After repeatedly failing to duplicate the success of 1964’s “Wish Someone Would Care,” her sole U.S. hit, Irma Thomas gave up on the big time and settled for local club dates and a day job at Montgomery Ward. I find such obscurity incredible for a singer of her strength.
If you listen to the evidence on Time Is on My Side—The Best of Irma Thomas, Vol. 1, I think you’ll agree. Her dynamic version of Jackie DeShannon’s “Breakaway” radiates personality and a seven-minute remake of the aforementioned 60s hit deserves to chart even higher than the original. If those tracks don’t win you over, try “Ruler of My Heart,” which offers one of the sultriest environments this side of the equator.