Tuesday, February 8, 2011


If the O'Jays, the Dramatics, or Bloodstone had added a female singer and incorporated bebop-influenced harmonies, they might have sounded something like Side Effect -- a distinctive soul and funk vocal quartet of the '70s and early '80s. Side Effect was never a big name in R&B -- and its material wasn't as consistently strong as that of the O'Jays -- but it did have a recognizable and appealing sound. The group was formed in Los Angeles in May 1972, when it started out as an all-male trio and consisted of Louis Patton, Gregory Matta, and leader Augie Johnson. The latter had been singing since childhood -- in fact, Johnson was among the kids who sang on Frank Sinatra's 1959 hit "High Hopes." Side Effect became a quartet when, in 1974, Johnson, Patton, and Matta decided to add a female vocalist and hired L.A. native Sylvia Nabors. In 1975, Side Effectsigned with Fantasy and recorded its self-titled debut album, which was, like subsequent efforts, produced by Wayne Henderson ofCrusaders fame. By the time Side Effect recorded its second album,What You Need, in 1976, Nabors had been replaced by Helen Lowe. Then, in 1977, Lowe was replaced by Sylvia St. James, who recorded with the group in 1977 and 1978. St. James' subsequent replacement was Miki Howard, a talented singer who sang with the group for a few years before signing with Atlantic in 1986 and becoming well known as a solo artist.

Attached is one of my favorite songs off the 1977 album entitled "Goin' Bananas". Also, as an added bonus is a remix that I did for Little Brother that may sound a little familiar.


Private World - Side Effect 1977

Whatever You Say (Finesse Remix) 2001


RichKid96 said...
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RichKid96 said...

Thanks for this work, Quad Klub! Two songs that this blog inspired me to research (and that I am really appreciating) are the title track 'Goin Bananas' (a song that really represents 70's party funk) and 'I'll be there' (made famous by Grover Washington Jr.). Good stuff! Surely you are a musicologist! :-)

Garrett Johnson said...

As you know, this article brought be back to Side Effect. I just learned that all of us Gospel Fans know Helen Lowe but we know her by her Married name Helen Baylor and know that she had 'A praying grandmother'!