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Maze

Combining a Philadelphia soul sound with a strong appreciation of Marvin Gaye, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly was among the top R&B acts of the late '70s and '80s. The distinctive Maze and its charismatic lead singer, founder, producer, and songwriter Beverly didn't have many pop hits, but they were extremely popular among soul and urban contemporary audiences and enjoyed at least six or seven gold albums. Beverly was born Howard Beverly in Philadelphia, PA, on December 6, 1946; he started calling himself Frankie after hearing Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (a major doo wop group) when he was only nine years old in 1956. Before that, Beverly had been singing gospel in church, and it was Lymon who made him realize that he wanted to perform secular music. That isn't to say that Beverly's appreciation of gospel ever went away; the gospel influence remained when he was in his forties and fifties, but secular R&B would be his main focus. When Beverly was 12, he joined the Philly doo wop group the Silhouettes (who were known for their hit "Get a Job") and went on tour with them in 1959. Then, in the early '60s, he founded and led a short-lived doo wop/soul vocal group called the Blenders. After the Blenders' breakup, a 17-year-old Beverly founded another vocal group in 1963: the Butlers, who favored a Northern soul approach. The Butlers never became well-known nationally, although they did provide a few singles (including "The Sun's Message" and "She Tried to Kiss Me") and recorded for small, Philly based labels like Fairmount, Liberty Bell, and Guyden. The Butlers also recorded for Gamble Records, a small label that was named after producer/songwriter Kenny Gamble (who went on to co-own a huge R&B empire when he ran Philadelphia International Records with fellow Philadelphian Leon Huff in the '70s). It was in 1970 that Beverly founded the band that eventually came to be known as Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. Originally, Maze went by Raw Soul; using that name, it recorded three singles for Philly's small Gregar label in the early '70s (one of which was a cover of bluesman Taj Mahal's "Today May Not Be Your Day"). Although Beverly was born and raised in Philly, he has been quoted as saying that he never thought of himself as part of the Philly sound, and while his band does have Philly influences, it didn't fit into either the Gamble & Huff/Philadelphia International school of Philly soul or the Thom Bell/Linda Creed school (which the Delfonics, the Moments, and the Stylistics were a part of). Further, Raw Soul's sound owed as much to Marvin Gaye and the Isley Brothers as it did to any of the soulsters who came out of Philly in the '60s or '70s.

Feeling out of place in his home town, Beverly moved Raw Soul to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1971. Raw Soul had been playing the San Francisco/Oakland scene for several years when Beverly's idol, Marvin Gaye, became aware of the band. Quite impressed by Beverly's singing and songwriting, Gaye sang Raw Soul's praises to Capitol and helped them land a deal with that major label in 1976. One thing Gaye didn't like about Beverly's band was the name Raw Soul. The late soul giant insisted on a name change and after considering a few other names (including Karma and Charisma), Raw Soul officially became Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly in 1976. (The name Karma wouldn't have worked because an obscure, L.A.-based funk/jazz outfit called Karma was recording for A&M around 1976-1977).

Maze's self-titled debut album was released by Capitol in 1977; that album (which contains the hits "Happy Feelin's," "While I'm Alone," and "Lady of Magic") went gold and earned Maze an extremely devoted following. The band's 1977 lineup consisted of Beverly on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Wayne Thomas on lead guitar, Sam Porter on keyboards, Ronald "Roame" Loary and McKinley "Bug" Williams on percussion and background vocals, and Joe Provost on drums. In 1978, Provost was replaced by Ahaguna G. Sun, formerly of a little-known soul/funk group called Sunbear; subsequently, Sun was replaced by Billy "Shoes" Johnson. There were other personnel changes along the way; keyboardist Phillip Woo (formerly of Roy Ayers' band Ubiquity) joined Maze in 1980, and Ron Smith was the guitarist who replaced Thomas. But regardless of who was coming or going, Maze always reflected Beverly's vision -- Beverly was to Maze what George Clinton was to Parliament/Funkadelic. 1978 saw the release of Maze's second album, Golden Time of Day, which contains the number-nine R&B hit "Workin' Together." Golden Time of Day went gold, as did 1979's Inspiration and 1980's Joy and Pain (the album that gave us the major hit "Southern Girl"). In the late '70s, Maze earned a reputation for having one of the best live shows in R&B and their first live album, Live in New Orleans (a two-LP set), came out in 1981. Another live double-LP, Live in Los Angeles, was released in 1986, which was the year after Maze's funky "Back in Stride" reached number one on Billboard's R&B singles chart and became their biggest hit ever.

