STARPOINT: ‘All Night Long’ (Label: PTG)

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STARPOINT: 'All Night Long'

The best thing about the ’80s Maryland group, Starpoint, was undoubtedly the alluring vocals of their feline-like front-person, Renee Diggs. A flexible vocalist who boasted prodigious lung power, she could raise the roof with stentorian, Chaka-esque wails on funky dance numbers and yet demonstrated a subtler, more sensitive approach on slower material. The group’s fourth long player for Chocolate City was 1983’s ‘All Night Long’ – reissued here for the first time by the Netherlands-based label, PTG – and it features Diggs in both uptempo and ballad settings. She’s fabulous on the sensuous title track, a nocturnal slow jam with an addictive chorus that starts off quietly and then builds to a histrionic emotional climax. The song was a minor US R&B chart entry back in the day but really deserved to be an even bigger commercial success. On the dance floor front, you’ll find the US hit, ‘Get Your Body Up,’ though I prefer ‘Bring Your Lovin’ Back’ and ‘Show Me’ – the first, with its tight, syncopated, bass-heavy groove, has all the components of the classic ’80s boogie sound, while the latter is rock-tinged and hints at the more overt crossover sound that Starpoint would embrace on their later records. Although the group would enjoy greater Stateside chart success in the two or three years following this set, ‘All Night Long’ is probably the most cohesive and consistent album this Maryland quintet created. If you have trouble tracking it down, try
(CW) 4/5