ConFunkShun featuring: Michael Cooper & Felton Pilate
ConFunkShun is a star-quality attraction delivering a superb, high-energy show with electrifying choreography, glistening six-part vocal harmonies, and a dash of humor. They are, unquestionably, among the heroes of Funk with romantic ballads and dance-party hits galore. 2014 marked the release of a red-hot Top 20 single, “Your Night”, which set up the 2015 album, “More Than Love”, an album of more than magical melodies and glistening grooves! “I Miss You” also scored Top 20 as the second single from the “More Than Love” set. Their memorable melodies, inventive horn arrangements and klav-guitar woven grooves, make the group absolutely essential to the evolution of funk. In the PolyGram catalogue they charted an impressive one Platinum album and four consecutive Gold albums. They dominated the funk scene with 20 hit singles that included 8 Top Ten R&B Hits and one #1 R&B smash between ’77-’86. With finesse and consistency they legitimized what came following them: high-profile, commercial explosions featuring their hits in countless rap/hip-hop samples that exposed them to a new generation. In response, Mercury/PolyGram released the “Best of Con Funk Shun” in ’93 on their “Funk Essentials” Series. The fans immediately recoiled to the “Essential to Funk”, ConFunkShun. Universal bought PolyGram, and again released the sure-thing Money- Maker, “Best Of Con Funk Shun” on their Millennium Collection in March 2002.
This enthusiasm is what encored the band back to the stage. With rave concert reviews and cries for more LP’s, Mercury/PolyGram re-released the Gold-LP “Secrets” in ’95 and in ’96 “Best Of Vol. II” Then, Intersound Records released “Live For Ya A**”, a live LP, in ’96 to coincide with CFS on the Sinbad “Soul Music Festival” HBO Special airing that August/September. ’97, brought a “Love’s Train” cover on a Multi-Platinum debut by Dru Hill, and samples for Gold-LP Booty Call Soundtrack (“Huckelberry” by D Shot). ’98, saw the re-release of Gold-LP “Spirit Of Love” and the “Ballads Collection”. 2000 brought a new round of funk with ConFunkShun contributing two new tracks to the Major Hits Records “United We Funk All-stars Compilation” (and Tour) including GAP’s Charlie Wilson, Rick James, Dazz Band, Roger Troutman, SOS Band, and the BarKays.
In addition to the band tour schedule, co-lead’s, Michael Cooper and Felton Pilate, remain vital in contemporary R&B music. When ConFunkShun closed shop between ’86 to ’93, Cooper shined on a string of solo hits including “Shoop Shoop”, ” Prove My Love”, and “Dinner For Two” on his Warner Bros. LP’s, and still tours as a solo act. Pilate emerged as a multi-platinum record producer for his award-winning production on M.C.Hammer, Addams Family Movie, and Hammerman Cartoon Show. Groovin’ on, and In-Session, Pilate productions include Lenny Williams, Lloyd Gregory, Fredda Payne, Four Shades and a Grammy LP cut with Stanley Clarke. And then, two millennium-decade solo albums by Michael Cooper (“Are We Cool?”) (2004) and Felton Pilate (“Nothing But Love Spoken Here”) (2005) brought the fans some very exciting tracks featuring yet another depth of artistry by these two legendary performers.
Back in the formative years of the late 60’s, they started in their hometown of Vallejo, CA. The band wound up in Memphis in the mid-70’s when they landed a lucky gig backing the Soul Children, a red-hot Stax group. After the Soul Children back-up gig the group adopted a new name inspired from a Nite-Liters song: ConFunkShun. After the newly re-named act attracted the attention of Mercury Records, they soon set funkateers around the world on fire with “Sho’ Feels Good To Me,” from their debut album. Their second LP, “Secrets”, exploded to Gold status. The LP featured the No. 1 Hit Single, “Ffun,” penned by the productive, prolific Cooper on a tour-coach ride between concerts.
By 1979, with charting albums “Loveshine” and “Candy”, and the self-produced “Touch” LP, ConFunkShun were solid-Gold sellers. Alongside blistering dance workouts like “Chase Me” and “Ms. Got-The-Body” were their timeless fav’s such as, “Love’s Train”, “Straight From The Heart”, “(Let Me Put) Love On Your Mind” and “All Up To You”. Then CSF teamed with Kool & The Gang’s producer, Eumir Deodato, producing “Baby I’m Hooked (Right Into Your Love).” Another classic fav, “I’m Leaving Baby” was a collaboration with Maurice Starr. These timeless hits remains on radio play lists today, year after year after year…