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Album Review

The Emotions' third album for Columbia, Sunbeam was also their third recording under the direction of producer Maurice White. As White's signature can be detected throughout most of the compositions, he is humble enough to leave room for the Emotions to flourish vocally. This album featured the Top Ten hit "Smile." The aggressively paced number, from the simmering verses to the spellbinding change-up, bounces with effervescence. Uptempo as well, "Whole Lot of Shakin'" only managed to show at 44. "Walking the Line" has a hypnotizing rhythm and an even more magnetic melody. The cooing texture of the trios cohesive vocals gel with each note. This album is titled after the name the three were known by as young girls with their father, the Hutchinson Sunbeams.


Formed: 1968 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A trio of sisters with a strong gospel base, the Emotions (based in Chicago) were one of the leading female R&B acts of the '70s. Lead singer Sheila Hutchinson and her sisters Wanda and Jeanette were only teenagers when they crashed the soul charts in 1969 with the engaging "So I Can Love You," but they sang gospel as children and enjoyed secular fame locally before signing with Memphis-based Volt and working with producers Isaac Hayes and David Porter. When Stax folded...
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Sunbeam, The Emotions
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