Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs

Irma Thomas Songs

Feature Photo: ETownHall, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list focuses on a legendary soul singer known for being the Soul Queen of New Orleans. We want to spotlight an outstanding singer. Irma Thomas knows how to interpret songs. She puts her heart and soul into the lyrics and melodies written for her. The soul singer knows how to bring songs to life. Irma Thomas has been in the music business for decades and remains a magnificent artist.

Her career began in 1960 with the release of “(You Can Have My Husband, But Please) Don’t Mess with My Man.” The hit song reached number 22 on the Billboard R&B charts. Her classics include “Ruler of My Heart,” “I’ve Done Got Over It,” “It’s Raining,” “Time Is on My Side,” “Break-A-Way,” “Times Have Changed,” and “Something Things You Never Get Used To.” Irma Thomas penned her biggest hit, “Wish Someone Would Care” in 1963. The song peaked at number 17 on the Pop charts.

Irma Thomas has a way with aching ballads that touch your heart. Her feistiness shines on dance tracks. The emotional depth of her music allows her to remain relevant in the industry. Irma Thomas’ talent matches the level of Aretha Franklin and Etta James despite never achieving the same success.

Irma Lee was born on February 18, 1941. Like most artists, she got her start singing in the church choir. Her emotional vocals defied her age. By the time she was 19, she had been married twice with four small children. Her dramatic life makes a great story. She recorded the hit single “(You Can Have My Husband, But Please) Don’t Mess with My Man” in 1959. The success of the track opened the doors for the singer. She released other singles under the label. After she signed with Minit, she released a string of classic songs. When the label folded, she signed with Imperial Records. It became a match made in heaven. Irma Thomas recorded her biggest hit, “Wish Someone Would Care.”

The gifted singer/songwriter faced adversity with one of her songs. Legendary rock band The Rolling Stones covered her version of “Time Is on My Side.” The band recorded her version but did not give her credit. She felt bitter about the situation but continued to record music. Irma Thomas signed with Chess Records. She had some success at the label when she recorded a song by Otis Redding. “Good to Me” appeared on the R&B charts. Throughout her career, she label-hopped because record companies had difficulties promoting her.

Irma Thomas left the business to do various jobs. She moved back to New Orleans and became a popular live performer. The artist had a comeback in the 1980s when The New Rules premiered. She received her first Grammy nomination for the project. In 1998, she received another Grammy nomination. Irma Thomas recorded several studio and compilation albums throughout her illustrious career.

Our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list celebrates an artist who won the hearts of fans for decades. Her vocals make you sit up and pay attention. She sings songs that hit close to home with fans. Irma Thomas’ vocals drip with soul. People love her voice because of her honesty. She performs as if she’s having a conversation with fans. Irma Thomas shows her soul and keeps it realistic with her audience. She sings what she believes in, and we respect her for it.

# 10 – Times Have Changed

The tenth track on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list is “Times Have Changed” from the Take a Look album. Irma Thomas released the track in 1964. She sings about a woman who used to cater to her man. The woman would do everything he said. Things changed, and now she refuses to listen to him. He can no longer hurt her. She doesn’t love him anymore and won’t take his abuse. As the song progresses, we learn that she meets a new man. He made her forget everything about the past. Her broken heart finally healed.

“Times Have Changed” is an anthem about empowerment. She proved that you could stand up to people who put you down. There’s no need to stay with a person who disrespects. The lyrics read like a mantra for self-worth. If you are in a toxic relationship, Irma Thomas’ advice might help. The instrumentation features a classic soul sound. Her soulful delivery sells the song. She makes you believe you can move on from a tumultuous relationship. Her vocals are powerful and uplifting. She hits a vocal home run with this track. We love the little laugh during the halfway point of the song. It adds to the endearment of the track. She recorded the melody in the 1960s, but it works today.

# 9 – She’ll Never Be Your Wife

The ninth pick on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list is “She’ll Never Be Your Wife” from the In Between Tears album. Irma Thomas premiered the melody in 1973. The song is about a woman who can’t compete with an ex. He compares her to his former girlfriend. She’s not the one he loved in the past. He thinks about his ex all the time. The singer would rather walk away than get compared to another woman. She has too much pride to settle for being second best.

