1. play
    Bernie Worrell — Won't Go Away
  2. play
    Bernie Worrell — X-Factor
  3. play
    Bernie Worrell — Vision
  4. play
    Bernie Worrell — Dissinfordollars
  5. play
    Bernie Worrell — Blood Secrets
  6. play
    Bernie Worrell — Time Was (Events in t…
  7. play
    Bernie Worrell — Flex
  8. play
    Bernie Worrell — Revelation in Black L…
  9. play
    Bernie Worrell — Disapperance (Life Af…

Blacktronic Science is the third solo album by former Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell. The album was released by Gramavision records in 1993 and was produced by Bill Laswell and Bernie Worrell. The album represents a reunion of sorts, as it features guest appearances by George Clinton, bassist Bootsy Collins, trombonist Fred Wesley, saxophonist Maceo Parker and P-Funk vocalist Gary Cooper. It would also be the last album that Bernie Worrell would record for the Gramavision label.

Track listing

1. "Revelation In Black Light" (Worrell) 2:24
2. "Flex" (Worrell, James Sumbi, Bill Laswell, Mike Small, George Clinton) 6:03
3. "Time Was (Events in the Elsewhere)" (Worrell, George Clinton, Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins) 7:20
4. "Blood Secrets" (Worrell) 6:47
5. "Dissinfordollars" (Worrell, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins) 6:30
6. "The Vision" (Worrell, James Sumbi, Mike Small, Bill Laswell) 8:03
7. "Won't Go Away" (Worrell, Mike Small, Bill Laswell) 5:56
8. "X-Factor" (Worrell, Maceo Parker) 11:51
9. "Disappearance" (Worrell) 0:51


"Revelation in Black Light"

* Harpsichord: Bernie Worrell
* Material Strings: Arranged by Bernie Worrell


* Organ, Mini Moog: Bernie Worrell
* Guitar: Bootsy Collins
* Saxophone: Maceo Parker
* Trombone: Fred Wesley
* Loops: Bill Laswell
* Beats: Bill Laswell, Darryl Mack
* Vocals: James Sumbi aka J-Sumbi (All & All and Freestyle Fellowship), Mike G, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper

"Time Was"

* Organ, Synthesizer, Mini Moog, Melodica: Bernie Worrell
* Cowbells: Aïyb Dieng
* Samples: Bill Laswell
* Vocals: Bernie Worrell, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper, Debra Barsha

"Blood Secrets"

* Organ: Bernie Worrell
* Alto Saxophone: Maceo Parker
* Drums: Tony Williams


* Synthesizer, Clavinet, Mini Moog: Bernie Worrell
* Guitar: Bootsy Collins
* Alto Saxophone: Maceo Parker
* Trombone: Fred Wesley
* Drum Loop: Sly Dunbar
* Chatan: Aĩyb Dieng
* Sound Effects: Bill Laswell
* Vocals: George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper

"The Vision"

* Clavinet, Synthesizer, Electric Piano: Bernie Worrell
* Acoustic Bass: Bootsy Collins
* Alto Saxophone: Maceo Parker
* Trombone: Fred Wesley
* Drum Loop: Sly Dunbar
* Talking Drums, Chaton, Cowbells: Aiyb Dieng
* Vocals: James Sumbi, Mike G

"Won't Go Away"

* Synthesizer, Clavinet, Mini Moog: Bernie Worrell
* Material Strings: Arranged by Bernie Worrell
* Guitar: Bootsy Collins
* Loops: Bill Laswell
* Vocals: Mike G, George Clinton, Gary Cooper


* Organ: Bernie Worrell
* Flute, Alto Saxophone: Maceo Parker
* Drums: Tony Williams


* Material Strings-arranged by Bernie Worrell

Conducted by Karl Berger

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Replies to This Discussion

This is a truly brilliant album, probably the best P.Funk album released between 1983-95. There were a number of bold experiments on here that worked out extremely well. Bill Laswell does an excellent job of mixing and matching talent on here, bringing in clever rappers Mike G and James Sumbi, monstrous drummer Tony Williams, and percussionist supreme Aiyb Deng. Perhaps he deserves the most credit for bringing George Clinton in to work with Bernie and Bootsy once again; when these three work together, it's magic. Musically, this album completely succeeds in fusing funk, jazz, hip-hop and classical music into something coherent, interesting and unique. Bernie is the mastermind behind it all, effortlessly floating from style to style, showing his skill at the most delicate of musical forms, and then funking it up like a maniac. Clinton brings in all sorts of wacky lyrical concepts, with hook after interesting hook. Bootsy stays in the background a bit more, though he has his moments on guitar and standup bass (!). Although this album is very funky and danceable at certain points, it is also extremely dense and may require a few listens to get into completely, but it's worth it.

"Revelation..." is a majestic harpsichord piece, establishing a theme and feel to the album. "Flex" is an excellent funk/hip-hop piece. Clinton's lyrical chants are among his best, with the memorable 'Let the shakin` begin right here/You be standing in the epicenter'. The horn bursts from Fred & Maceo are the perfect balancer for the loop track, Bernie's keys are smoking here, as he takes several brief solos. "Time Was" is one of the most inspired uses of a sample that I've ever heard. Using his own "Aqua Boogie", he creates an interesting concoction, playing new keyboard parts over it as Deng increases the heat with a funky cowbell. The lyrics, echoing Clinton's "Martial Law", are also excellent. "Blood Secrets" is a jazzy instrumental, weaving in Tony Williams' astounding drumming, the ever-funky Maceo blowing his sax, and Bernie holding it all together. "Dissinfordollars" is another funk/hip-hop masterpiece which happily features 'Worrell-Clinton-Collins' as its writing credit. Bernie's clavinet is truly ultra-funky here, with Bootsy providing guitar flavor, chanking away. George's singing and vocals are some of his best, slipping in a bit of the unreleased song "Niggerish" in, with the line 'suck my dick and make it puke' amusingly slowed down to unrecognizability. "The Vision" has a mellow acid-jazz flavor, with restrained rapping and excellent acoustic bass from Bootsy. "Won't Go Away" is a funky and tuneful piece, with a classical feel over the beats. Bootsy plays some graceful guitar. "X-Factor" is a jazz epic, starting with a breathy Maceo flute solo, continuing with more amazing play from drummer Tony Williams, and Bernie once again soloing and holding it all together. This piece holds your attention throughout its considerable length. "Disappearance" is a graceful closing piece, echoing back to the first song.

This album is in print and should be easy to find. The cover features an interesting collage. --R.C.


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Spotlight | Maze

  1. play Maze — 03 Feel That You're Feelin'
  2. play Maze — 04 Somebody Else's Arms
  3. play Maze — 04 Southern Girl
  4. play Maze — Can't Get Over You
  5. play Maze — Golden Time Of Day
  6. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
  7. play Norman Brown — Feeling
  8. play Norman Brown — Still
  9. play Miles Davis — miles 1
  10. play miles 2
  11. play miles 3
  12. play miles 4
  13. play miles 5
  14. play Marvin Gaye — I Met A Little Girl
  15. play Santana — 01 Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  16. play Santana — 02 Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen
  17. play Mongo — 02. Afro Blue

The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 

As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.


The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)

Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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