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