They're A Little Bit Rock & Roll: The Unlikely Rock Lineage Of The Pointer Sisters!"



I admit, I wasn't much of a Pointer Sisters fan growing up.  Even now, I've never found myself even remotely considering the idea of buying one of their albums, or even a song of theirs, which is saying something because I have bought some crazy-ass shit over the years.

Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, anybody?

Like any good music writer, I find myself doing a little brick-and-mortar research and am always happening upon a stash of Pointer Sisters albums in the cheapo bins.  I dunno what got into me on this day that didn't occur to me the hundreds of other times, but on this day,  I perused the credits on a couple of their records and was immediately knocked on my ass.

Like many of you, I suspect, my knowledge of The Pointer Sisters extends to "(I'm So) Excited", "Neutron Dance", "Fire", "He's So Shy" and "Jump For My Love".  Beyond that, tumbleweeds.  So as I gazed at the fine print on the back of that Pointer Sisters album, the first time I recalled is that they were on Planet Records.  Heck, the album was produced by Richard Perry, the head honcho at Planet Records.



For a guy who grew up an unwitting fan of what I now like to call  "One And Done or Two and Through" power pop bands (those bands that only ever seemed to make two albums max at the major label level before splitting up or getting dropped.  Thus, I was already quite familiar with Planet Records for signing bands like the Plimsouls (one album) and the Cretones (two albums).

While both of their albums tanked, Cretones' main writer Mark Goldenberg got a huge career bump when Linda Rondstadt covered three songs from the first Cretones album, Thin Red Line, for her new wave-inspired album Mad Love.



Perry had produced both Cretones albums for Planet and, though he had dropped the band three years prior, thought enough of Goldenberg's writing to invite him to submit material for the Pointer Sisters' 1983 album Contact.

His tune, "Automatic", ended up being the album's second single and hit the Top 5 on the U.S. Billboard Singles chart in 1984.

So, a rock guy (Perry) is hand-picking material for the Pointer Sisters...my curiosity is piqued.

Digging back a few albums, on '78's Energy, their first for the label, Perry had them covering Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen (years before "Fire"), Bob Welch, and the Doobie Brothers among others.

On 1979's Priority, Perry and the Pointers tackled tunes by Ian Hunter, Bob Seger, Graham Parker, Robbie Robertson, Gerry Rafferty, and even The Stones.

That's right, ladies and gents, the Pointer Sisters covered a tune from Exile On Main St.  Is that freakin' cool or what?!

Heck, they even covered Prince's "I Feel For You" two years before Chaka Khan did it.

So, yes, I finally broke down and bought a few Pointer SIsters albums.  How could I not at 25 cents each?  I knew if I held out long enough, I would find a great deal, yuk yuk.  I urge you to do the same, your record collection will be the better for it.

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