Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"I Need You" by The Pointer Sisters

Song#:  1643
Date:  10/08/1983
Debut:  91
Peak:  48
Weeks:  15
Genre:  R&B, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Over the years, The Pointer Sisters maintained a solid catalog that flowed easily between R&B, Pop, and AC. However, their 1982 LP So Excited! found the trio losing their R&B audience. The album's first single, "American Music," did fine at Pop reaching #16 (#9 AC), but it could only manage a weak #23 at R&B. Subsequent singles got on the chart, but were minor entries at best. The lack of R&B support affected sales and the album missed going gold - a disappointment after two solid-selling gold LP's. In order to gain back their R&B audience, the trio's producer, Richard Perry, selected this song as the first single from their new album Break Out. Indeed the ploy seemed to work as the song got to #13 at R&B, which was their best showing since 1981's #7 "Slow Hand." AC also enjoyed the song and put it at #15. Unfortunately, the crossover success of their previous hits did not apply to this song and it was pretty much ignored at Pop where it missed getting into the Top 40. It was not the result they were looking for and it seemed to spell doom for the album. However, their next single would turn things around big time and take them into the most successful period of their career.

ReduxReview:  With at least three surefire crossover hits on the album, the fact that Perry thought this sluggish track should be the lead single just boggles my mind. It almost sunk the whole project. Luckily, radio support was already mounting for "Automatic" and that song would save the album. I mean, this is a nice tune and makes for a good album track, but I wouldn't consider this single-worthy. At best, maybe the third or fourth single. Definitely not the first one from a dance-oriented project. I dunno. In the long run it didn't really matter as things worked out. It was just a bummer that we had to endure this lackluster single before getting to the good stuff.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  On their Richard Perry produced albums, the lead vocal duties were typically assigned by Perry with each sister getting a chance up front. With the exception of June heading up their #3 hit "He's So Shy," the balance of their major hits were handled by Anita. What's unique about this single is that the lead vocal part is shared by all three. With each sister taking a solo turn, audiences really got a chance to compare and contrast the tones of their voices.


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