The introspective song teaches listeners not to settle for being second best in a relationship. We love songs that teach a lesson. Irma Thomas has too much love for herself to allow a man to make her feel unworthy of his love. The lyrics resonate with anyone who feels unappreciated in a relationship. We empathize with her because no one wants to feel unloved or compared to another person. Irma Thomas says the words we long to say in situations like this. She nails the vocals with her soulful delivery. Her sassiness shines throughout the song. Irma Thomas’ impeccable phrasing sells the tune. The song features soul and R&B music, which matches the theme of the lyrics. We enjoyed the piano and drums, which set the song on fire.

# 8 – Take a Look

“Take a Look” is the eighth pick on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list. She recorded the track on the album of the same name in 1965. The love song discusses her feelings about the man she loves. She wants him to love her. Her arms are the ones that are going to hug him. The singer dedicates her life to the man she loves. She will do anything to get him to be with her. When the time comes, she wants a commitment. Her empty finger needs his ring.

The romantic track tells a realistic story about a woman who wants a man to fall in love with her. She’s determined to win the heart of the man she loves. We love the universal lyrics because they apply to women and men. She told the story from a woman’s point of view, but men relate to it. Anyone in love knows how Irma Thomas feels when she describes the object of her desire. The song gained a new light by appearing in commercials. It has crossover appeal and reaches fans of various genres of music. The lyrics speak to your heart and soul. It features orchestral music that grabs your attention instantly. The string section touches your heart. Irma Thomas sounds vulnerable as she recites the lyrics. She uses the right emotion to deliver a stellar performance.

# 7 – He’s My Guy

“He’s My Guy” is from the Take a Look album. Irma Thomas released the track in 1966. The song details a woman’s unconditional love for the man in her life. People say things about him, but she loves him anyway. If he left, it would break her heart. She promised to remain by his side for life. No other man kisses her the way he does. She melts in his arms when he holds her. They connect on every level.

The heartfelt lyrics express love and devotion for the man in her life. She appreciates him and loves him unconditionally. If you are in love, you understand what Irma Thomas means. It captures how it feels to be in a committed relationship. We long for unconditional love in our lives. The music features an enjoyable doo-wop vibe that adds a spark to the sound. Irma Thomas sings in a lower pitch in the track. It allows her to show off her versatility. Irma Thomas was in her mid-twenties when she recorded the song, but the emotional depth in her voice makes her sound mature beyond her years. Her church background shows in the song. The background singers do a great job supporting her throughout the track.

# 6 – Time Is on My Side

“Time Is on My Side” is from the Wish Someone Would Care album. It debuted in 1964. Most rock fans know this song from the Rolling Stones hit version. However, this was not an original Rolling Stones song. It was written by Norman Meade, a.k.a. Jerry Ragovoy. It was the Irma Thomas version listed here that inspired to record there soon to become famous version. The song is about a woman’s boyfriend wanting to be free. She believes he will come back to her. If he comes back, she will be happy because she wants him back. She wants him to do what he needs to do before he returns. The singer wants to wait for him until he reunites with her.

The compelling song is about a woman waiting for her man to return. She has faith that he wants to come back home. The lyrics convey a message of hope and longing. People have trouble letting go when it comes to relationships. Irma Thomas tells listeners it’s okay to remain hopeful that your lover will return. We enjoy the emotional journey she takes us on throughout the track. Irma Thomas delivers a powerhouse performance when she expresses her desire to wait for her man. The gut-wrenching music infuses blues and soul effortlessly. It features an infectious chorus that allows Irma Thomas to show off her strong vocals. She invites listeners to sing along with her.

Read More: Top 10 Rolling Stones Songs Of The 1960s

# 5 – Good to Me

The fifth song on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list is “Good to Me.” Irma Thomas released the non-album single in 1968. The song describes a woman loving a man for a long time. She doesn’t know what he does, but he makes her feel good. He made her happy for over 20 years. She wants the relationship to last forever. His affectionate gestures continue to turn her on.

“Good to Me” conveys a message of undying love. A great partner makes a difference in your life. Falling in love is a common theme in R&B music. The heartfelt lyrics make you a believer in love. When you need a song to celebrate your love, play the tender ballad. It features smooth R&B music, which works for the bedroom and dance floor. The music drips with soul and rhythm designed to reel you in. Irma Thomas remade Otis Redding’s song. She remained faithful to the original version. Her gut-wrenching vocals reach into your soul. Irma Thomas didn’t write the track but made the song her own.

