This album (credited to ‘Pointer Sisters’, without the definitive article) just makes me happy. It’s chock-full of hits – Jump, Automatic, Neutron Dance – and is just a very happy record, bringing the positive demeanour of 1970’s soul into the 1980s.
Being a child of the ‘80s, I recognise Neutron Dance from Beverly Hills Cop (it’s the energetic song that opens the film, as Eddie Murphy is hanging off the back of the truck full of stolen cigarettes), but Jump is still played regularly on the radio (despite its ‘revival’ by Girls Aloud and that version appearing in Love Actually). It’s the song Automatic that is the highlight of the album for me though. I knew the song before it appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but like most of the songs on that soundtrack, the song now reminds me so much of the video game that I find it hard to disassociate the two.
The Pointer Sisters recently played in New Zealand (around the same time that Bonnie Pointer, one of the original members of the band, had been arrested in LA for possession of crack cocaine). Only one of the original four sisters was present, which kind of speaks for itself. I didn’t go and see them, as I truly believed I would have been disappointed – these revival tours can be really damaging to the memory and nostalgia you can have for a band. My love for Blondie has barely survived seeing the band play live twice in the last decade, and I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen here.
My good friend Danny Beetle got me into LRD when we were DJing together. I ended up buying all the 12” singles from this, plus the full album. Danny once saw Stuart Price (the guy behind LRD) browsing through the records at Manchester’s Vinyl Exchange. That’d be a pretty sweet sight to see.
I remember once, I was DJing on a Friday or Saturday night. It was still relatively early so there were only a few people in. A young girl got up from her table walked over to my booth and asked me if I had any “Lez Ryth-mez Digita-lez”. I guess she didn’t do too well in French. I ended up taking pity on her, not laughing in her face, and playing some anyway.
There are two big hits off this record – Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) which I think was used on a Sunny Delight TV ad; and (Hey You) What’s That Sound? which Price gives a full writers’ credit to Stephen Stills on (the song is based on the lyric from Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth).
This is LRD’s second album – I’ve never heard the first one – and not long after this was released he was poached by Madonna to become her musical director. This isn’t bad a bad record to listen to, given that effectively it’s a dance album. His leaning towards 80s sounds akin to the like of The Pointer Sisters and Georgio Moroder make this an interesting enough listen.