Sunday, June 12, 2011


This all started with a friend posting a video of Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue," a song that I thought I hated. But the friend who posted it is one of those long time friends whose musical tastes are informed, the type that hears things that you might miss. The song in question had long left my radar, because I had dismissed it from the git-go. I'd been listening to reggae for several years when "Electric Avenue" came out, and I thought that Grant was trying to pass it off as reggae (he with the way-too-neat dreads). Because my friend posted it, I gave it another listen. And, you know what? Taken it out of any genre context, it's a great song.

The Equals, 1967 UK TV

Grant, as many of you may know, was also the singer of the Equals, whose "Police On My Back" was covered by the Clash. One of the oft-mentioned topics about the Equals was their multinational make up. Two were British, two Jamaican, and Grant was from Guyana. Their output, at least what I've heard of it, was stylistically varied. The common notion is that their varied backgrounds are reason why their sound didn't fit into one neat category. Whatever. Just get all that context stuff out of here for a minute. You're going to ruin it. (Thank you M.F.)

The Equals - Police On My Back ('67) mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
The Clash -Police On My Back ('80) mp3 at (?)
The Equals - Baby Come Back ('66) mp3 at David
The Equals - Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boy ('70) mp3 at Young Manhattanite
Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue ('82)mp3 at One Sweet Song
The Equals - Hold Me Closer (The Beat Club, '67) at YouTube
The Equals - Baby Come Back (Top of the Pops, '68) at YouTube
The Clash - Police On My Back (live) at YouTube
Eddy Grant - Living On the Front Line ('79) mp3 at YouTube
Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue ('82) at YouTube
Eddy Grant - I'm the One (Just Remember) ('10?) mp3 at YouTube

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