How Ultra Naté Reinvented “Automatic”


How Ultra Naté Reinvented “Automatic”

If you’re looking for some top-tier ’80s style dance pop to get your summer on the roll, this week’s flashback track was meant for you. Originally by the Pointer Sisters, “Automatic” is an upbeat anthem that never fails to get people dancing. The original track is fantastic; however, today, we’ll be listening to the iconic Ultra Naté cover that gave the song an indeed 2007 twist.


Ultra Naté

Ultra Naté Wyche (known to her fans as Ultra Naté) is an American singer/songwriter with an incredible career spanning several decades. With countless chart-topping singles and a uniquely vibrant style, her music has always been filled with the kind of over-the-top energy and excitement that dance music is made of.

In December 2016, Billboard Magazine chose to rank her as the 12th most successful dance artist of all time.

Automatic (1983)

The original ” Automatic ” release by the Pointer Sisters is about as ’80s synth as you can get. With a gloriously retro sound, this song is ’80s futurism at its best complete with deep, resonant drum beats and laser-like sound effects.

At the same time, like all the best songs, beneath the ’80s aesthetic, there’s an excellent songwriting core that, looking back, seems like it was just waiting for an update.

Automatic (2007)

So how did Ultra Naté reinvent “Automatic”? First of all, a cursory glance at the music video will tell you that any reservations the original track might have had are now entirely gone. Featuring scintillating spicy images of male models and its fair share of leather, the video unashamedly breaks the predominant straight male-gaze conventions you might see in other music videos of the period, giving us something exciting and memorable.

But the differences don’t stop at the music video. This cover of the song is a complete update – as distinctly 2007 as the original was the ’80s. Listening to the two side by side is like an instant lesson in the history and development of dance music.

Gone – or at least significantly dialed down – are the synths, replaced with a more modern drum and bass beat. Gone too are the laser sounds and in their place, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the cracking of a whip.


The Ultra Naté cover was, perhaps unsurprisingly, well received by the dance scene as a whole, and although some credit has to go to that fantastic music video, the song’s successful chart performance across Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the US demonstrates that it had a broader club appeal.

While both versions of the song have their place in dance music history, the 2007 version remains the more memorable and distinctive of the two. That being said, four decades have now passed from the release of the original song, while only fifteen years have passed since the 2007 cover, and while the EDM world has moved on and changed in those fifteen years, the 2007 track bears a much closer resemblance to modern club music than the original.

All this to say, could “Automatic” be ripe for another cover in just a few years? Perhaps, but for now, the 2007 version will remain our favorite.

But which version do you prefer? Why not tweet us @nexusradiodance to let us know?

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