Amazing box set – five full albums of material, plus lots of bonus tracks too! First up is Flowers – a soaring classic from The Emotions – thanks to some supreme help from the Earth Wind & Fire side of the soul spectrum! This set has the trio really sounding great – with Kalimba Productions by Maurice White and Charles Stepney – and a good deal of EWF help on the instrumentation as well! The girls break out of the rootsier style used on their earlier Stax recordings, and manage to fit perfectly with the jazzy tinges of the new grooves – and, along with Ramsey Lewis
and EWF, the Emotions were part of a hugely successful trinity during the late 70s – one that took the indie soul roots of the Chicago scene and turned it into landmark big business for Columbia Records. The album's got a new approach to female group soul that would go onto shape R&B for years to come – and titles include "Flowers", "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love", "We Go Through Changes", "Special Part", and "You've Got The Right To Know". Next is Rejoice – a huge hit for both The Emotions and Maurice White – whose Kalimba Productions handled this album in the same hit mode they'd been using for Earth Wind & Fire! There's a polished, soaring bounce her that definitely shows the Earth Wind & Fire touch – and which takes the girls miles from their rougher, rootsier soul of the Stax/
Volt years – yet like all the best EWF records of the time, the sound is also plenty soulful, with lots of righteous undercurrents. The album includes the group's wonderful track "Don't Ask My Neighbors", a heavenly tune that builds on a long tradition of sweet female soul from Chicago; the super-huge "Best Of My Love", a hit on dancefloors and radios for years to come – and many other nice numbers like "Blessed", "How'd I Know That Love Would Slip Away", and "Key To My Heart". Sunbeam is great little album from The Emotions – largely because it sounds a lot like prime mid 70s Earth Wind & Fire, with female vocals added over the top – ultimately, pulling away with a soulful charm all its own! Maurice White produced the whole set, and it's got a soaring spacey sound that provides a perfect spiritual edge to the girls vocals – taking them way past the hits, into much more sophisticated soul territory. There's a beautifully righteous vibe going on throughout – a sound that's almost like Minnie Riperton at her 70s Capitol best – and titles include "Love Vibes", "Walking The Line", "Time Is Passing By", "I Wouldn't Lie", "Smile", and "Spirit Of Summer". Come Into Our World has the sweet Emotions at the top of their game – one of the brilliant albums that has the soulful trio working hand in hand with Earth Wind & Fire! The girls were plenty great in their early years, but working with Maurice White and company, they really took off – hitting a whole new level that really unlocked some deeply spiritual power in their vocals! And sure, the approach also yielded the group plenty of hits – but for good reason, too – given the classic quality and all-great nature of a set like this. Maurice White produced, and the lineup is filled with plenty of Earth Wind & Fire players too – working with some great arrangements from Tom Tom 84, Wade Marcus, and others. Tunes are balanced between clubby numbers and some nice midtempo moments – and titles include "Where Is Your Love", "Cause I Love You", "Come Into My World", "On & On", "I Should Be Dancing", "Layed Back", and "Yes I Am". New Affair has The Emotions breaking free a bit from the Earth Wind & Fire influence, and grooving nicely with a sweet 80s feel! The girls' voices are still quite wonderful – some of the deepest harmonies in the female soul world at the time – and the tunes kick it up nicely in a blend of snapping bassy club tracks and mellower cuts that sweetly sway with their great vocals! Loads of wonderful tracks – and an album not to miss! Titles include "Turn It Out", "There'll Never Be Another Moment", "Now That I Know", "Love Lies", "When You Gonna Wake Up", and "Here You Come Again". 3CD set features 8 bonus tracks – including "Boogie Wonderland (12" mix", "Don't Ask My Neighbors (single version)", "I Should Be Dancin (single version)", "My Baby Dance", "Changes", "Where Is Your Love (single version)", and "Flowers (single version)".