Non-Smoking Man

The Pointer Sisters - soul chameleons.

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The Pointer Sisters career was/is remarkably longlasting because of their ability to 'shapeshift' their way through the seventies and eighties, altering their artistic approach under different producers and labels to keep their music up to date.

Their earliest 4 albums (The Pointer Sisters, That's a Plenty, Live At The Opera House and Steppin') were on the Blue Thumb label. (And their eponymous debut is nicknamed the'Blue Thumb album'.) This period spanned 5 years from 1972-77 and featured cofounder June Pointer on lead vocals. Their material in this period was eclectic and featured covers of Ellington classics and, famously in their live act, a version of Wang Dang Doodle, a blues classic penned by none other than Willie 'Spoonful' Dixon. Often their tempo was electric and their rhythms funky. The Allmusic articles which form the basis of this post note that it was rare indeed for an R'nB band of their type to receive an invite to play The Opera House.

Their second period was marked by a move to the Planet label under 'rock' producer Richard Perry. The albums of this period abounded with hardrocking riffs. Before long, adopting the synthesised approach of the new 1980's pop, The Pointer Sisters had moved fairly and squarely into the mainstream. So by Black and White, their fourth album for Planet, they were achieving even more pop chart success. Half of the numbers on the album Break Out (1983) were hits as singles.

However, by the time of the albums 'Contact and 'Hot Together' the Allmusic reviewer notes their music appeared 'tame in the wake of hip hop and the New Jack Revolution.

I have a copy of Black and White and I could not believe it was the same band whose frenetic and brilliant sound had accompanied a dance competition I once saw on TV (which took place in a boxing ring of all places). It was this contrast that lead me to do bit of reading about them.

I have a list of target records and the Blue Thumb '4' are definitely on my radar.

Jack

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Hi,

The Pointer Sisters are an interesting group. The dressed different style to the rest. They latched onto a 1940s style of dress for their earlier albums. Those early albums had that range of styles which was different to their contemporaries. They did sell well until after the mid 80s. Black american music changed rapidly and a number of older acts feel by the wayside.

I love this song. It cuts a fine groove.

[video=youtube;-FKHG15J0xI]

SCIDB

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Ive invested in a compilation of their Blue Thumb years - its in the post. Id prefer the original albums but this went to me for a fiver on the Bay so I figure it'll be a good intro. I'll report back on the SQ and musicality.

Jack

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Wife is a huge fan and I love the bit we own. (Steppin' from '75).

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I remember going to a friend's house during the 70s to hear his "new fangled" Quad electrostatics and the first album he played was The Pointer Sisters. I was mesmerised by "yes we can" combining great harmony and a great funk/jazz back beat.

Their first couple of albums were outstanding and I was pleased to see them make some money via main stream success although I must confess I was more a fan of the early stuff.

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When I was in the USA in 1981 they were on FM all day - every day but I liked them.

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Moderator
Hi,

The Pointer Sisters are an interesting group. The dressed different style to the rest. They latched onto a 1940s style of dress for their earlier albums. Those early albums had that range of styles which was different to their contemporaries. They did sell well until after the mid 80s. Black american music changed rapidly and a number of older acts feel by the wayside.

I love this song. It cuts a fine groove.

[video=youtube;-FKHG15J0xI]

SCIDB

Never really been on my radar, but I don't know why. That's a brilliant track Dean.

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