Barbara Mason's second and final LP for Arctic Records was released three years after her first. The Arctic label released 60 records before folding; 14 were Mason releases. Jimmy Bishop, a Philadelphia DJ, owned the label and included "Yes, I'm Ready" on this collection to bolster sales, since all of Mason's Arctic hits except the title track are on her debut. Incidentally, that's Kenny Gamble crooning backing vocals on "Ready"; Gamble also recorded for Arctic and wrote some sides for Mason before going on to form Gamble, Neptune, and Philadelphia International Records. Only "Oh How It Hurts" sold well from this collection, and deservedly so; the sad ballad touches the heart every time you hear it. Mason sings with pain and the lyrics hit home. The excellent "Is It Me, or Is It Her" makes this a must collection. You won't find this jewel on any other compilation to date; it's even missing from the excellent 27-track Bear Family anthology of her Arctic years. The rest of the tracks are misses and flip sides. Mason always covered songs; her first LP had six remakes but there are only a few here, the best being "You Can Depend on Me," a nifty reworking of the Miracles song. Mason has yet to receive the credit she deserves for being an innovator of the sweet Philly sound; all the other sweet Philly singers -- Brenda & the Tabulations, the Delfonics, Blue Magic, the Stylistics, and others -- came after Mason. The rhythm section of M.F.S.B. played on Mason's recordings long before gaining recognition on the Philadelphia International label.