My next installment of great forgotten music is
by The Equals. Formed in North London, England in 1965, The Equals
were never put in any one category. They were considered to be a
pop/reggae/rock group, remembered mostly for their one and only million
selling "Baby Come Back", originally released as the B-Side of
"Hold Me Closer", a single written by Eddy Grant.
The original line-up
included twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon along with John Hall and
Pat Lloyd. And last, but certainly not least Eddy Grant, later famous for
The group chose the name as a result of being one of
the few racially integrated bands of the 1960s, hence name: The
In 1966 when they released the "Hold Me Closer" b/w "Baby Come
Back”. The single didn’t receive very much attention in the United
Kingdom; however, in Germany and The Netherlands it went to #1. President
Records later re-issued the single and it would reach #1 in the UK as
well. Thus, the racially mixed London group gave The Equals and President
Records their only number one hit to which a gold record was presented to
the group in June 1968 for a combined one million record sales.
was not the case in the U.S. as the song nationally only reached
The Equals went on to have 12 more hits in Germany and 2 other UK
Top 10 hits ("Viva Bobby Joe" and "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys") before
legal problems with the record company made it impossible to release any
Later on in 1968 they released "I Get So Excited" in the
UK, which appeared in the Top 50 Singles Chart.
Then in September
1969, all five members of the group had been reportedly injured on the
autobahn in Germany, when their car ran off the road.
1970 would bring
a string of single releases, all of which charted in the UK.
a collapsed lung and heart infection, which put him out of action at the
beginning of 1971, Eddy Grant returned to his homeland, Guyana. It was
then he 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". He also
topped the UK Singles Chart in 1982 with "I Don't Wanna Dance".
while The Equals never charted again after Grant's departure, they
remained a popular live act, performing into the late 1970s and
Other versions of The Equals music include, The Clash recording
a successful cover version of "Police On My Back". In 2006 Willie
Nile released his own cover of "Police on My Back" on his Streets of New
The Equals' song "Green Light" was covered by The Detroit
Cobras, on their 2007 album, Tied & True.
And lastly "Baby Come
Back" returned in 1994, when Pato Banton reached #1 in the UK with his
cover. Occasionally you’ll hear the song on one of the satellite music
stations but not often does it appear with regularity.
Here is a link
to a live performance from 1968:
click below to listen to one of the best bass lines ever, the original
version of "Baby Come Back" by the