Get On Board The Soul Train: 8CD Philadelphia International box set

Remastered from the original tapes • 50th anniversary • Vol 1 of ‘The Complete Studio Albums Collection’ • Limited to 2500 units

United Souls, in conjunction with Sony Legacy Recordings will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records with an 8CD box set: Get On Board The Soul Train – The Sound Of Philadelphia International Records Vol 1.

This is the first volume in a limited edition series which covers the first eight studio albums released by the label from 1971-1973. This series will offer all album remastered from the original tapes and will map the history of Philadelphia International Records chronologically.

Get On Board The Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia International Records Vol 1

The eight classic albums included in Volume 1 comprise: Billy Paul: Going East, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes: I Miss You, The O’JaysBack Stabbers, Billy Paul: 360 Degrees of Billy Paul, Dick Jensen: Dick Jensen, The Intruders: Save the Children, MFSB: MFSB and Billy Paul: Ebony Woman.

The eight CDs come housed in a 48-page slipcased book which includes sleeve notes by Tony Cummings (author of The Sound of Philadelphia) and a foreword by Ralph Tee. The large format packaging includes an exclusive bonus 12-inch single and a poster and certificate of authenticity. This edition is strictly limited to 2500 copies.

Get On Board The Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia International Records Vol 1 will be released on 28 May 2021 via Snapper imprint, United Souls.

This box set is available to pre-order via the SDE shop using this link or the button below. (European customers should remember that additional fees may apply, thanks to Brexit!).

CD 1: Billy Paul – Going East

  1. East [06:21]
  2. (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can`t I Touch You? [02:42]
  3. This Is Your Life [04:16]
  4. Jesus Boy (You Only Look Like A Man) [04:17]
  5. Magic Carpet Ride [05:19]
  6. I Wish It Were Yesterday [03:50]
  7. Compared To What [05:20]
  8. Love Buddies [03:39]
  9. There`s A Small Hotel [04:27]

CD 2: Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – I Miss You

  1. I Miss You [08:36]
  2. Ebony Woman [03:40]
  3. Yesterday I Had the Blues [07:32]
  4. If You Don`t Know Me By Now [03:26]
  5. Be For Real [07:29]
  6. Let Me Into Your World [02:40]
  7. Let It Be You [03:32]

CD 3: The O’Jays – Back Stabbers

  1. When the World`s at Peace [05:18]
  2. Back Stabbers [03:06]
  3. Who Am I [05:11]
  4. (They Call Me) Mr. Lucky [03:19]
  5. Time To Get Down [02:52]
  6. 992 Arguments [06:06]
  7. Listen To The Clock On The Wall [03:46]
  8. Shiftless, Shady, Jealous Kind of People [03:36]
  9. Sunshine [03:42] 10.  Love Train   [02:58]

CD 4: Billy Paul – 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul

  1. Brown Baby [04:36]
  2. I`m Just a Prisoner [08:05]
  3. It`s Too Late [04:33]
  4. Me and Mrs. Jones [04:45]
  5. Am I Black Enough for You? [05:18]
  6. Let`s Stay Together [06:27]
  7. Your Song [06:32]
  8. I`m Gonna Make It This Time [04:24]

CD 5: Dick Jensen – Dick Jensen

  1. A Penny for Your Thoughts [03:02]
  2. I Don`t Want to Cry [02:49]
  3. Three Cheers to Love [03:27]
  4. Fat Mama [02:14]
  5. New York City`s a Lonely Town [03:07]
  6. 32nd Street [02:59]
  7. Going Up On The Mountain [02:53]
  8. Peace of Mind [02:47]
  9. Shall We Gather by the Water [02:32]
  10. Tamika (Come Back Later) [02:57]

CD 6: The Intruders – Save The Children

  1. Save the Children [06:58]
  2. Mother and Child Reunion [04:04]
  3. I Wanna Know Your Name [05:50]
  4. To Be Happy Is the Real Thing [03:28]
  5. I`ll Always Love My Mama [06:37]
  6. Memories Are Here to Stay [03:15]
  7. Teardrops [05:07]
  8. Hang On In There [03:21]


  1. Freddie`s Dead [07:09]
  2. Family Affair [04:21]
  3. Something For Nothing [03:00]
  4. Back Stabbers [06:30]
  5. Lay In Low [03:44]
  6. Poinciana [05:57]

CD 8: Billy Paul – Ebony Woman

  1. Ebony Woman [02:50]
  2. Mrs. Robinson [04:30]
  3. The Windmills Of Your Mind [08:00]
  4. Everyday People [03:55]
  5. Let`s Fall In Love All Over Again [03:50]
  6. Windy [03:50] 7.  Psychedelic Sally   [02:58]
  7. Traces [04:01] 9.  Proud Mary   [02:23]

Bonus 12-inch vinyl

A-side: Back Stabbers   [03:07]
B-side: Back Stabbers   [04:53

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Donnie Andrews

I continue to Lust for more:
Delfonics,Stylistics, Main Ingredient,
Supremes, Curtis Mayfield, The great Donny Hathaway, Issac Hayes and at 68years better hearing.
My Soul was healed by this music all the years I suffered in the Ghetto and even now still soothes my Heart.
Sketches of Spain was medicine too.
The Lust Life album sung by the Latino sister is from heaven!
There is more, but my memory…

The Ragman

Tony Cummings is a bit of a legend by the way

Kevin Hughes

Philadelphia International released a raft of singles during the period covered by this set (1971 to mid-1973). Including those would have pleased fans and helped justify the list price. If there was any unreleased material from the era that would have been welcome as well. As it stands, this seems like a bit of a missed opportunity to compile a definitive history of the label.

Also, it’s worth noting that none of these albums is very long. A few barely make it past the half hour mark, and the entire contents of the set would have fit on four CDs.

