The First Lady of New Orleans Soul, Irma Thomas' career had many stops and starts; she never caught on with a big label, and bounced between smaller concerns, being most famous for how deft of a live performer she was than her studio output, a superstar in Louisiana, but a curio outside it.
In 1967, after moderately successful albums with the local Imperial, she went north from New Orleans to record at the FAME studios in Muscle Shoals where Aretha Franklin became a star at the behest of Chess Records, who aimed to turn her into the next Etta James. For reasons that are not clear, Chess released a couple singles from the FAME sessions, but never actually put all the songs Thomas recorded there in LP form. It would take until a Japanese release in 1984 for these songs to see full release; it is today, in 2021, as much as it was in 1984, a drop-down soul classic, an impactful, fantastic album that is a giant what-if? Thomas might have gotten her flowers much sooner if this had come out back then. You can fix that now.