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A Few Strong Moments From The Atlantic Records Archives
on 17 March 2014
What a nice surprise to hear some unissued tracks from Irma Thomas, who is usually associated with the best of New Orleans music. Here the majority are from an unreleased album for Atlantic/Cotillion from the early 70s. Just two of the fifteen cuts, namely 'Full Time Woman' & 'She's Taken My Part' were released in 1971. These cuts and 'All I Wanna Do Is Save You' originated from the Malaco studios with New Orleans producer Wardell Quezegue at the helm. They stand out for their quality and make this collection thoroughly worthwhile.
The remainder of this unissued LP were cut at Detroit, Miami and Philadelphia studios and are not as strong but do contain some enjoyable moments. 'It's Eleven O'clock' has a 'news report' style opening that is fun and is a strong example of 70s soul albeit without stretching Thomas' vocals whilst the last cut 'Adam & Eve' is pure Philly-soul and showcases an ununsual setting for Irma. In honesty some of the rest is a tad uninteresting. Her record company didn't release the album partly because they didn't think she was commercial anymore. There may be truth in this as the material doesn't compare in strength to the Imperial years in the 60s or indeed to her last fifteen years or so. In conclusion, a decent, enjoyable set that doesn't represent her best material but nevertheless has some quality high-lights and of course, it's Irma Thomas who was one of the very best.