There was a time, in the early-mid 1970s, when US soul vocal groups were frequent and welcome visitors to both the UK charts and the UK touring circuit. The faces of the Chi-Lites, Stylistics, Drifters, Chairmen Of The Board and others of that calibre were as familiar here as any of out home grown acts. The same can be said for the Detroit Emeralds, whose local profile was created in 1973 with UK chart hits such as ‘Feel The Need In Me’ and ‘I Think Of You’ plus “Abe, James And Ivory” – a UK-only compilation album of their best Westbound recordings, assembled to capitalise on their immense popularity.
The group splintered in 1974 but its original membership came back together in 1977 following the global success of a remixed-for-the-discos version of ‘Feel The Need’ and an attendant album of remixes to complement the three they released between 1971 and 1974 – all available in one form or another on Kent or UK Westbound.
“Let’s Get Together”, was the Detroit Emeralds’ fifth and final album for Westbound. Plus the lengthy Tom Moulton remix of ‘I just Don’t Know About This Girl Of Mine’ previously only available as the flip of the US 12”, ‘Turn On Lady’.
“Let’s Get Together” offers plenty for all lovers of harmony-filled group soul. The trio’s chief songwriter and original member Abe Tilmon was back on board, in a non performing capacity after a leave of absence, bringing with him a pile of great new songs and productions that were very much on a par with the Emeralds’ best early 70s sides. The album was recorded in Detroit and Memphis with some of the best musicians of the time, and Johnny Allen’s arrangements are every bit as fine as those of the group’s hit making days and James Mitchell’s lead vocals are first rate as always. It’s a fine offering remastered from new transfers of the original Westbound tapes.
By Tony Rounce