The first Pointer Sisters album I ever owned was the 1974 album That’s A Plenty. It was the most eclectic album I’ve ever heard, Beatles’ Revolver-type eclectic.
Bangin’ on the Pipes/Steam Heat: nostalgic/novelty jazz; the only song my SO at the time didn’t like
Salt Peanuts: rapid-fire vocalization of the Dizzy Gillespie song, featuring Herbie Hancock on the piano, which I remember them performing with Carol Burnett on Carol’s show
Grinning in Your Face: straight-up blues by Son House, featuring side guitar by Bonnie Raitt
Shaky Flat Blues: poppish slow blues
That’s a Plenty / Surfeit USA: Dixieland
Little Pony: a Lambert, Hendricks and Ross tune
Fairytale: the song won the group its first Grammy Award, for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group
Black Coffee: a gorgeous torch song, later covered by k.d. lang
Love in Them There Hills: my favorite: the slow, percussive funk by Gamble & Huff, which I used to listen to the volume up and the lights down.
The album got up to #82 in the Billboard charts. That same year, the group got named to Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list, which I thought was silly; they were retro chic!
As they became more pegged as an R and B group, they had hits such as Fire and Slowhand. They really broke out with 1983’s Break Out, with Jump (for My Love), Automatic, Neutron Dance, and a rerecording of I’m So Excited.
But it’s that early album that really got to me. Wish I had it in digital form.
This trek into musical nostalgia was prompted by the news of death of June Pointer, the youngest sister, a few days ago at the age of 52. Sad.