The song for which they are now best remembered, “Feel the Need in Me”, reached number 22 US R&B in 1973, and a new longer version four years later also charted. The original track made the top five in the UK Singles Chart in 1973, and the later production also made the UK chart in 1977 (number 12). “You Want It You Got It” was re-released in the UK as a follow-up to the initial “Feel the Need in Me”, also reaching the UK top 20 in 1973. Abrim Tilmon wrote all of their hits, while also arranging and producing the tracks. The horns and strings were arranged by the Grammy award-winning arranger, Johnny Allen. The horns and strings were recorded in Detroit with Carl Austin as concertmaster and Johnny Trudell leading the horns.

By 1974, the group was falling apart and, at one point, there were two outfits using the name. Abe Tilmon formed one new group using the Detroit Emeralds’ name, whilst James Mitchell, along with Marvin Willis, wrote for another group, the Floaters – Paul Mitchell of the Floaters being James’s brother. James Mitchell, Ivory Tilmon and Marvin Willis continued touring as the Detroit Emeralds and stayed active on the oldies and cabaret circuit for some years.