The Futures – 1978 – Past, Present and The Futures

Philadelphia International Records at it’s best.

A fantastic album, you have been asking me to upload for a long time.

I know how much you enjoyed their rare debut 1975 album “Castles In The Sky” on Buddah Records ( I originally posted in Lost In Tyme blog ) and you can also get it in our back pages here.

One of Philadelphia’s finest groups, the Futures – a cult harmony group – made great music, but Lady Luck refused to work her magic on them. They released two albums for PIR , “Past, Present and The Futures” and “The Greetings of Peace”, both these albums have been sought-after rarities for years, includes club & rare groove classics.

(Finally UK Edsel / Philadelphia International Reissue , released those albums on one CD)

I simply say “get it while you can”!

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Philadelphia International Records LP including covers.

A1 Party Time Man (5:14)
A2 Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing (5:32)
A3 Deep Inside Of Me (4:58)
A4 Sunshine And You (3:41)
B1 Come To Me (When Your Love Is Down) (4:48)
B2 You Got It (The Love That I Need) (4:57)
B3 (You’re The One) Someone Special (4:17)
B4 I Wanna Know; Is It Over (4:30)

The Futures’ PIR recordings never reached any substantial commercial success, and thus the group were lesser known artists in the Philadelphia International repertoire. There’s a detailed history of the group in the CD leaflet and so there’s no reason to copy it here. However, I’d like to point out that while the Futures performed classic Philly soul on these albums, their style as a soul vocal group was much closer to Temptations than any famous PIR group. This impression is underscored by the fact that the Futures used different lead singers on different tracks, ranging from a high-pitched falsetto (in the Eddie Kendricks – Damon Harris mould) to a bass vocalist, who also coloured the background harmonies with his wonderful Melvin Franklin-type lines

At the time of their PIR years, The Futures comprised of James and Jon King, Harry McGilberry (later to join The Temptations), Kenny Crew and Frank Washington. Their first PIR album opens with the single release Party Time Man which is a classy uptempo dance soul tune with a typical PIR arrangement mixed with the Futures’ enjoyable, colourful vocalising. I really cannot imagine even O’Jays surpassing this interpretation, especially when the group utilises the bass vocalist to good effect. A wonderful party tune.

Even better is, though, the following cut Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing, a true soul anthem and a cult favourite on the UK soul scene. It’s written and produced by Joseph Jefferson and Charles Simmons, being an absolutely brilliant, percussive mid-tempo mover with magical horn and string lines. Still, the splendid vocal parts manage to steal the show, again using the whole vocal spectrum the group has to offer in a truly delicious way. Both the musical instrumentation and the vocal performance are so blissful I have no superlatives strong enough to praise the track!
The good news is that the worthwhile moments do not end with these two single releases. Of the ballads, Deep Inside of Me and Come to Me are tasteful falsetto-led soarers strongly reminding me of the Temptations, while the closing cut I Wanna Know; Is It Over? is a deep, traditional slow ballad tune starting with a monologue, then throwing some Temptations-type harmonies and finally revealing the extremely powerful, throaty lead vocals full of bitter emotions described in the lyrics. Then the falsetto singer comes in the spotlight, and the finale moments feature terrific preaching by the tenor vocalist.

The melodious hand-clapper You Got It (The Love That I Need) is clearly influenced by the mid-60s Temptations classics, while Someone Special and Sunshine and You are effortlessly flowing singalong tunes.

Rating: (10/10)Ismo Tenkanen, Soul ExpressEditor


Buy The Futures vinyls here, buy the precious CD with both RIP albums here and….

Listen up “Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing” an excellent dancer with a killer intro and hearty vocals

Buy the Album

Download the Album

  • Simon
    Posted at 16:35h, 19 September Reply

    thanks so much for this. Had the track ‘ain’t got time for nothing’ on a Normay Jay compilation and just love those vocals – especially the baritone!


  • Rich
    Posted at 17:57h, 19 September Reply

    Nikos you the man for this one thank so much so they only made 3 albums in total?

  • hooch
    Posted at 18:11h, 19 September Reply

    Many thanks Nikos – so looking forward to hearing this baby!

  • fritzthecat
    Posted at 19:38h, 19 September Reply

    I’ve been looking for ‘Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing’ for ages, didn’t remember the title and didn’t know who it was by. finally! Thanks a lot

  • Funkygirl
    Posted at 21:02h, 19 September Reply

    a great tune, it makes my mind go back to the 70’s. a very smooth falsetto singer.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 21:30h, 19 September Reply

    Rich, yes 3 albums in total. i also have the 3rd one on vinyl.

