The Essex's lead singer Anita Humes sounded and looked like Florence Ballad (Supremes). She must have been a huge fan of early Motown, because many of these selections mimic the sound. Humes and the rest of the group -- Walter Vickers, Rodney Taylor, Rudy Johnson, and Billie Hill -- were active Marine Corps members when the bubblegum-ish "Easier Said Than Done" zoomed to Number 1 on July 6, 1963. Collectables combined their two most successful albums on this CD. Walkin' Miracle, which was similar to Easier . . . shot to Number 12, their only other chart record was "She's Got Everything" (included), but don't let that put you off. Their two big hits were aberrations, they had a much more soulful persona as they prove on "I Love Her," and "Every Night," which sounds like Smokey Robinson's productions on Mary Wells with the Lovetones accompanying. "Whenever I Need My Baby" showcases the fellas' pleasant harmony. They weren't the Moonglows, but were smooth, crooners who blended in unison. Contains some good ballads, exquisitely done by Humes including "All in My Mind" and upbeat numbers like Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." Listening to Humes you wonder why Berry Gordy didn't give her a call for the Supremes gig when Florence got the pink slip.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton