Tasteful 1992 stereo remixes of Irma's hits.
Stephen Espinola | Brooklyn NY | 02/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are actually two Irma Thomas CDs entitled "Time Is On My Side." I wrote a review about a 24-track 1996 CD on the Kent label with pink/white/black striping on the cover. My 5-star rating referred to that collection.
However, there is another, 23-track collection from 1992 on the EMI label, titled "Time Is On My Side: Best Of Irma Thomas Volume 1". It has a red cover very similar to the 1996 Razor and Tie "Sweet Soul Queen" collection. (Same picture, reversed.) It has a different (if overlapping) song selection from either of the other two collections. It contains three very hard-to-find tracks, "Maybe," "Think Again," and "Love Again." This collection has notes by Dawn Eden, and excellent annotations with recording sessions and release dates.
For a while, Amazon was displaying the wrong cover art for the EMI collection entitled "Time is On My Side....volume 1." As a result, it is not clear to me whether the various used copies of the CD are actually the Kent or EMI collections. They are probably usually the EMI, but it can't hurt to check with the seller.
Here's the track lineup:
1 Girl Needs Boy
2 It's Too Soon To Know
4 It's Raining
5 Two Winters Long
6 Ruler Of My Heart
7 While The City Sleeps
8 Wish Someone Would Care
10 Time Is On My Side
11 Anyone Who Knows What Love Is Will Understand
12 I Want A True, True Love
13 Think Again
14 Long After Tonight
15 Times Have Changed
16 He's My Guy
18 I'm Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry
19 Hurt's All Gone, The
20 Live Again
21 Some Things You Never Get Used To
22 It's Starting To Get To Me Now
23 Take A Look
Update: I just bought this CD. It's excellent. I still recommend the Kent CD as the best overall introduction to Irma, but collectors will be interested in this CD as well: It consists entirely of 1992 remixes by Ron Furmanek and Kevin Reeves. I am usually ideologically opposed to such maneuvers, but they did a good, tasteful job. (Ron Furmanek is among the few engineers who can remix 1960's material without it losing its magic.) Many of the original stereo mixes of this material had the band entirely in the right channel, Irma center, and occasional guitar solos and backing vocals in the left channel. These 1992 mixes redistribute the band into a balanced stereo image, and for the most part the results are an improvement. (Some of these remixes appear on the 1996 Kent CD as well.)
For comparison, the original mixes of many of these tracks can be found on the Razor And Tie collection "Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans," well mastered by Steve Hoffman.