Why is The Pointer Sisters’ Break Out on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
You might just say that I’m so excited and yet I’m encountering a great deal of difficulty with regard to the prevention of obfuscating that emotional state.
Some stats & info about The Pointer Sisters – Break Out
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? R&B, Soul, Dance Music, Pop, Pop Music, Pop Soul
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking –
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Break Out released? 1983
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #804 out of 1,000
The Pointer Sisters’ Break Out on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does The Pointer Sisters’ Break Out mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’m pretty sure The Pointer Sisters entered my life by way of a movie called Beverly Hills Cop, starring a young comedic actor named Eddie Murphy. I saw Beverly Hills Cop at an age far younger than was appropriate, probably, and I’m very grateful for it.
“Neutron Dance” is featured at the very beginning of the movie, where we see Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) in a wild chase scene set in Detroit. The pulse of the wild, synth-ed up R&B dance song matches the scene perfectly, and Sisters’ voices are both gorgeous and yet fitting for the vibe of the movie.
There’s a lot more (sort of?) on how Break Out entered my life below, so let’s hit a few more things from the album.
Break Out is the kind of album where you go back and look at it and you’re like, “Oh, that song was on it too?” “Jump (For My Love)” is absolutely that kind of song. Like “Neutron Dance,” it’s very post-disco and pop and R&B, but most of all it’s just catchy as all get out.
So catchy, perhaps, that a rock n’ roll band called Van Halen would come out with their own “Jump” the following year, perhaps?
And if that’s not enough for you, Break Out also includes yet another huge song for its day, “I’m So Excited,” which again pulses with head bopping synth-y pop soul.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to The Pointer Sisters’ Break Out
The Pointer Sisters tie to a couple of additional things that stand out brightly in my memory about my relatively early childhood.
The first relates to the first collection of pop music that I ever owned. Given that my parents were not particularly huge music fans (though it’s been delightful to see my mother embrace musical passions that include Aerosmith and the Bee Gees later in life) and that my older brother was into a genre of music (classic rock) that I would fully embrace when I was a little older, the contents of my pop music collection were kind of odd.
Further, I recall that I owned a very small number of albums of vinyl, that I believe I played on either a kid’s record player or some piece of vintage 1970s stereo equipment that somehow landed in my childhood bedroom. The vinyl records I recall include ZZ Top’s Eliminator and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D.
I thought of ZZ Top as the guys with the long bushy beards who did the cool spin their guitars in unison move. “Legs” was a fun song but maybe doesn’t quite have the… appendages to stand out to me over the test of time.
Weird Al in 3-D was great fun for me at that age, and it got to the point where I felt as if songs like “I Lost on Jeopardy,” a parody of “Jeopardy,” by The Greg Kihn Band (yes, the Greg Kihn Band), was the original and not the cover or parody version.
My cassette tape collection was maybe even a little bit weirder in some ways. I’m sure I had a number of cassettes that were hand-me-downs or gathered in one way or another, but one album that I clearly recall is The Pointer Sister’s Break Out (and thus its Place of Honor on the best 1,000 albums ever list).
Another was a massive hit at the time (and, yes, I’m definitely aging myself here): Lionel Richie’s All Night Long. The upbeat title track was a smash hit, as was the love song, “Hello.”
Slight spoiler alert that of all the albums mentioned above, Break Out is the only one to make the best 1,000 albums ever list. Within a few years of owning Break Out and Dancing on the Ceiling, I would be binging everything MTV had on offer, and shortly thereafter I’d stumble upon a record called Licensed to Ill put out by three knuckleheads from New York City who called themselves the Beastie Boys.
Here’s one of my favorite all time Jimmy Fallon bits, where he goes head-to-head with Lionel Richie, kind of, with “Hello.”