Apr 09

EDDY GRANT – “I Don’t Wanna Dance”

FT + Popular35 comments • 3,188 views

#510, 13th November 1982

Eddy Grant’s breakthrough with the Equals on “Baby Come Back” had come by upping reggae’s stomp quotient at the expense of its lilt. I don’t know a lot about his solo career but cuts like the slashing “Do You Feel My Love” suggest he kept an interest in how his music could be made heavier – the force of the riff on that song, and the Sweet-style bovver-boy shout-outs on “Electric Avenue”, point to a fusion of rock and reggae on very different terms from the ones Bob Marley had set.

Neither of those songs hit the top, though: “I Don’t Wanna Dance” carries traces of their heft but doesn’t work as well – here it seems clumsy, those thumping drumbeats at the end of each verse giving Eddy a faintly comical air. It’s not so much that he doesn’t wanna dance, but he’s wearing clown shoes and the dancefloor is full of banana skins.



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  1. 26
    vinylscot on 30 Apr 2009 #

    Alan @22 – I am not Tanya, but thanks for the compliment.

    Back to IDWD, I always took thought it sounded rather like a petulant or stroppy fifteen-year-old who actually DOES want to dance, but doesn’t have the bottle. I can remember many a local disco during my early teen years when I found it difficult to get up the nerve – fear of rejection, not being “cool” enough, getting laughed at by your mates, etc. The phrasing, as well as the lyrics themselves, reminds me of this.

  2. 27
    Malice Cooper on 30 Apr 2009 #

    I remember at the time knowing this would get to number one.It is gentle and easy and a song that appeals to all generations.

    I particularly enjoyed Lenny Henry at the time on “Three of a kind” doing “Eddie Grunt”. “I get a bill for from dee electric company.It keeps on gettin’ higher”

  3. 28
    LondonLee on 30 Apr 2009 #

    I do like the minimalism of this and Eddy’s other hits around this time, he did have his “own” sound which owed as much to Brixton as it did Kingstown. This is a bit of a plodder though.

    It’s been a while since I’ve listened to any of them that closely but he never did the fake Jamaican accent did he, and always sounded like the Sarf London boy he was. His voice reminds me of Jazzie B a little in that respect.

  4. 29
    LondonLee on 30 Apr 2009 #

    Actually, scratch that last comment. I just went and watched the video and he pronounces dance like an American unlike Jazzie B who always said darnce

  5. 30
    DV on 4 May 2009 #

    I’ve a bit of a soft spot for this, especially when he sits on the raft feeling all sadface. I think my dad, in stereotypical dad fashion, thought his (Eddy’s) hair looked stupid.

  6. 31
    wichita lineman on 16 Mar 2010 #

    Re Gorillaz: Eddy’s indignant rage seems a bit overdone, don’t you think ?

    Meanwhile, I wonder if he noticed the rather more obvious similarity between these two songs:



  7. 32
    wichita lineman on 16 Mar 2010 #

    Re Gorillaz: Eddy’s indignant rage seems a bit overdone, don’t you think ?

    I wonder if he also spotted the marked similarity between his Rub A Dub Dub, recorded with The Equals, and a bunny baiting Danish club phenomenon from the mid 90s?

    (dear admin – I tried to put the youtube links up but have been left ‘awaiting moderation’, so apologies if this post goes up three times)

  8. 33
    seekenee on 29 Nov 2011 #

    This was very popular at the local community hall 1982 Christmas disco as was House of Fun and Come on Eileen, unsurprisingly. I always found this one a bit of a drag, especially the chorus, for me the other worthy Eddy hit is Do You Feel My Love?

  9. 34
    Auntie Beryl on 15 Feb 2013 #

    A song ruined by certain Radio 1 DJs – Steve Wright is prime suspect in this – cutting into the song halfway through to smarmily reply “thank you” to the lyric “I love your personality”. These were dark days for pop radio.

  10. 35
    hectorthebat on 1 Nov 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010) 1002
    Complete Book of the British Charts (UK, 2001) – Neil Warwick’s Top 10 Singles 9
    New Musical Express (UK) – Singles of the Year 50

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