There are just some things that have the ability to remain timeless. “Love’s Train” by Con Funk Shun has proven that after 40 years this can still top the charts. Arguably one of the greatest R&B groups of their time, Con Funk Shun knew they had struck gold once they had heard the finished product, but it took a little traction to get there. Originally, Felton Pilate wrote the music with a more “quiet storm” appeal to it. Michael Cooper, the bands lead vocalist, took the music and gave it new lyrics with a different and more emotional feel to it. After hashing it out over the changes, the band agreed to go with the newer version and the rest is history.
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What kills me about this jam is that it is based on a true story about a little love triangle involving Cooper and Pilate themselves. Supposedly, they both were pretty smitten over the same ‘special lover’ and the situation somewhat played out as described in the song. What’s even more interesting to me is that during the song writing process of the song there was little to no awkwardness between the two. I guess when you are big talents, ‘that’s the way it goes’ and it’s just good sauce for great song writing.
Con Funk Shun started out in Vallejo, California in 1969 formed by Michael Cooper and Louis McCall and the two were high school classmates. “Love’s Train” was released in 1982 on their tenth album, To the Max and apparently was big on the minds of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, better known these days as Silk Sonic. The duo put out their cover of the jam for Valentine’s day of this year, 2022 and it was an unknown surprise according to Pilate. He said the cover was an honor to him and they did it justice. It’s evident that the rest of the mainstream world thinks so as well do the popularity of the Silk Sonic version. This seems to be one well devised formula for a great hit: take a timeless jam and let an amazing current group at it for a refreshing take and you’ve got magic.
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