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 Effect signed with Fantasy and recorded its self-titled debut album, which was, like subsequent efforts, produced by Wayne Henderson of Crusaders 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 By the time Side Effect recorded its second album, What You Need, in 1976, Nabors had been replaced by Helen Lowe.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. ~ Alex HendersonPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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