Irma Thomas - Time Is on My Side: The Best of Irma Thomas, Vol. 1



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Number of Discs
Release Date
Irma Thomas
CD / Album
Label / Studio
EMI Music Distribution

This 23-track compilation is one of two very generous, mostly overlapping Irma Thomas collections out there -- the other is Razor & Tie's Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans: The Irma Thomas Collection. The order here is strictly chronological, mostly going A-side by A-side on the Minit and Imperial singles, with some occasional leaps to the B-sides where they're relevant (and a lot of Thomas' B-sides were). All of it shows off the then twenty-something Thomas extending her range by leaps and bounds with each succeeding side, a level of subtle nuance added here, a prodigious burst of lung power there -- in the latter department, "Break-A-Way" and "Time Is on My Side" still comprise one of the great one-two punches in any artist's repertory. But the A-side of that last (which puts the Stones' version to shame), "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)," isn't to be missed, either. The second half of this collection is an overview of what should have been -- Thomas' early Imperial sides were her biggest, most recognizable hits, but the material that follows is definitely not filler, and why those songs never sold is anyone's guess. What's more, overlooking the unaccountably modest performance of records such as "He's My Guy" and "I'm Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry," there's just no explaining why the brace of unissued sides here, including her version of the Chantels' "Maybe," the Pomus-Shuman co-authored "Think Again," and the Bacharach-David "Live Again," never made it out the door. The latter song, in particular, could have given Thomas the mainstream success that eluded her after 1963. As it is, there's not a song here that doesn't hold up magnificently five decades later, even as the whole collection only whets the appetite for more of Thomas' music. ~ Bruce Eder

1) Take a Look
2) Time Is on My Side
3) Baby Don't Look Down
4) Times Have Changed
5) I Done Got Over It
6) It's Raining
7) Somebody Told You
8) Wait Wait Wait
9) Breakaway
10) I Haven't Got Time to Cry
11) Some Things You Never Get Used To
12) Look Up
13) Ruler of My Heart
14) I Need Your Love So Bad
15) Wish Someone Would Care
16) I Want a True True Love

Time Is on My Side: The Best of Irma Thomas, Vol. 1
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
Time Is on My Side: The Best of Irma Thomas, Vol. 1 | Irma Thomas