The Pointer Sisters

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Energy Review

by Amy Hanson

Now linked with veteran rock producer Richard Perry and signed to his new Planet imprint, the Pointer Sisters rebounded from 1977's mediocre Having a Party to blister through Energy in late 1978. An absolutely dynamic set of rock standards overflowing with interesting surprises, the LP entered the R&B Top Ten -- the first time the group had enjoyed that kind of placement in nearly three years. With a scything guitar intro that charged through the opening "Lay It on the Line," the Pointer Sisters thrust themselves into a remarkable spotlight, proving they wouldn't be slotted as just another R&B vocal act. A take on the mid-period Fleetwood Mac classic "Hypnotized" is a wonderfully slow, bluesy groove -- different, but outstanding in its treatment and probably the best song on the album. Elsewhere, "Happiness" is a fine clash of guitar and disco backbeats and "As I Come of Age" (written by Stephen Stills) emerges as one of the album's quieter moments. It was their fair, but not great, cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire," though, that gave them their biggest hit, reaching number two on the pop charts in early 1979. Although there are some patchy moments to be found, Energy was a fresh introduction to a new look for the Pointer Sisters. Confident in themselves and in the process finding their stride, they crossed over to the mainstream, arriving in style and settling in for another decade.

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