    Warped Records issued the final Futures’ recordings in 1982: “Let’s Get to It” b/w “Young & Tender” and “Angel in Disguise” b/w “Betcha Come Back.”

  • Messiah of Soul Power Music Group
    Posted at 21:54h, 19 September Reply

    YES!!!! Some Philly soul! Thanks Nikos!

  • Joce
    Posted at 01:59h, 20 September Reply

    Awesome album. Thx!!!

  • pegasi
    Posted at 02:00h, 20 September Reply

    Many thanks for this. I had “Part Time Party Man” as a single back in the day, but not even the 5:14 version on this album is long enough. (Was it ever a 12″?) Another track by The Futures I’d love to find is “Stay With Me.” I believe is was originally the B side to “Love is Here.” Was that ever on an album.

    Love The Futures! Love your blog!


  • Jaguar
    Posted at 02:08h, 20 September Reply

    Great LP.

    Many thanks.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 02:12h, 20 September Reply

    Pegasi, you are right “Stay with me” was the B side to “love is here” Gamble 2502 single. Never included in an album. i’ll try to find that song for you. or maybe someone else would help us too…. thanks for the support so far.

    ah! about “part time..” i think was never a 12″ Not 100% sure.

  • manny
    Posted at 05:02h, 20 September Reply

    thanks for posting

  • Simon666
    Posted at 05:34h, 20 September Reply

    Thanks so much Nikos – “Aint Not Time Fa Nothing” is the one for me here, what a fantastic stepper! I keep playing it …

    Also BIG thanks for donating the rip of the Undisputed Truth “Method to the Madness” album to the Norman Whitfield discography at neverenoughrhodes, I think that completes the set – 45 albums.

  • bowlisha1
    Posted at 06:09h, 20 September Reply

    I did really enjoyed the first Futures album you posted. This is just great to have to go with it. Thank you so much.

    Simon666 is so right. Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing is a slammin stepper. Me an my broom are gettin it! LOL.


  • Samuel Jones
    Posted at 11:47h, 20 September Reply

    I am thrilled with this wonderful album and group. Great site.

  • F.Penn
    Posted at 12:00h, 20 September Reply

    Seductive…. Philly Sound………Yeahhhhhhhhh!!!!

  • manny
    Posted at 14:30h, 20 September Reply

    Hello again, soul brothas! I have the two PIR albums by The Futures since the germany label Concorde re-issued it two in one (around 1998 year, before than Edsel). On vinyl, I have the only one they recorded on Buddah (I apreciate the great vocals and production, but no one track, IMHO, resist the comparison with “Past, Present,…”). About “Stay With Me”, was published in the Sony Legacy various artists compilation “From Philly With Love” also, around the 1996 – 1998 years… I likes a lot the mellow opera-gospel soul flavoured “Is It Over”… As in The Chi-lites “Love Comes In All Sizes”, the classical strings at the end put a grandious dramatic note. A great salute from Tarragona, Catalonia.

  • Dreamer456
    Posted at 15:06h, 20 September Reply

    Thanks Nikos. Appreciate it very much.

  • kizza
    Posted at 15:26h, 20 September Reply

    Thanks yet again for another soulful gem! Love your work nikos!

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 15:44h, 20 September Reply

    pegasi, here’s “Stay With Me” by the Futures

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 16:19h, 20 September Reply

    Great band. I still favour ‘Deep in side of me’ as their best moment – its as fresh today as when it first came out.

    ‘Stay with me’ is also available on ‘The Spirit Of Philadelphia’ which is a fabulous Expansion records compilation (and includes the essential Little Dooley – ‘Now or never’ – what a track !!)

    Many thanks again Nikos !!

  • Lafayette
    Posted at 16:23h, 20 September Reply

    Simply beautiful, Nikos! Another weekend mood saver:¬)


  • jozee
    Posted at 18:07h, 20 September Reply

    thank for this classic!

  • Lukas
    Posted at 19:54h, 20 September Reply

    you make me feel wonderful with the Futures. Must be their best of the 3 i suppose.

  • Ryan Wood
    Posted at 22:47h, 20 September Reply

    What a fantastic album brothers!!!

  • LuckyPhilly
    Posted at 10:58h, 21 September Reply

    Keep the music playing, certainly this kind of music from that era! Thanks Nikos!

  • Donny
    Posted at 11:49h, 21 September Reply

    You can not imagine how long I’ve been wanting to hear this album! amazing!

