Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Pointer Sisters - Neutron Dance

The Pointer Sisters were a fascinating group who managed to navigate the difficult pop and R&B waters during most of the 1970's and 1980's.  They had 15 top 40 hits, and had a stretch in 1984 where they had four consecutive top 10 hits (including "Neutron Dance.")

The sisters (who really were sisters) were from Oakland, California.  In the late 1960's Bonnie and June began singing (often as backup singers) and were soon joined by Anita and Ruth.  They remained a quartet until 1977 when Bonnie left the band.  While they were versatile in terms of their musical style, they were also distinctive due to their tight harmonies and strong vocals.

"Neutron Dance" was off their 1983 smash LP Break Out.  However, the song is best known for its inclusion in the movie Beverly Hills Cop.  The song was co-written by Allee Willis (who co-wrote Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" and "Boogie Wonderland") and Danny Sembello (the younger brother of Michael, who wrote "Maniac" from Flashdance.)  Interestingly, the song was originally written for the 1984 film Streets of Fire, but it did not make the cut.

"Neutron Dance" reached #6 on the charts and was the last of the four top 10 Pointer Sister singles (the first three were "Automatic" (#5), "Jump (For My Love)" (#3) and "I'm So Excited" (#9)).  The sisters had several more hits through 1987 and have remained active (with some personnel changes) through the present day.

Cool trivia fact:  In 1974 the Pointer Sisters became the first black artists to play at the Grand Ole Opry.

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