Music Throwback Saturday: Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue got to #2 in both the UK and US

eddygrantBefore I can write about the song Electric Avenue, a promise I’d made. Back in February, I wrote: “Sometime, I need to tell the story when I saw Eddy Grant in concert.” Then I forgot.

In the last month, I saw a photo of my old pal “Mary” on someone else’s Facebook page. Mary and I were casual friends, and we were going to see Eddy Grant performing at the University at Albany. I went to her house, and she and/or others were going to drive to the campus.

I came right from work, if I’m remembering correctly, and I was really hungry, and I ate a brownie she had out, and took another to go. We get to the locale, which didn’t have chairs, but had an open space for dancing. I ate the second brownie.

I’m grooving on the music, when suddenly, I’m in need of leaning against a wall. I am feeling unwell, maybe. Then even standing became too difficult, and my back slid down the wall, and I sat in a corner, I think, I don’t know.
And I really don’t remember much else, such as how I got home.

Sometime that week, I called Mary. She was SURE she had told me there was hashish in those brownies. Maybe there was a general announcement, but I never heard it.

Every time I hear that intro, I have, if not a flashback, an odd physical recollection. Electric Avenue got to #2 in both the UK and US, for five weeks in the States. It appears on the Killer on the Rampage album, and I heard that track on the radio. I have Electric Avenue on a reggae compilation album with Living on the Frontline.

Listen to:
Electric Avenue HERE or HERE
Killer on the Rampage HERE or HERE
Living on the Frontline HERE (short version) HERE (long version)

Throwback Music Saturday: Police On My Back

Police On My Back by The Equals was a track which was only ever released as a single in Europe.

equalsBy 1980, I had become a huge fan of the English punk rock band Clash. I’m fairly sure I bought the album Sandinista!, a triple LP containing 36 tracks, as a Christmas present to myself, very shortly after its December 12 release. (I had broken up with my girlfriend on December 1, 1980, and music soothed the soul.) The album won several “best of the year” critics polls in 1981.

The first song on Side 4 was Police on My Back, featuring a guitar part that sounded like a European siren. “A one-LP distillation of the album, called Sandinista Now!, was sent to press and radio”, and it also began with that song.

Police on My Back was written by someone named Eddy Grant, a name I wasn’t familiar with at the time. But I DID know his music, as it turned out.

EDDY GRANT WAS A teenager [in North London] when he formed The Equals in the mid-’60s… Guyana-born Grant assembled a band with drummer John Hall, guitarist Pat Lloyd and brothers Lincoln and Derv Gordon…

The band’s first single – 1966’s Hold Me Close backed with Baby, Come Back… failed to chart in the UK but it topped the charts in Belgium and hit the Top 20 in Germany and Holland…

The band’s overseas success… was finally replicated in the UK in 1968 when Baby, Come Back saw them appear on Top Of The Pops and hit Number 1. An album of the same name swiftly followed and included 11 tracks, including Police On My Back – a track which was only ever released as a single in Europe.

Baby, Come Back by The Equals got to #32 in the US in 1968. Police on My Back by The Clash made it to #21 on something called the US Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1980.

Baby, Come Back – The Equals HERE or HERE
Police on My Back – The Equals HERE or HERE
Police on My Back – The Clash HERE or HERE

Some time, I need to tell the story when I saw Eddy Grant in concert a few years later.

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