All that said, based on the photo above the design of the set looks attractive and does a good job of evoking the time and stylistic milieu in which this music was made.


2nd attempt. $130 for 8 albums readily available everywhere (maybe not MFSB?) without ANY bonus content plus a pointless 12” is just too much, especially if there are 15 volumes. In general I don’t consider myself a price complainer but that price needs to come down. And please do not offer the Tom Moulton remixes or any other already released remixes as bonus content going forward. Everyone who likes PIR already has those. Commission new remixes of not already remixed songs. So lower the price and add interesting bonus content. Then I’m game for all 15 volumes.


While improved sound is always welcome is it enough to make me want to pay ? Most of this is on Spotify and like most collectors here ( in this thread ) I have some CD’s and compilations already. The lack of multi channel or extras is strange as they are on other versions of these releases. So while enjoying the music paying the extra doesn’t seem justified.


I agree it is absurd such a high price does not make sense!
repeating the same songs is useless ;)

Mark S

Get on board the cash cow milking machine more like……

Larry Davis

Just saw more on the series…15 limited 8CD/one 12″ vinyl/book boxes, 2500 each, with unreleased vault stuff to come later…but the math is off cuz 15×8 is 120 albums & there are over 140 in the whole PIR catalogue, so I wonder…I may want to buy that 4CD box of PIR 12″ mixes…we’ll see…I do want the series and will be looking for deals cuz that’s over $100 per volume…that’s an investment…but it is classic music no question…

Emilio Lafarga Giribets

No “Out this week” today?

Paul Taylor

Check the Release Calendar, there’s nothing scheduled for 12 March


I know The Stylistics are not part of this, but when is someone going to remaster their music? I know many people that have been waiting for that for a very long time. If someone is out there reading these comments, PLEASE…REMASTER THE STYLISTICS !!!!! Thank You

Alan Costa

Stylistics actually released 3 albums for Philadelphia International in the early 80s.


Lovely Stuff. Billy Paul was one of the greats.

Also, the orange vinyl 50th anniversary reissue of Dave and Ansel Collins’ ‘Double Barrel’ album is out this month.


Pre-ordered already! Also,looking forward to the upcoming box sets.

Larry Davis

Looks great however, how many albums did PIR release in their existence?? Which means how many boxsets will be coming out in this series?? And no rarities/unreleased from the vault/12″s on CD?? Will only invest in this once I know what the whole series is…this is only Vol 1…


I just read elsewhere they are planning to release a series of 15 limited edition 8-cd sets containing the entire PIR catalogue (about 140 albums) in chronological order of release. This is volume 1. That’s 15 x £89.

Duncan Bartlett

I have slight trepidation about this. I have quite a Philly comps and the earlier ones are good but the quality wasn’t sustained by the label, as it was as say Motown or early Sugar Hill. I don’t know how much filler there will be on these early albums. I rather suspect that a couple of strong greatest hits sets would be enough with Philly but I look forward to being proved wrong if other people can show me there’s heaps of great “deep tracks” I may have missed.

Ron van Rossum

Where is the sountrack to Soultrain?

Different Time

Pass. £50 for a big box, a one time read book and vinyl I can’t play.


Agree with Gerbrand. Other than the exclusivity of the numbered editions and a rather pointless 12”” single (IMO). The box of 2o CDs from 2014 (luckily I own) is a much better tribute and value for money than this release.

Paul Bakewell

I have that too !

Peter Hogg

TBH, not to sure what we are getting from this 50th Anniversary Box Set

I have several Philadelphia International collections, which cover most of it:
Tom Moulton Remixes
PIR 12” Singles
40th Anniversary

The Collection box set from 2014 is similar to the new 50th Anniversary Box Set, it contains the following albums (several are repeated)

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Wake Up Everybody
The O’Jays – Back Stabbers
The O’Jays – Ship Ahoy
Billy Paul – 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul
The Intruders – Save The Children
The Three Degrees – The Three Degrees
MFSB – Love Is The Message
Bunny Sigler – Keep Smilin’
Lou Rawls – All Things In Time
Lou Rawls – When You Hear Lou, You’ve Heard It All
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars
The Jacksons – The Jacksons
Jean Carn – Jean Carn
Teddy Pendergrass – Teddy Pendergrass
Teddy Pendergrass – Life Is A Song Worth Singing
The Jones Girls – The Jones Girls
Edwin Birdsong – Edwin Birdsong
McFadden & Whitehead – McFadden & Whitehead
Patti LaBelle – I’m In Love Again


OK so I would really like all of these sets but 8 albums (and a 12″) for £90 seems a lot especially when you realise that every PIR album is going to be rereleased in one of these 8 disc sets over the next few years. That is over 150 albums so around 16/18 box sets at £90 a throw is a great deal of money especially with no bonus unreleased tracks included. Of the albums in the first box I have them all already but do I get them again just so I have volume 1 of however many in the series

Jason Whittaker

Great music, very tempted, but would have preferred something that is not this #youcantpleaseallthepeopleallthetime


Great music, but I would prefer a reprint of the 2014 box set Philadelphia International: The Collection which contained 20 cd’s for a deal alert price of £28.79 (source: this website ;-) including many of the albums included in this new set. Unfortunately that 2014 box set is long out-of-print.

Peter Hogg

there a couple on Discogs for a round £50


Very tempted but I would have much rather have preferred a boxed set of selected cuts on 12 inch like with the CHIC box released back in 2013

Stephen Maynard

There is already a Tom Moulton Remixes 4cd box set from 2012 which is magnificent

David McCallum

Speaking of Chic… does anyone know what was planned for The Chic Organization Box Set Vol. 2 after this 2010 release?: