Maze: Frankie Beverly (vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer); Ron Smith (guitar); Sam Porter (electric piano, organ, synthesizer); Robin Duhne (bass); Billy "Shoes" Johnson (drums); Roame Lowry (congas, percussion, background vocals); McKinley Williams (percussion, background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Rick Sanchez (guitar); Kevin Burton (keyboards); Delores Warren, Roberta Stiger (background vocals).
Reissue producer: Mike Ragogna.
Recorded at The Record Plant, Sausalito, California. Originally released on Capitol (12087). Includes liner notes by Joel Whitburn.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Maze: Frankie Beverly (guitar); Robin Duke (bass instrument); Billy Friday Johnson (drums); Ron Smith , Sam Porter, Roame Lowry, McKinley Williams.
Personnel: Frankie Beverly (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Ron Smith (guitar); Sam Porter (electric piano, organ, synthesizer); Kevin Burton (keyboards); Robin Duhe (bass guitar); Roame Lowry (congas, percussion, background vocals); McKinley Williams (percussion, background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Evren G”knar.
Liner Note Author: David Nathan .
Recording information: Record Plant, Sausalito, CA.
Illustrator: Shusei Nagaoka.
Frankie Beverly and Maze's fourth album, JOY & PAIN, was their most fully realized recording to date, with Beverly really coming into his own as a producer. While the more extensive production of third album INSPIRATION served mainly to enhance the ballads, here there's a richer, more fleshed-out feel to every element of the Maze sound. The opening cut, "Changing Times," is full of visceral jazz-meets-funk textures that would have made famed arranger David Axelrod envious. The instrumental "Roots" is full of churning riffs, interlocking guitars, bubbling keyboards, and flailing percussion. Throughout the album, the use of synthesizer as a lead instrument, instead of merely orchestral padding, is a notable advance. The much-sampled title cut is a tour de force that utilizes a combination of percussion and drum machine to hypnotic effect, while jazzy, dreamy guitars and keyboards float across the top. The balladic feel of INSPIRATION isn't absent on JOY & PAIN, but like everything else, its more fully integrated than ever before.