Automatic (Pointer Sisters song)

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Single by The Pointer Sisters
from the album Break Out
Released January 1984
Recorded 1983
Genre Post-disco, R&B
Length 4:46
Label Planet
Writer(s) Brock Walsh, Mark Goldenberg
Producer(s) Brock Walsh, Richard Perry
The Pointer Sisters singles chronology
"I Need You"
"Jump (For My Love)"

"Automatic" is a song by the Pointer Sisters, released on the Planet label in January 1984 as the second single from their multi-platinum landmark album, Break Out. "Automatic" reached the Top 5 of Billboard's pop chart and became one of the Pointers' signature tunes. Eventually, three other singles from Break Out reached the Top 10 consecutively.

The Pointer Sisters version[edit]

"Automatic," which features Ruth Pointer's deep lead vocals, soared to number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number two on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and US Hot Dance Club Play charts. It repeated that success in other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom (where it made it to number two only kept from the top spot by Duran Duran's "The Reflex"). The song also became the Sisters' only #1 in the Republic of Ireland. "Automatic", and its sister song "Neutron Dance", set the stage for female R&B groups featuring strikingly low alto lead vocals, backed by higher harmonies. Ten years later, R&B group TLC did the same to great success, with their #1 hits "Creep" and "Waterfalls". In 2002 the song was used in the Rockstar North game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Occasionally around 1990, the instrumental parts of the song were used as prize music, notably for jukeboxes and stereos, on the US version of The Price Is Right.

Credits and personnel[edit]


Chart (1984) Peak
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[1] 9
New Zealand (RIANZ)[1] 8
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[2] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 5
US Black Singles (Billboard)[3] 2
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard) 2

Ultra Naté cover[edit]

Single by Ultra Naté
from the album Grime, Silk, & Thunder
Released July 30, 2007
Genre Electronica
Length 4:58
Label Tommy Boy Entertainment
Writer(s) Brock Walsh, Mark Goldenberg
Ultra Naté singles chronology
"Love's the Only Drug"
"Give It All You Got"
Music video
"Automatic" on YouTube

Ultra Naté covered "Automatic" and released it as the third single from her album Grime, Silk, & Thunder. Her version topped the US dance chart, hitting number one in the issue dated April 28, 2007.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Automatic" was directed by Karl Giant.[4] Eric Henderson from Slant Magazine commented of the music video's beginning: "For the first two or three minutes, it's nothing if not a stalwart representation of your standard gay-bar video-jukebox fixture." Ultra Naté is later shown wearing a rhinestone-studded liquid Lycra while two men, apparently nude, watch her on their computers.[5] Then Naté appears in a blow-up doll costume,[4] which Henderson believed "sends the entire video into legitimately weird territory, as though David Meyers were asked to direct a video for Nine Inch Nails."[5]

Track listing[edit]

  • Belgian CD maxi-single[6]
  1. "Automatic" (Original Radio Mix) – 3:13
  2. "Automatic" (Morgan Page vs. Peace Bisquit Radio Mix) – 3:03
  3. "Automatic" (Original Extended) – 6:12
  4. "Automatic" (Daz & Diddy Mix) – 7:17
  • US CD maxi-single[7]
  1. "Automatic" (Original Extended) – 6:16
  2. "Automatic" (Digital Dog Mix) – 6:31
  3. "Automatic" (Paul Jackson Version Excursion Mix) – 6:19
  4. "Automatic" (Spen & Thommy Sugar Vocal Mix) – 8:42
  5. "Automatic" (Daz & Diddy Mix) – 7:18
  6. "Automatic" (Funky Junction & NK Club Mix) – 6:29
  7. "Automatic" (Funky Junction & Splashfunk Mix) – 6:53
  8. "Automatic" (Monkey Brothers Ultra Bad Remix) – 8:40
  9. "Automatic" (Dave Pezza Electro Dub Mix) – 9:30
  10. "Automatic" (Shawn Q's Soltribe Vocal Mix) – 8:47
  11. "Automatic" (Morgan Page vs. Peace Bisquit Radio Mix) – 3:04


Chart (2007) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[8] 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 86
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[8] 5
US Hot Dance Airplay (Billboard) 18
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[9] 1

Cover versions and adaptations[edit]

  • In 1991, the song was featured in the film Ricochet, and can be heard at the beginning after the basketball game.
  • In 2006, Belgian singer Afi covered "Automatic".[10] Her version became a minor hit in Belgium, where it reached top twenty on the Flanders Ultratip chart.[11]


  1. ^ a b " - Pointer Sisters - Automatic". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - The Pointer Sisters - Automatic". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Automatic - The Pointer Sisters". Billboard. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  4. ^ a b Slompwicz, DJ Ron (2007-05-25). "Ultra Naté - Grime, Silk & Thunder Interview". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (2007-05-07). "Ultra Naté: Grime Silk Thunder". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Ultra Naté – Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  7. ^ "Ultra Naté – Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  8. ^ a b c " – Ultra Naté – Automatic". Canciones Top 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  9. ^ "Club Music, Hot Dance Songs, Club Songs, Dance Club Music Charts". Billboard. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  10. ^ "Afi (4) - Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  11. ^ " - Afi (BE) - Automatic". Ultratip (in Dutch). ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  12. ^ Maura (2009-01-27). "Hot Leg Decide To Cool Down With Some Assless Chaps". Idolator. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
(The Pointer Sisters version)

May 26, 1984
Succeeded by
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran
Preceded by
"Rise" by Samantha James
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(Ultra Naté version)

April 28, 2007
Succeeded by
"With Love" by Hilary Duff