If you’re a reader of The Second Disc and you’re about to lose control, then we think you’ll like this story: Cherry Red’s Big Break imprint is reissuing two classic albums by The Pointer Sisters: Special Things (1980) and So Excited! (1982).
The Pointer Sisters were instantly recognized as a unique R&B group with their self-titled debut LP in 1973. Their voices were strong and their style was distinctively retro, dealing heavily in jazz and be-bop. They even decked themselves out in costumes of the period, to boot. But by 1977, Bonnie Pointer had flown for a solo career and the remaining sisters (Annie, June and Ruth) were unsure of which musical direction to forge ahead in. Risking their futures on a more contemporary sound (with the help of producer Richard Perry), the Pointers were greeted with even more success stretching through the end of the ’70s and well into the ’80s. Those unique voices and frenetic arrangements amounted to some of the best pop and R&B of the age, including “Fire,” “He’s So Shy,” “I’m So Excited,” “Jump (for My Love),” “Neutron Dance” and others.
These two BBR releases catch the sisters at the peak of their powers: Special Things was the record that yielded “He’s So Shy” and moderate hit “Could I Be Dreaming.” It also featured some of the most seasoned veterans of the music industry, whether it was songwriters (Tom Snow and Cynthia Weil penned “He’s So Shy,” while Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager wrote “The Love Too Good to Last”) or session musicians – a list that included Bacharach and Snow themselves alongside Michael Boddicker, Paulinho da Costa, Greg Phillinganes and Motown legend James Jamerson. And So Excited!, in addition to including most of those musicians (and Perry once again in the producer’s chair), had songwriting credits from Terry Britten (co-writer of “What’s Love Got to Do with It” for Tina Turner), Michael Bolton and Prince (the sisters were the first to cover his “I Feel for You,” a version which sounds faithful to his bouncy version from 1980’s Prince. Of course, two years later, Chaka Khan would turn it into something else entirely.)
Each package contains at least one bonus track (non-LP B-side “Movin’ On” was released on Wounded Bird’s 2007 reissue of Special Things, which is now out of print; two 12″ remixes augment So Excited!) and new liner notes featuring interviews from surviving sisters Anita and Ruth Pointer. The sets will be made available on November 22, but you can order them here.
Let’s get excited for some track lists after the jump!
The Pointer Sisters, Special Things: Expanded Edition (Big Break Records CDBBR0022, 2010 – originally released as Planet P-9, 1980)
- Could I Be Dreaming
- He’s So Shy
- The Love Too Good to Last
- Save the Night for Love
- We’ve Got the Power
- Where Did the Time Go
- Special Things
- Here is Where Your Love Belongs
- Movin’ On (B-side to “He’s So Shy” – Planet P-47916, 1980)
The Pointer Sisters, So Excited! Expanded Edition (Big Break Records CDBBR0025, 2010 – originally released as Planet 6001, 1982)
- I’m So Excited
- See How the Love Goes
- All of You
- Heart Beat
- If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady
- I Feel For You
- Heart to Heart
- American Music
- I’m So Excited (Extended Version)
- If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady (Extended Version)
Tracks 9-10 released as Planet 12″ single YD-13429, 1982