In 1989, Maze left Capitol for Warner Bros. and recorded Silky Soul; the title track, an ode to Marvin Gaye, was a major hit. By that time, Maze was receiving a lot of attention from the rap world -- their recordings were being sampled extensively by hip-hoppers. In 1988, rapper Rob Base used the chorus of Maze's "Joy and Pain" on a single that had the same title -- unfortunately, Base did so without permission and Beverly threatened legal action. Maze didn't enjoy many hits in the '90s, although their live shows continued to be well-received by a very devoted fan base. ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Greatest Hits: 35 Years Of Soul (2004 - Remaster)

1. Workin' Together (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

2. Golden Time Of Day (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

3. Feel That You're Feelin' (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

4. Southern Girl (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

5. Joy And Pain (Feat. Frankie Beverly) (Live)

6. Running Away (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

7. Before I Let Go (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

8. Love Is The Key (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

9. We Are One (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

10. Back In Stride (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

11. Too Many Games (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

12. I Wanna Be With You (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

13. Happy Feelin's (Feat. Frankie Beverly) (Live)

14. Can't Get Over You (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

15. Silky Soul (Feat. Frankie Beverly)

x

Track List: Maze (24-Bit Digitally Remastered 04)

1. Time Is On My Side

2. Happy Feelin's

3. Color Blind

4. Lady Of Magic

5. While I'm Alone

6. You

7. Look At California

x

Track List: Greatest Slow Jams

1. Happy Feelin's

2. I Wish You Well

3. Lovely Inspiration

4. Happiness

5. Family

6. Reason (1981 Version)

7. We Are One

8. I Wanna Thank You

9. Never Let You Down

10. I Love You Too Much

11. Your Own Kind Of Way

12. Reachin' Down Inside

13. A Place In My Heart

14. When You Love Someone (Live)

x

Track List: Anthology

Disc 1

1. While I'm Alone

2. Lady Of Magic

3. Workin' Together

4. Golden Time Of Day

5. Feel That You're Feelin'

6. Lovely Inspiration

7. Southern Girl

8. Joy And Pain

9. Happy Feelings (Live)

10. Reason (1981 Version)

Disc 2

1. Running Away

2. Before I Let Go

3. Love Is The Key

4. Never Let You Down

5. I Wanna Thank You

6. Your Own Kind Of Way

7. Back In Stride

8. Too Many Games

9. I Wanna Be With You (Radio Edit;Live)

10. When You Love Someone (Live)

x

Track List: Southern Girl

1. Southern Girl

2. Back In Stride

3. Never Let You Down

4. Joy And Pain

5. I Wanna Be With You

6. Travelin' Man

7. Too Many Games

x

Track List: The Greatest Hits: Lifelines Volume 1

1. Joy And Pain (Feat. Kurtis Blow) (Remix)

2. Golden Time Of Day

3. Happy Feelin's

4. Back In Stride

5. Before I Let Go (Remix)

6. Running Away

7. While I'm Alone

8. Southern Girl

9. Joy And Pain

10. Before I Let Go

x

Track List: Live In Los Angeles

Disc 1

1. Introduction

2. Running Away

3. Too Many Games

4. I Wanna Thank You

5. You

6. Happy Feelin's

7. Feel That You're Feelin'

8. Frank's Rapp

9. I Want To Feel I'm Wanted

10. We Are One

11. Joy And Pain

Disc 2

1. Before I Let Go

2. Back In Stride

3. Freedom (South Africa) (24-Bit Remastered 02)

4. I Wanna Be With You (Radio Edit)

5. Dee's Song (24-Bit Remastered 02)

6. When You Love Someone (24-Bit Remastered 02)

7. I Wanna Be With You (Long Version)

x

Track List: Can't Stop The Love

1. Back In Stride

2. Can't Stop The Love

3. Reachin' Down Inside

4. Too Many Games

5. I Want To Feel I'm Wanted

6. Magic

7. A Place In My Heart

x

Track List: We Are One

1. Love Is The Key

2. Right On Time

3. Your Own Kind Of Way

4. I Wanna Thank You

5. We Are One

6. Never Let You Down

7. I Love You Too Much

8. Metropolis

x

Track List: Joy And Pain

1. Changing Times (Digitally Remastered 04)

2. The Look In Your Eyes (Digitally Remastered 04)

3. Family (Digitally Remastered 04)

4. Roots (Instrumental)

5. Joy And Pain (Digitally Remastered 04)

6. Southern Girl (2004 Digital Remaster)

7. Happiness (Digitally Remastered 04)

x

Track List: Inspiration

1. Lovely Inspiration

2. Feel That You're Feelin'

3. Call On Me

4. Timin'

5. Welcome Home

6. Woman Is A Wonder

7. Ain't It Strange

8. Lovely Inspiration (Instrumental)

Comments

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Frankie B. He does it all on the music tip.
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Frankie B- he does it all. Thanks.
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The End behooves beginning... . . . leading ........so on...&....so forth. THE GOLDEN TIMES OF DAYS !!!!!!!!!!!
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Love Love!!!
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No sound like this sound ever!! Thank you for your sexy soulful sultry sound....
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Love the concert last weekend Frankie an maze was awesome, and I loved your performance awesome as ever loved it.... Pb,
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There's No Words ....You Have Said Them All...sunshi n e And Rain...Good And Bad...We Love You....Thank s For The Years....and I Mean The Long Years.....So l a r . . . F r i e n d s
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I absolutely love this group! I regret that I have never had the opportunity to see them perform live. Very unique, classy sound.
