Barry Biggs

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Barry Biggs
Born 1947 (age 66–67)
St. Andrew, Jamaica
Genres Reggae
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1960s–present

Barry Biggs (born 1947, although some accounts list 1953;[1] St. Andrew, Jamaica) is a reggae singer, best known in the UK for his cover of the Blue Magic song, "Sideshow", which got to number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1977.[2]

Career[edit]

Biggs worked as an recording engineer and cameraman with the Jamaican Broadcasting Company, and also spent time as a member of the band the Astronauts, before becoming the lead singer for Byron Lee's Dragonaires.[1][3]

It was at Lee's Dynamic Sounds studio (where he also worked as a producer and engineer) that Biggs recorded his first Jamaican hit, a cover of The Osmonds' "One Bad Apple".[1][3] He broke through to international success in 1976 with "Work All Day", which had been recorded seven years earlier.[1][3] Biggs had six hit singles on the UK Singles Chart between 1976 and 1981, the most successful of these, "Sideshow", reaching number 3 in January 1977.[4] He recorded two songs with Bunny Lee; "Sincerely" and "You're Welcome" which did well in reggae charts.[3] He topped the reggae chart in the UK with "Wide Awake in a Dream" and "A Promise is a Comfort to a Fool".[3]

Many of Biggs' recordings were reggae cover versions of popular soul hits, including songs such as Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour"; "Sideshow" and "Three Ring Circus" by Blue Magic; and others originally by The Chi-Lites, The Moonglows ("Sincerely"), and The Temptations ("Just My Imagination").[5] His version of "Love Come Down", originally recorded by Evelyn "Champagne" King, was a top 5 hit in 1983 in The Netherlands. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Biggs avoided the political and Rasta themes then popular in Jamaica.[1]

Biggs continued to perform occasionally in the 2000s, notably at a 2008 service of thanksgiving for his former bandleader, Byron Lee.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Mr. Biggs - (1976) - Dynamic Sounds (also issued in 1977 as Side Show)
  • Sincerely - (1977) - Dynamic Sounds
  • Wide Awake In A Dream - (1980) - Starlight
  • A Promise Is A Comfort To A Fool - (1982)
  • Barry Biggs & The Inner Circle - (1983) - Trojan
  • Coming Down With Love (1983) - Ariola
  • So In Love - (1989) - Starlight
  • Wide Awake - (1990) - Mango
  • Night Like This - (1994) - WEA
  • Love Come Down - (2000) - Wesgram Records

Compilations[edit]

  • Sideshow: The Best of Barry Biggs - (1995) - Jamaican Gold
  • Vintage Series: Barry Biggs - (2001) - VP
  • Just My Imagination - (2002) - Disky Records
  • Sideshow: The Very Best of Barry Biggs - (2002) - Music Club
  • Sideshow (The best of) - (2004) - Trojan
  • Reggae Max - (2007) - Jet Star

Chart singles[edit]

  • "Work All Day" (1976) UK #38
  • "Sideshow" (1976) UK #3
  • "You're My Life" (1977) UK #36
  • "Three Ring Circus" (1977) UK #22
  • "What's Your Sign Girl" (1979) UK #55
  • "Wide Awake In A Dream" (1981) UK #44[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Leggett, Steve "Barry Biggs Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 57. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 26.
  4. ^ Barry Biggs, ChartStats
  5. ^ Coversproject.com
  6. ^ Walters, Basil (2008) "Glowing farewell to Byron Lee", Jamaica Observer, 23 November 2008

External links[edit]