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The Pointer Sisters: Hits!

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Album Review

With a big push from their Blue Thumb label, who introduced the band by way of a full-page ad in Billboard magazine, the Pointer Sisters took their eponymous debut straight to the top of the R&B charts in summer 1973 on the strengths of their penchant for mixing classic '60s R&B with fresh forward-thinking grooves. Add the sisters' harmonies and complex vocal moves, and there's no doubt the group was destined for a fast rise. Produced by David Rubinson, The Pointer Sisters contained effusive covers that cradled two of the Pointers' own compositions. That remarkable combo, then, allowed the Allen Toussaint classic "Yes We Can Can" to rub shoulders with the original "Jada," a boogie blues-shaded slab of jazz, and a perfect fingerprint of the eclectic style that would define the Pointers' core. That same bent also allowed them to give equal energy to the Willie Dixon gem "Wang Dang Doodle," a song which quickly became a live set favorite, and also to their own "Sugar." Other high points include "River Boulevard," a mid-tempo vocal that gives way to a light rock riot. It was easy to see exactly where the Pointer Sisters were headed. With talent to spare and an energy that was fresh and unending, this set emerges a cohesive and joyous cabaret, allowing the quartet to do what it does best. Listening to these earliest gems, it's no surprise, then, that the band would spend the better part of the next two decades in the charts.

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Oakland, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Pointer Sisters were as chameleonic as David Bowie, if not more so. The sibling group backed Grace Slick and Boz Scaggs, made stops at Sesame Street and the Grand Ole Opry, won a country Grammy, and appeared in the movie Car Wash, all before scoring four consecutive Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 hits in the mid-‘80s. From their early ‘70s releases on Blue Thumb through their ‘80s commercial run on Planet and RCA, the Pointers moved through boogie-woogie, bebop, blues, country, funk, disco, soft rock,...
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The Pointer Sisters: Hits!, The Pointer Sisters
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