|THE EQUALS-Soul Brother Clifford/Happy Birthday Girl Germany President 14 539 AT 1970|
If you ignore their attire on their later records you'll find that even later in their career The Equals made some pretty cool records! "Soul Brother Clifford", a 45 from 1970, is one of my favorites and always has been. In 1997 when I started a DJ night called Hub City Soul with my co-conspirator Scott Belsky he spun it at nearly every night (and to great aplomb).
Led off by some groovy organ (U.K. copies credit the record as "The Equals with Al Dickinson (organ)") the band tell a tale of a cat who's organ playing in church is so funky that everyone is getting up on Sunday morning to go check him out. Their reggae-ish shuffle is laid into a typically upbeat and funky Equals groove with their standard exhorted chorus and likeable groove. I had a cheap Korean Equals CD that contained a weird version without the organ and a completely different vocal track from Derv Gordon where he does some improvisational lyrical stuff at the end after chanting the title he exhorts "even the white people". "Happy Birthday Girl" is boring proto glam 12 bar rock n roll with rollicking piano and is an exercise in late 60's U.K. "rock n' roll nostalgia" mediocrity.
Good luck finding any affordable original record Equals CD's at the moment with either of these tracks!
DJ-ing at the very first Mod Chicago in 2002 a gang of racially mixed English ex-pats for some reason began chanting the number after The Embrooks set, I quickly dug the record out and spun it and had my hand shaken numerous times and offered many drinks. They were amazed that an American knew of The Equals let alone played their records. Hey we Yanks are good like that.
Hear "Soul Brother Clifford":
Hear "Happy Birthday Girl":