Two Phases of Irma Thomas

Two Phases of Irma Thomas

by Irma Thomas
     
 
The First Lady of New Orleans Soul, Irma Thomas had been out of the music business for several years after Hurricane Camille tore through the Crescent City in 1969, but in 1973 Jerry Williams, Jr. (better known as R&B iconoclast Swamp Dogg) was serving as producer and A&R man for a new label, Fungus Records, and he persuaded Thomas to

Overview

The First Lady of New Orleans Soul, Irma Thomas had been out of the music business for several years after Hurricane Camille tore through the Crescent City in 1969, but in 1973 Jerry Williams, Jr. (better known as R&B iconoclast Swamp Dogg) was serving as producer and A&R man for a new label, Fungus Records, and he persuaded Thomas to return to the studio to cut a new album. The result, In Between Tears, was a triumph, an album that recast Thomas as a grown woman who sang about life and love with a hard-won sense of passionate commitment and emotional honesty, and her rich, gospel-influenced vocals were accompanied by some of the best musicians in Southern soul, among them Duane Allman (his performances were lifted from a 1971 session with Thomas), Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham, and the Memphis Horns. For reasons that defy conventional logic, Williams was not entirely happy with the album's production, and in 1993 he reissued the set as Turn My World Around with two songs clipped off, the sequence shuffled and, most importantly, new backing tracks that added synthesizers, booming digital drums, and a deeply echoey mix in a bid to make a timeless album sound "modern." Now Williams has reissued both versions of the album on a single CD through his Swamp Dogg Entertainment Group label as Two Phases of Irma Thomas, with the first 11 tracks comprising the original mix and sequence of In Between Tears, and tracks 12 through 20 featuring the Turn My World Around mixes. In his liner notes, Williams writes "Phase two kicks more funk where Phase One is the ultimate in Southern Soul and Blues," and his assessment is pretty accurate, but the after-the-fact electronic funk of Turn My World Around simply doesn't serve Thomas as well as the sweet and sour soul of In Between Tears, though her brilliant vocals shine like a diamond in either mix. Most fans of classic soul will probably want to program out the second half of Two Phases of Irma Thomas when they give it a spin, but at the very least this disc brings a lost classic back in print, and completists will appreciate that Williams has made it available with both versions on one disc.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/09/2007
Label:
S.D.E.G.
UPC:
0722247196321
catalogNumber:
1963
Rank:
191157

Tracks

  1. In Between Tears
  2. She'll Never Be Your Wife
  3. These Four Walls
  4. What's So Wrong with You Loving Me
  5. You're the Dog (But I Do the Barking Myself)
  6. Coming from Behind (Monologue)/Wish Someone Would Care [Medley]
  7. Turn Around My World
  8. We Won't Be in Your Way Anymore
  9. I'd Do It All Over You
  10. Save a Little Bit for Me
  11. That's How I Feel About You
  12. Turn My World Around
  13. These Four Walls
  14. You're the Dog (But I Do the Barking Myself)
  15. Coming from Behind (Monologue)
  16. Wish Someone Would Care
  17. In Between Tears
  18. She'll Never Be Your Wife
  19. We Won't Be in Your Way Anymore
  20. I'd Do It All Over You
  21. What's So Wrong with You Loving Me

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Irma Thomas   Primary Artist,Vocals
Memphis Horns   Horn
Jerry Williams   Piano
Charles G. Hayes   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Duane Allman   Guitar
Jesse Carr   Guitar
Charles Chalmers   Tenor Saxophone,Vocals,Background Vocals
Joe Davis   Trumpet
Joseph DeAngelis   French Horn
Swamp Dogg   Piano
Paul Hornsby   Organ
Wayne Jackson   Trumpet
Jimmy Johnson   Guitar
Jimmy Johnson   Guitar
Andrew Love   Tenor Saxophone
Floyd Newman   Baritone Saxophone
Spooner Oldham   Piano
Donna Rhodes   Background Vocals
Sandra Rhodes   Vocals,Background Vocals
Alan Schwartz   Guitar
Rodney Thomas   Piano
Eleanor Rigby   Vocals,Background Vocals
Sabrina Wilson   Vocals,Background Vocals
Joe Davis   Trumpet
Philadelphia Symphony   Strings
Robert "Pops" Popwell   Bass,Bass Guitar
Squirm   Drums
Rodney Thomas   Piano
Kenny Altbush   Drums
Donna Rhoden   Vocals
Jeanie Green   Vocals
Alan Schwartz   Guitar

Technical Credits

Jerry Williams   Arranger,Producer,Concept,Audio Production,Art Conception
Jim Hawkins   Engineer
Jimmy Johnson   Engineer
George McGregor   Arranger,Producer
Richard Rome   String Arrangements
Lynne Farr   Composer
Norman Whitfield   Engineer,Art Conception

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