On this day in music history: August 8, 1980 -…

On this day in music history: August 8, 1980 – “Special Things”, the seventh album by The Pointer Sisters is released. Produced by Richard Perry, it is recorded at Studio 55 in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1980. Revamping their image and scoring a huge hit with the album “Energy” and its smash cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” (#2 Pop, #14 Pop), The Pointer Sisters follow it up with the less successful album “Priority” in the Fall of 1979. Along with producer Richard Perry (Carly Simon, Harry Nilsson, Leo Sayer), the sisters continue to refine their sound. Perry assembles a group of ace studio musicians including Ollie E. Brown, James Gadson, Ricky Lawson, Raymond Pounds (drums), Nathan Watts, James Jamerson, Jr. (bass), David Williams, Paul Jackson, Jr., Marlo Henderson, Ben Bridges, Tim May, Mark Goldenberg (guitar), Clarence McDonald, Greg Phillinganes, Tom Snow, John Barnes (keyboards), Gary Grant, Don Myrick, Trevor Lawrence, Bill Reichenbach, Jr., Chuck Findley, Slyde Hyde (horns) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion). Perry also pulls in material from legendary songwriters including Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, Cynthia Weil and Tom Snow. The first single released from the album is the Weil and Snow penned “He’s So Shy” (#3 Pop, #10 R&B, #13 AC). Originally written for British pop vocalist Leo Sayer as “She’s So Shy” in 1977, Sayer does not end up recording it, after Perry stops producing his records. The producer does see the hit potential of the song, and by changing the gender, feels that it could be a hit for The Pointer Sisters. Featuring lead vocals by June Pointer, the songs blend of girl group harmonies along with pop/new wave styled production, the mid tempo song is an across the board smash on pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary radio. The single propels the group into their most success period as hit makers, lasting well into the mid 80’s. Its popularity is so great, that they also release a Spanish language version titled “Es Tan Timido”. It is followed by “Could I Be Dreaming” (#52 Pop, #22 R&B), written by Anita Pointer, Trevor Lawrence and Marlo Henderson, with the song baring more than a passing resemblance to The Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)”. The album spins off a third and final single with “Where Did The Time Go” in February of 1981. “Special Things” belatedly makes its CD debut in 2007, when it is reissued by Wounded Bird Records, with the track “Movin’ On” (the non LP B-side of “He’s So Shy”) as an added bonus track. It is remastered and reissued by Big Break Records in 2010, with the same track listing. “Special Things” peaks at number nineteen on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty four on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.