Saturday, 23 January 2021

The Detroit Emeralds

You Want It You Got It (1972)

You Want It You Got It/There's A Love For Me Somewhere/I'll Never Sail The Sea Again/Take My Love/Feel The Need In Me/I've Got To Move/Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)/I Bet You Get The One You Love/Till You Decide To Come Home

In the early seventies, three-man vocal group The Detroit Emeralds always seemed to be in the shadow of The Detroit Spinners, which was not surprising as the latter had lots of hits and this group had just the two. This 1972 album was the only one that seemed to do the rounds of the record shops - love the Blaxploitation-style cover too. The group were characterised by their excellent shared vocals and brassy grooving, soulful sound enhanced by some great bass lines. There is a bit of an urban grittiness to this album that I find draws me to it.

You Want It You Got It is incredibly catchy and overflowing with kick-ass brass breaks, fatback drums and great multi-vocals. It was a hit in the UK, reaching number 12 in 1971. I don’t remember it from the time, though. The beautifully bassy There's A Love For Me Somewhere and I'll Never Sail The Sea Again are both quality soul ballads, the latter being the slower and slightly less brassy of the two. It still carries some fine, subtle brass itself, however. 

Take My Love is a sublime slowie featuring some sumptuous saxophone and another rumbling bass line. It is a song with a really attractive, deeply soulful sound to it. I like it a lot. Then, of course, there is the wonderful single and their biggest hit Feel The Need In Me. I remember absolutely loving the upbeat, soulful strains of the song back in 1972-73 and the passing of time hasn't affected that at all. I played it endlessly on my little portable tape recorder back then and I still love it to bits. Check out that pounding beat, sweet strings and intuitively soulful vocal. The track cooks to boiling point from the very first note - sweeter to me than cherry pie indeed. It was one of the first records to really get me into soul as a genre.

I've Got To Move suffers a bit from a strangely muffled production but it finds the group getting all funky in convincingly fashion with the obligatory wah-wah guitars to the fore - this is a great funky little rarity. Slightly less funky but still bubbling nicely is the brassy, insistent, seductive bedroom groove of Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms). A similar horn-powered oomph can be found on the down 'n' dirty soul of I Bet You Get The One You Love. This appealing album ends with a soulful ballad in Till You Decide To Come Home. This is another in a long, long list of little-known but really high quality seventies soul offerings. Even seemingly average stuff was good back then, wasn’t it?

Related posts :-
Detroit Spinners
The Delfonics
The Eliminators


  1. its weird that I never heard Detroit Emeralds before. I recognize the name though but never knew anything they did. You say they're like The Spinners and I love the Spinners.

  2. I'm surprised you didn't know Feel The Need In Me.