Wish Someone Would Care/Take a Look

Wish Someone Would Care/Take a Look

by Irma Thomas


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Wish Someone Would Care/Take a Look

This two-fer CD includes the pair of long-players that Irma Thomas issued during her brief yet significant stint on Imperial Records. When they were first released, 1964's Wish Someone Would Care and 1966's Take a Look didn't garner the attention they most certainly deserved. However, to modern ears they are reminders of just how influential Thomas became to future generations of R&B vocalists. Her reign as "the Queen of New Orleans soul" actually predates these platters by several years, as "You Can Have My Husband (But Don't Mess with My Man)," "A Good Man," "Look Up," "It's Raining," and "Ruler of My Heart" (aka "Pain in My Heart") had all scored well on a regional level. In fact, the success of the latter pair -- penned by Allen Toussaint under the nom de plume of Naomi Neville -- enabled Thomas to be among those who transitioned to Imperial Records after they purchased the Nola-based Minit label in 1963. Wish Someone Would Care is marked by the skills of noted arranger H.B. Barnum, who isn't afraid to give Thomas the sonic support needed to make the most of her versatility. She illuminates the deeply soulful "I Need Your Love So Bad" and the remake of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love." However, she is probably best known for "Time Is on My Side" -- which resurfaced as a British Invasion hit for the still-wet-behind-the-ears Rolling Stones. Much closer to home, Thomas racked up kudos for her take on Jackie DeShannon's "Break-A-Way," again influencing a Brit as Tracey Ullman gave it an overhaul to great effect. Take a Look followed with the lion's share of the dozen songs provided by Toussaint -- again credited as Naomi Neville -- and Van McCoy. While his creative path as a songwriter, arranger, and producer in many ways mirrored that of Toussaint, McCoy's songs reflected an obvious interest in the minor chords and quirky phrasing discernible in Burt Bacharach's melodies, as is most evident on "It's Starting to Get to Me Now" and "Some Things You Never Get Used To." Meanwhile, Toussaint's tracks "Take a Look," "Teasing, But You're Pleasing," the Motor City soul attitude of "What Are You Trying to Do," and the gospel-meets-country & western "Wait, Wait, Wait" uniformly exemplify his seemingly innate capacity for composing to magnify the specific qualities and capabilities of the singer. The remainder of the effort is equally inspired, with Jerry Ragavoy's return to the blues "You Don't Miss a Good Thing (Until It's Gone)" and the propulsive "Baby, Don't Look Down" providing evidence of Thomas' stylistic malleability.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/05/2006
Label: Collectables
UPC: 0090431290620
catalogNumber: 2906

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