Written by Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett “Side Show” was recorded in 1974 by soul group Blue Magic who had a very similar sound to The Stylistics. They reached #1 on the US R&B Chart and #8 on the Pop Chart.
Barry Biggs was born in Jamaica and began recording music during the 1960’s but managed to break through in the UK with this cover version, the second of 6 charted singles between 1976 and 1981.
Towards the end of 1976 this single managed to enter the UK top 40 at #26 the week before Christmas. This soft reggae pop song slowly began to rise in the charts and peaked at #3 for 3 consecutive weeks around January/February being denied the #1 spot by “Don’t Give Up On Us” by David Soul, and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” by Julie Covington. It charted for 16 weeks and was also a top 20 hit in the Netherlands.
The song was produced by Neville Hinds who was associated with Biggs via the Jamaican Ska, Mas, Calypso Band known as Byron Lee And The Dragonaires.
The B-Side is called “I’ll Be Back” a self penned reggae fueled song where the female backing vocalists echo the lyric at the end of each line in order to emphasise what Barry is singing.
This single is a firm favourite of mine and at some point it has become damaged as there is a small hole on the outer edge and is cracked into its centre, but apart from a few crackles it still plays.