Irma Thomas: Time is on My Side


Time is on My Side


Irma Thomas (vocals)


Time is on My Side (Kent Soul 9671)

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Irma Thomas (vocals),

with unidentified band


Composed by Norman Meade (Jerry Ragovoy) and Jimmy Norman


Recorded: Los Angeles, 1964


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Give the Rolling Stones some credit. No one saw this song as a potential hit until the British rockers put it on the charts in the Fall of 1964. A few months earlier, Irma Thomas's record label had buried her rendition of "Time is on My Side" on the B-side of the single "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is." The song had been recorded previously by Kai Winding (check out the strangeness here), but the Stones relied instead on Thomas's version with its expanded lyrics.

The New Orleans R&B diva got no satisfaction from seeing the young rockers' success - and was so upset that, for a time, she only performed it in response to determined requests from the audience. Her intense 1964 version is no less stirring for its flip-side status, and one could easily imagine it becoming a hit on its own. But even if time wasn't on her side in this instance, Thomas proved resilient: at the close of 1964 she released another single - "Times Have Changed," a song which sounded somewhat similar to the hit record of her British rivals.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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