Read More: Top 10 Otis Redding Songs

# 4 – Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)

“Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” is from the Take a Look album. It debuted in 1966. The song talks about a woman suffering from verbal abuse. He puts her down, but she loves him. If he cheats on her, she will stay by his side. People think she should leave him. They don’t see him the way she does. She believes people in love know why she stays with him. People pity her, but she feels sorry for them. They have no idea what it’s like to be in love.

The song tackles emotional abuse. It depicts a woman loving a man despite his flaws and actions. Listeners understand what she means if they love people with flaws. The lyrics delve into the seriousness of unconditional love. Irma Thomas proves you can love someone beyond their faults. It features soft music, which allows listeners to focus on Irma Thomas’ talented vocals. If you can get over the theme of emotional abuse, the song has a beautiful melody. The lyrics are ahead of its time because toxic relationships still exist. Despite the theme of the track, Irma Thomas sounds angelic. Her breathtaking vocals make you feel the words she’s saying.

# 3 – (You Can Have My Husband, But Please) Don’t Mess with My Man

The third pick on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list is “(You Can Have My Husband, But Please) Don’t Mess with My Man).” Irma Thomas released the non-album track in 1959. The song tells a story about a woman putting other females on notice about her guy. Her husband put her down while they were together. He disrespects her all the time. She wants someone to take him. He never respects her and verbally abuses her. If another woman desired him, she would be okay with it. As the song continues, she meets a new man. He treats her like a queen. Her man buys fancy things and treats her right. She wants to hold on to her new man and wants women to stay away. If they want a man, her ex is free for them.

The anthemic track puts women on notice for going after her man. Irma Thomas boldly informs women to take her ex and not her boyfriend. We applaud the creativity of the story. She talks about her ex and the way he treated her. Her new man treats her better than her ex. It gives listeners hope that love will come their way again. Most women wouldn’t want people going after their husbands. The song is ahead of its time. It sounds like something that could happen today. We applaud Irma Thomas for recording a tune that resonates with listeners decades after its release. The music fits the year she recorded it. It has a 50s sound. The pianist and saxophonist stand out the most. They make the song come alive. The melody sounds incredible. It blends blues and jazz music effortlessly. Irma Thomas sings with the right sassiness to pull off the song. She takes no prisoners when she puts other women on notice about her man. Her vocals are what the doctor ordered.

# 2 – Break-A-Way

“Break-A-Way” is from the Wish Someone Would Care album. It hit the shelves in 1964. The song is about a woman who wants to break up with her boyfriend but has trouble walking away. She convinces herself to leave but never does it. He hurts her and makes her cry. In the second verse, she vows to break up with him. He won’t change her mind about leaving. Apologies are not enough anymore. Unfortunately, she finds herself staying with him.

The song deals with the emotional struggle of leaving a toxic relationship. She wants to leave but can’t find the strength to go. Irma Thomas portrays a woman torn between her emotional attachment and freedom. Her man breaks her heart, but she can’t leave him. We sympathize with her because walking away isn’t always easy. Anyone torn between walking away knows the story. Irma Thomas lets listeners know they are not alone. Despite the melancholy theme, the music has an upbeat vibe. It keeps you from being sad while you listen to it. The track features hand claps in the background, which allow you to clap along to the beat. Irma Thomas sings with the emotion needed to pull the song off.

# 1 – Wish Someone Would Care

The number one pick on our Top 10 Irma Thomas Songs list is “Wish Someone Would Care” from the album of the same name. It debuted in 1964. The song is about a woman facing her emotional struggles. She wonders how many people see the misery behind her smiles. The singer thinks about her life and wonders if anyone cares about her happiness. What do people think about her tribulations? Her smile hides a lot of her pain. She wishes people would care about her feelings.

Irma Thomas wrote a reflective song about smiles hiding pain. It sheds light on mental health. We applaud Irma Thomas for writing a track about a subject people ignored. With everything happening in the world, the timeless track remains relevant. It resonates with people hiding behind fake smiles. We find ourselves wondering who cares about our feelings. The song is a soul masterpiece with sizzling instrumentation and electrifying vocals. Irma Thomas sings the tune as if she’s going through the situation. Her raw vocals soar throughout the song. She makes you sit up and take notice of her powerful vocals. It proves that Irma Thomas deserves more recognition for her outstanding vocal ability.


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