Automatic (Pointer Sisters song)

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"Automatic"
Automatic45.jpg
Single by The Pointer Sisters
from the album Break Out
B-side "Nightline"
Released January 13, 1984
Format
Recorded 1983 (Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length 4:48 (album version)
3:59 (radio version)
6:06 (extended version)
Label Planet
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Richard Perry
The Pointer Sisters singles chronology
"I Need You"
(1983)
"Automatic"
(1984)
"Jump (For My Love)"
(1984)
"I Need You"
(1983)
"Automatic"
(1984)
"Jump (For My Love)"
(1984)

"Automatic" is a song by American vocal group The Pointer Sisters, released by the Planet label on January 13, 1984 as the second single from their tenth studio album Break Out (1983).

"Automatic" reached position number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became one of the Pointers' signature songs. Eventually, three other singles from Break Out reached the top-ten on the Hot 100 consecutively. Billboard named the song #94 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[1]

The Pointer Sisters version[edit]

According to Ruth Pointer, "Automatic" was the final song chosen for Breakout: "We were taking a break from recording in the office of Jim Tract, who was Richard Perry's right-hand man, and Jim mentioned that he had a stash of tapes we might want to listen to [while on] a breather...We all sat up straight when we first heard ['Automatic'] and told Richard we wanted to include it on the album. 'Okay', he said 'But who would sing the low part?' 'Are you kidding me?' I said, 'I'll do the low part!'"[2]

Although Break Out largely comprised dance tracks, its lead single was the ballad "I Need You", chosen by producer Richard Perry in hopes of reinforcing the Pointer Sisters presence at R&B radio: the dance track "Jump (for My Love)" was intended as the second single but the heavy airplay afforded "Automatic" as an album cut by both dance clubs and radio stations caused the substitution of "Automatic" for "Jump..." as the second single release from Break Out, although "Jump..." would become the most successful US single off Break Out when it became the album's third single.[3] The first Top 40 hit to feature Ruth Pointer's distinctive contralto on lead, "Automatic" reached #5 on the Hot 100 in Billboard in April 1984, also charting on the magazine's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Dance Club Play rankings, its #2 R&B chart peak making "Automatic" the highest charting R&B hit by the Pointer Sisters as a trio (in their original four-woman format the Pointer Sisters did score an R&B #1 hit with "How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick on the Side)"). Holding "Automatic" out of the top position of the R&B chart (for three weeks) was "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell.

In the British Isles, "Automatic" would afford the Pointer Sisters their all-time biggest hit, spending two weeks at #2 on the UK chart in May, 1984 when it also reached #1 in Ireland. "Automatic" also afforded the Pointer Sisters Top-Ten success in Belgium (#5 on the Flemish chart), the Netherlands (#9), and New Zealand (#8): in Australia "Automatic" reached a chart peak of #15. The B-side of "Automatic" was "Nightline" featuring June Pointer on lead: "Nightline was also originally featured on Break Out but was dropped from later pressings of the album to allow for the inclusion of the remix of "I'm So Excited".

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Ultra Naté cover[edit]

"Automatic"
Ultra Naté Automatic cover.jpg
Single by Ultra Naté
from the album Grime, Silk, & Thunder
Released 2007
Length 4:58
Label Tommy Boy Entertainment
Songwriter(s) Brock Walsh, Mark Goldenberg
Ultra Naté singles chronology
"Love's the Only Drug"
(2006)
"Automatic"
(2007)
"Give It All You Got"
(2007)
"Love's the Only Drug"
(2006)
"Automatic"
(2007)
"Give It All You Got"
(2007)
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. This version appeared briefly in a nightclub scene of Looking: The Movie in 2016.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Automatic" was directed by Karl Giant.[27] 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.[28] Then Naté appears in a blow-up doll costume,[27] 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."[28]

Track listing[edit]

  • Belgian CD maxi-single[29]
  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[30]
  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

Charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
Position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[31] 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[31] 86
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31] 5
US Hot Dance Airplay (Billboard) 18
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[32] 1

Cover versions and adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ Pointer, Ruth; Terrill, Marshall (2016). Still So Excited!: my life as a Pointer Sister. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-62937-145-0. 
  3. ^ Billboard vol 96 No. 46 (17 November 1984) p. 78
  4. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Pointer Sisters – Automatic" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30". Top 30 (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6742." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Automatic". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Pointer Sisters – Automatic" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 25, 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Pointer Sisters – Automatic". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Lista Przebojów Programu 3" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "May 1984/ Archive Chart: 19 May 1984" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  14. ^ "The Pointer Sisters – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Pointer Sisters. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Billboard April 14, 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 14 April 1984. p. 26. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  16. ^ "Billboard Jan. 21, 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 21 January 1984. p. 45. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  17. ^ "The Pointer Sisters – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for The Pointer Sisters. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  18. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MARCH 31, 1984". Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2016.  Cash Box magazine.
  19. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "Ultratop Jaaroverzichten 1984". Ultratop 50 (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  21. ^ "Dutch Charts Jaaroverzichten Single 1984". Single Top 100 (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  22. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1984". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "Official New Zealand Music Chart – End of Year Charts 1984". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  24. ^ 1984 in British music#Best-selling singles
  25. ^ a b c "Volume 96 No. 51, DECEMBER 22. 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 22 December 1984. p. TA-19,TA-21,TA-25. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  26. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1984". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2014.  Cash Box magazine.
  27. ^ a b Slompwicz, DJ Ron (25 May 2007). "Ultra Naté – Grime, Silk & Thunder Interview". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (7 May 2007). "Ultra Naté: Grime Silk Thunder". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  29. ^ "Ultra Naté – Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  30. ^ "Ultra Naté – Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  31. ^ a b c "Spanishcharts.com – Ultra Naté – Automatic". Canciones Top 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  32. ^ "Club Music, Hot Dance Songs, Club Songs, Dance Club Music Charts". Billboard. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  33. ^ Burr, Elliot (14 August 2016). "Classic Album Review – Volume 6: Fever 105 – GTA Vice City O.S.T.". The Panoptic. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  34. ^ "Afi (4) – Automatic (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Zinc Media, Inc. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Afi (BE) – Automatic". Ultratip (in Dutch). ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  36. ^ Maura (27 January 2009). "Hot Leg Decide To Cool Down With Some Assless Chaps". Idolator. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 

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