  • V
    Posted at 12:10h, 21 September Reply

    Beautiful !! Thanks a lot !

  • funkyDD
    Posted at 12:46h, 21 September Reply

    Looks incredible nikos. Many thanks.

  • gianni
    Posted at 13:26h, 21 September Reply

    thank you!

  • jerry
    Posted at 16:26h, 21 September Reply

    I’ve never heard of it. you’re posting nothing but the goodies so I will sure download this one too. and i prefer the vinyl rips.

  • Soulman V
    Posted at 16:37h, 21 September Reply

    This site have broadened my musical horizons! Much respect, much love, nikos.

  • pegasi
    Posted at 17:10h, 21 September Reply

    Wow! that was quick, Nikos. Thanks for “Stay with me.” It’s always been one of my favorite B sides, and I’m happy to have it back in my collections again.

    Keep on Keeping on!


  • MusicDuo
    Posted at 20:35h, 21 September Reply

    Thanks so much for this post.

  • Dave
    Posted at 21:29h, 21 September Reply

    Brilliant album. Hugh thanks

  • Buttah
    Posted at 00:57h, 22 September Reply

    Love Philly!!!!!! Thanks for this post brother!

  • MoFu
    Posted at 09:34h, 22 September Reply

    This one is totally new to me. Can’t wait to hear it. Big Thanks.

  • Oak
    Posted at 14:36h, 22 September Reply

    Another dope post as always.

  • Raphy
    Posted at 00:47h, 23 September Reply

    This is one Bad, BAD, BAD LP………….Everyone who is collecting 70’s music should hold on to this…..Thanks in a million!@!

    BIG UP!@!

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 02:47h, 23 September Reply

    Much thanks For this True Gem!! Nikos Your’re the best bro.

  • T.A.
    Posted at 13:23h, 23 September Reply

    Undelivable work! This site offers education and pleasure!!!! Best soul blog ever. Thank you Thank You Thank you.

  • 2timez
    Posted at 01:12h, 24 September Reply

    good lookin

  • SPC
    Posted at 22:58h, 26 September Reply

    This sounds awesome – thanks once again for all the hard work, I always look forward to your new posts and still haven’t finished reading through all your old ones – can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!

  • Satchelmouth
    Posted at 06:17h, 05 October Reply

    This blog = my bandwidth allotment completely destroyed.
    Thank you for sharing all these forgotten classics

  • Old School C
    Posted at 13:30h, 06 October Reply

    NIKOS!!! Thank you sooooooo much for uploading this!!! You dont know how happy you made me brotha!! I was turned onto The Futures by my friend Dee aka Olskoolgirl, the one who posted the youtube video Aint Got Time For Nothin’. She posted it on Imeem about a year or two ago and I was instantly hooked to the sound. Ive played that song over and over again and it never gets old, it just gets better. If im not playing it, im singin it lol!! “Shabba ba ba ba shabba ba ba baayaa shabba doowah shabba doowah shabba doowaaaaahh” lol! Youve truly made my day with this post Nikos, hell youve made my life lol!! Ive wanted this album for the longest time, thank you so much for sharing it brotha!! PEACE!!!

  • Arkane1
    Posted at 16:19h, 17 October Reply

    What a wonderful album! Thanks so much for this! I have the record but it is scratched! You made my day Nikos. Peace brother!

  • cafecafecafe
    Posted at 23:50h, 20 October Reply

    Thanks for sharing this cool album.

  • babbles.
    Posted at 17:53h, 21 October Reply

    Beautiful, Thank you.

  • Emile
    Posted at 22:16h, 04 November Reply

    Great music, thanks for educating me

  • Chris
    Posted at 03:37h, 13 November Reply

    Philly International is in the house!!! Wow…nice work! Peace

  • Pete
    Posted at 06:23h, 11 December Reply

    Great 1978 album by The Futures. Thanks for posting

  • analog6
    Posted at 01:45h, 22 December Reply

    I can never get enough PIR. Many thanks.

  • Jordan
    Posted at 22:32h, 16 April Reply

    Thank YOU

  • Curtis
    Posted at 23:15h, 28 November Reply

    Thank you!

  • Joeboy
    Posted at 18:26h, 30 July Reply

    Thanks very much…. superb album

  • Jannik
    Posted at 02:22h, 28 December Reply

    Love this one … Just bought the Vinyl, way too expensive on a students budget, but well well worth it indeed superb album … keep up the good work !

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