Back" on his Streets of New York CD.[8] The Equals' song "Green Light" was covered by The Detroit Cobras, on their 2007 album, Tied & True.[9] Pato Banton scored a UK number one with his cover "Baby Come Back."[10] Chelsea Handler described a meeting with Pat Lloyd in chapter 6 of her book, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.

Original line-up[edit]

  • 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)[4]



  • "I Get So Excited" / "The Skies Above" – (1968) (UK no. 44)
  • "Baby, Come Back" / "Hold Me Closer" – (1968) (UK no. 1, IRL no. 2, NOR no. 4, US no. 32)[11]
  • "Laurel And Hardy" / "The Guy Who Made Her a Star" – (1968) (UK no. 35)
  • "Softly Softly" / "Lonely Rita" – (1968) (UK no. 48, SA no. 8)[12]
  • "Michael and The Slipper Tree" / "Honey Gum" – (1969) (UK no. 24)
  • "Viva Bobby Joe" / "I Can't Let You Go" – (1969) (UK no. 6, IRL no. 3, SA no. 9)
  • "Rub A Dub Dub" / "After the Lights Go Down Low" – (1969) (UK no. 34)
  • "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys" / "Ain't Got Nothing to Give You" – (1970) (UK no. 9)[13]


  • Unequalled Equals – (1967) (UK no. 10)
  • Supreme – (1968)
  • Equals Explosion – (1968) (UK no. 32)[14]
  • Sensational – (1968)
  • Baby, Come Back - (1968)[15]
  • Strike Again - (1969)[15]
  • Equals At The Top - (1970)[15]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • First Among Equals – The Greatest Hits – (1996)
  • Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys – The Anthology – (1999)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Equals | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  2. ^ "Limited". President Records. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e John Bush. "The Equals | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 238/9. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 202. CN 5585.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NME_Rock_.27N.27_Roll_Years" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ Deming, Mark. "Police on My Back – The Clash : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  8. ^ Thompson, Dave (2006-02-21). "Streets of New York – Willie Nile : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  9. ^ Deming, Mark (2007-04-24). "Tied & True – The Detroit Cobras : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 42. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ "The Equals | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  12. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (E)". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 185. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  14. ^ Gambaccini, Paul (1996). British Hit Albums (7th ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 127. ISBN 0-85112-619-7. 
  15. ^ a b c "The Equals". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 

External links[edit]