✯ Mike's Site

The Equals

I've always liked to trace the origins of musical artists and their tunes. It's probably one of my nerdiest hobbies -- I can't really come down on anyone who memorizes worthless sports stats because I know which Current 93 record Steve Ignorant of Crass sings on and the years each of Neil Diamond's Hot August Night live albums were released.

This was a lot harder before the internet; most information came in the form of serendipity when a recognized name cropped up in liner notes.

Since the advent of the web and standardized sources of info, it's easy to trace origins. But sometimes because there aren't any liner notes anymore (if you're buying mp3s or streaming), little tidbits and cover songs can slip through.

That's the case with The Equals: I hadn't heard of them but when I heard a loud glam-rock stomper by them on KOOP, I looked into it. Not only was the singer Eddy Grant the guy who lodged "Electric Avenue" in our collective brains, they had a pretty solid influence on the Clash. Here's the original version of another ahead-of-its-time song the Clash did a great job with, "Police on My Back."

I guess as long as there's music out there, it's possible to be surprised every once in a while still. Thankfully.