The Futures – 1975 – Castles In The Sky

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The Futures were one of the most criminally underrated soul harmony vocal groups of the 1970s. Despite the greatness of their recordings, they failed to make it big. This 1975 release is deservedly viewed as a classic “Sweet Soul” album today although it went nowhere when originally released. Highly recommended.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Buddah record with covers.

A1. Castles 7.52
A2. ( Love Lives On A) Windy Hill 4.29
A3. Don’t Close The Book 3.03
A4. Super Love 2.44

B1. I Had A Dream 6.52
B2. Every Man Is God 5.40
B3. Do Unto Others 3.05
B4. Love Will Be Around Forever 3.50
B5. Ninety Days ( In The House Of Love Correction) 3.04

The first LP issued by The Futures a fine Philly vocal quintet who’d recorded a number of singles earlier in the 70s, but who finally cracked the LP racks with this 1975 release! The group’s got harmony chops that are plenty strong — with an ability to hit both a sweet soul sound and a deeper righteous groove that was being used by some of the funkier groups at the time. This album’s not the group’s strongest, but it’s got more than enough great moments — thanks to some sweet arrangements by David Van DePitte and Wade Marcus, who give the group a sound that’s sort of a 70s extension of the Motown sound of the end of the 60s. There’s some pretty catchy numbers on the album like “Do Unto Others“, “Ninety Days (In The House Of Love Correction“, and “Super Love” and the album begins with a nice stretched-out groover called “Castles“.

It’s a mystery why Buddah would released this album and not promote it; they didn’t issue but one single from the LP. Seven of the eight songs are Reginald Turner, Victor Drayton, John Bellmon, and Jerry Akines compositions, the talented Philadelphia singers and songwriters who penned “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You,” a hit for Wilson Pickett and the Spinners. They also recorded themselves under various names including the Formations, the Corner Boys, and Frightened Majority. Barbara Mason penned the other song, a funky jam entitled “Ninety Days (In the House of Love Correction)“. There are some good songs including “Super Love“, “(Love Lives on A) Windy Hill“, and “Don’t Close the Book.“. “Castles” in June of 1975, was the only single issued. A good catch if you can find a copy.

Formed 1968 one of Philadelphia’s finest groups,The Futures made a poor career move when Gamble Records ended up by signing with Buddah Records, thus missing a golden opportunity to join Philadelphia International Records.

Their first Buddah release ‘(That’s) The Way Of A Woman In Love’ b/w ‘Grade A Woman,’ was released in January 1974.The second single ‘No One Could Compare’ b/w ‘You Better Be Careful’ was released shortly afterwards.

Without the major label support that Philadelphia had to offer bands like the O’Jays, and Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes & the Stylistics, the band failed to reap the benefits of their productions.

Buddah released the Futures third single ‘Castles’ June 1975, which continued the string of under achievments. They issued the Futures’ first album ‘Castles In The Sky’, in 1975 which didn’t include the first two singles. Its promotion was almost non existent. Barbara Mason wrote their final Buddah single ‘We Got Love,’ prompting a poorly promoted tour with Philly’s First Lady of Soul.

Finally, they reunited with Gamble & Huff in 1978 at Philadelphia International Records, but the company’s glory days were over.The first release ‘Part Time Party Time Man,’ was their most successful single. Its ‘rare groove’ successor ‘Ain’t No Time For Nothing,’ was succeeded by three more singles including ‘Mr. Bojangles. ‘Philadelphia International released two albums by the Futures, ‘Past, Present & The Futures’, and the obscure ‘The Greetings Of Peace’.

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Conversation for album: The Futures – 1975 – Castles In The Sky

  • Jay
    Posted at 17:33h, 02 May 2008 Reply

    What a great album. I had never heard of this group before and it’s a shame cause this a great soul. Keep up the great work and congrats on the new blog. You’ve got yourself a great site here

  • pedro
    Posted at 07:46h, 29 May 2008 Reply

    curtom group the futures not really heard much by them had a minor hit way back if it,s as good as that well iguess i’ll enjoy thanks as usual great blog

  • Jmateo
    Posted at 06:05h, 27 June 2008 Reply

    Wow off the meters!! thank you for this one.

  • raggedy
    Posted at 21:52h, 18 September 2008 Reply

    The Futures are the most underrated group I can think of. My all time favorite song by them is “Love Lives On A Windy Hill.” Wonderful singing and great music.

  • jean
    Posted at 05:51h, 30 October 2008 Reply

    never heard…and dammmmmmmmmm i like that…all ur stuffs are dope dude…do a radio show bro…thx again for the knowledge .

  • Chris
    Posted at 03:48h, 13 November 2008 Reply

    Wow. This is a nice find. Thanks

  • Jackie From NJ
    Posted at 09:48h, 18 December 2008 Reply

    I used to hang out with the Futures back when they were
    hot. I think they really got a raw deal, they were as good as any group out of Philly. I haven’t seen or heard
    from them in years. I would love to hear from them.

  • jerome green
    Posted at 21:37h, 05 June 2009 Reply

    Hi Nikos,

    What an excellent sound! Thank you so much for sharing a listen. Castles was big in mid 70s discos.

    Peace, Jerome

  • Dan
    Posted at 01:56h, 02 February 2010 Reply

    Thanks for this.

  • Khalil Wadi
    Posted at 02:44h, 20 May 2010 Reply

    I was a young tot when these cats started out. But I grew up off this group, I agree with that this group somehow was not positioned in a place of a wider recognition. They were truly entertainers. I remember seeing The Futures in Philly at a spot called Kim Graves Club and Jonathan King(member of the group) was doing a dance to the song Mr. Bojangles and I was blown away, their performance was amazing. Truly talented cats. I still have their 45’s “Our Thang” and “Breaking Up” even though it’s welt, I keep it for old sake. I also have Past, Present, Future cd and Greetings of Peace and Castle in the Sky. I have a 22 yr old daughter who grew up off this group as well. Thank you for allowing a spot for those who remember to reminisce and thank you for sharing vaulable information.


  • music is me
    Posted at 01:59h, 07 August 2010 Reply

    the futures castles in the sky was great in its time however under achived maximum club and radioplay.

    there were others that fit the same mold such as tribe by koke and ercu bass mix by j jackson ..

    i would go as far as saying gary glitter“ hey rock and roll“ was in the same group of underground hits of its time..

    lets not for get creative source -who is he and what is he to you..

    i for get who made law of the land..

    all the above mentioned records were my favorits and far superior to the main stream junk..

  • dan
    Posted at 06:23h, 10 November 2011 Reply

    just met a member of the futures at karaoke night at a bar and decided to look them up. wow. i was just complimented by one of the greats..

  • darryl
    Posted at 05:21h, 13 February 2012 Reply

    i used to play bass for the introits and sometimes stayed on master st we went to oaerbrook together the futures were always a good group plus they can play instruments alot of musicians came from that area and we all were and still very proud of the Futures

  • darryl
    Posted at 05:30h, 13 February 2012 Reply

    i used to play bass for the introits and sometimes stayed on master st we went to overbrook together the futures were always a good group plus they can play instruments alot of musicians came from that area and we all were and still very proud of the Futures

  • TheJazzHoppa
    Posted at 05:44h, 03 July 2013 Reply

    Love The Futures. One of my first Soul Groups

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