The Equals

Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys: The Anthology...

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Anyone who thinks of the Equals as nothing but a prelude to Eddy Grant's solo career will find revelations throughout this 50-song double-CD set -- the diversity of sounds here is quite staggering, and all the more so as the quintet was so good at all of it: British Invasion-style rock & roll, psychedelic pop, freakbeat, bubblegum, they could do it all, and with an edge that always told you there was more to this band than what their records were letting you in on. The 140 minutes of music here is as much of the Equals as most of us might ever need to hear, starting from their October 1966 single "I Won't Be There" b/w "Fire," and going up through "Diversion," Grant's last authored single for the band, in 1973. In between are all of the singles and B-sides of any significance, plus the most important tracks off of their LPs Unequaled Equals, Equals Explosion, Sensational Equals, Equals Supreme, Equals Strike Again, and The Equals Rock Around the Clock, and the various EPs interspersed between these. Completists might only be satisfied with all of the latter, represented on CDs with a brace of bonus tracks, but this 50-song compilation is impressive in its own right, and as solid a selection of their best work across seven years as one is ever likely to hear. All of it is present in exceptionally good sound and fully annotated by the always reliable and fascinating Roger Dopson.

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