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CATCH UP GROOVE/5: BLESSED: THE EMOTIONS ANTHOLOGY 1969 – 1985 (BBR)
A massive forty tracks here, and even more staggering – over half were US R&B hits of some degree or other. And if that wasn’t testament to these ladies’ talents, their producer was Mr Maurice White who noted: “Working with The Emotions gave me a chance to explore a softer, sweeter side of music. Their sound was unique…”. Won’t argue there cos isn’t “Boogie Wonderland” just the best? Anyway, as this Anthology covers sixteen years, there’s a switching of labels resulting in changeable music, almost breaking down the first disc as a soul dominated one, leaving the second to concentrate on dance. Kicking off with their early years with Stax, where they worked with Isaac Hayes and David Porter, we move through to the seventies at Columbia working with Maurice, and later Motown on to Red Label. (While at Motown they toured with the Commodores as I recall) To be frank, there’s no faulting their voices, nor the music of course, but some of the tracks are less attractive than others. Yet what is good is quite brilliant. Check out the funky sounding “Blind Alley”; “Stealing Love” with its Northern Soul slant; the pop hit “Best Of My Love”, or the uplifting “So I Can Love You”. Don’t forget the Motown released “Miss Your Love” either, from the 1985 “If I Only Knew” album. The Hutchinson girls – Wanda, Sheila, Jeanette – are not only tight as sisters but also in music. Jeanette left the membership during 1977 to be replaced by her younger sibling Pamela, and it’s this line-up that continues to work today.

Rating: 9


About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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