The Philadelphia International Records 50th anniversary campaign kicks off this Friday, May 25, with the release of Get on Board the Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia International Records Vol. 1 from the U.K. Snapper Music label’s United Souls imprint. The 8-CD hardcover book-style box presents the first eight albums released on PIR, and the series will eventually encompass every one of PIR’s LPs on CD.
On the domestic front, Legacy Recordings issues its first anniversary release this Friday with The Best of Philadelphia International Records, a 12-track overview of some of the finest moments from the label founded by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. That vinyl-only title [[available on standard black vinyl everywhere and on hot pink vinyl exclusively at Walmart) is prelude to six more LPs due in July, each spotlighting a different artist.
On July 13, Philadelphia International and Legacy will issue the following newly-curated compilations on vinyl:

  • The Best of The Intruders [[1 LP, 14 tracks);
  • The Best of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes [[1 LP, 11 tracks);
  • The Best of The O’Jays [[2 LPs, 19 tracks);
  • The Best of Billy Paul [[1 LP, 12 tracks);
  • The Best of Teddy Pendergrass [[2 LPs, 18 tracks); and
  • The Best of Lou Rawls [[1 LP, 10 tracks).

While no mastering information has yet been released for the individual titles, The Best of Philadelphia International Records is confirmed to have been mastered by Vic Anesini, so it’s very likely that Anesini has also mastered the individual compilations.
While none of these LPs feature any rare material, the music is sure to sound better than ever in an Anesini remastering. Most of these titles also represent the first domestic vinyl releases for these artists in a number of years. Note that the Teddy Pendergrass volume also has some overlap with the Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes release as it contains four of the singer’s hits while he was part of that group.