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I just love Frankie Beverly and Maze. To this day they rank within my top
favorite band/groups Always in my prayers.
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U stood beside me..I still gt u.... MyNewLife.Ms . M a j o r
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there's nothing like old school music to bring you back to life.
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fell in love with both husbands on this. both gone, one died and one found another, but love you all
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shout out to those that get this piece
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Maze is a wonderful group of people that has brought very classy music to the scene for decades. This is my kind of music!
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Very nice and smooth sailing song
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I love Maze and he will always bring a lot of memories because he is pen pal.
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Love maze greatest stepping music!
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cedricglaze
Jkfyhdtjmnvv v b h n b
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Love this man we jammed in Hampton Va last mo
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THIS SHOULD BE OUR SONG FOR THE USA AFTER THE CRAZY ELECTION OF TRUMP ,THANK YOU MAZE WE ARE ONE
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I want you too baby love this dam man!!!
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Philadelphia finest brotherly love
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This is Music. Our youngers need to listens
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Glad to have grown up with this music!!!!!
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I still love this song!!!
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GOOD MOMENTS outlast the frequent problems of Dysfunctiona l WORLD....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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A basic breakfast.Is 'blessed-by- a - B E S T ! S a i n t Jude Volunteers.D i d it again!9-24-2 0 1 6 . A l o n g with many numerous.UNI T E D WAY AGENCIES .Serving those entitled.Bui l d i n g their food pyramid!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . .
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jbaskerville 4 5
09-22-16Bash at the bay featuring Frankie Beverly and Maze there will be others but this is one of the greatest entertainers of all time,it's a wonderful time to be a Floridian...
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Sweet memory of Maze at Kool Jazz Fest
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I saw you at the music fest you are awesome
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I found out.This Morning 8-26-16. Through whom i catogorize(a good friend).That Our Heavenly Father Good Lord of Hosts.Chose to Call by his Heavenly Angels.Anoth e r Good Friend of ours.To Eternal Rest. May ALMIGHTY have his ONE WAY!........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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I don't care whosoever tries to'endoctrin a t e ' . . . . . . . . . Y O U WILL FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE SERVING TWO "MASTERS"... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
Mistakes&err o r s are made.....sha l l always be ......'Margi n - i n . . . . . . " So shall we give this time to THE CORRECTING-T E A M ! ! ! ! . . . . T E A C H E R S . COACHES. SCHOOL PROPERTY ATTENDANTS. WE LOVE U MUCH!
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Listen to this.....as you are getting.Read y 'drifting-to - b i o - r h y t h m s ' . , , , , . . t o m m o r r o w . A s you awaken refreshed &ready.
For a joy-pain of .End of week
School-work. . . . . . . T H E PAY-OFF of JOY!outlasts a pain.When GRADUATING!! ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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I love Frankie Beverly music
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This song makes me dance
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Digital-Age. . . . . . . . I m a g e Translusion. . . . . . . A u d i o Recognition. . . . . . . . . o u t - w i t h - t h e "Princess model communicatio n "........... . . . . . . .
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It's been a long lasting love affair with Franks beverly and maze, and I'm still in love with their music.
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Love Maze!!
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Frank is the first cool guy guy his music is beautiful
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I hope i still have a place in your heart ken love you miss you
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Time For the COOKOUT and BBQ with MUSIC!
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I'm supposed to be exercising now I want to get off this elliptical and get my groove on ����
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I always loved maze makes me feel. good
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What
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I got yoy
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Like sex gotta have it
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Maze get well soon
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Love me some Maze I think about home in Philly thats that Philly Boy singing Go Maze
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One of my favorite artist
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