Featuring mostly electro-dance tunes, the album gave the Pointer Sisters the biggest success of their recording career, spawning four U.S. top 10 hits – "Jump (For My Love)," "Automatic," "Neutron Dance" and a remixed version of their 1982 hit "I'm So Excited." The latter was included on later editions of the album in the place of the track "Nightline." "Automatic" also became the group's biggest UK hit, peaking at #2 and certified "Silver" by the BPI. "Jump" also made the UK top 10, peaking at #6.
With the remix of "I'm So Excited" added to pressings of the album in mid-1984, a total of six singles were issued from Break Out. The first release was "I Need You," featuring a shared lead by the three Pointer Sisters. A mid-tempo number, it was atypical of the album's overall dance sound; the choice of the song as lead single was based on producer Richard Perry's hope that the track would reinstate the Pointer Sisters' presence at R&B radio. "I Need You" did become a major hit on the R&B chart in Billboard but did not reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, stalling at #48.
The dance track "Jump (For My Love)" (simply "Jump" on the first version of the album) with June Pointer on lead was intended to be the second single off Break Out; however, "Automatic" – another dance track – was substituted due to heavy radio and dance club airplay as an album track. The first major hit to feature the distinctive contralto of Ruth Pointer on lead, "Automatic" became the first Top 40 hit off Break Out, its #5 peak ending a three-year absence by the Pointer Sisters from the Top 10 of the Hot 100. "Automatic" also became the most successful R&B hit by the Pointer Sisters as a trio – its #2 R&B peak was bested by "How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick on the Side)", a 1975 #1 R&B hit by the group in its original four-woman format. "Jump (For My Love)" was afforded a single release as the follow-up to "Automatic" and, with a #3 peak, became the most successful single off Break Out.
The re-release of "I'm So Excited" – the one single from Break Out to feature a lead by Anita Pointer, who sang lead on most Pointer Sisters' hits – resulted in a third consecutive Top Ten hit for the group. Prior to Break Out, the Pointers had accumulated three earlier Top 10 hits over a 12-year recording career. "I'm So Excited" peaked at #9. After the Break Out track "Neutron Dance" with Ruth Pointer on lead was optioned for the soundtrack of the film Beverly Hills Cop, it became the fifth single and the album's fourth consecutive Top Ten hit, reaching #6 on the Hot 100 in February 1985. A sixth single, "Baby, Come and Get It" featuring June Pointer on lead, became a minor hit in the spring of 1985 (#44 Hot 100/ #24 R&B).
Break Out sold over three million copies in the US and won the group two Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards. The original and re-released versions of the album were remastered and issued in a deluxe expanded edition with bonus tracks on CD in 2011 by Big Break Records.
According to Ruth Pointer, she and her sisters were not happy with the title of Break Out. "We kept thinking of it as a rash or jail," she said.
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