Maze (band)

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Maze
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / San Francisco Bay Area, United States
Genres R&B, soul, funk
Years active 1976–present
Labels Capitol, Warner Bros.
Members Frankie Beverly
Roame Lowry
Carl Wheeler
Larry Kimpel
Vance Taylor
Jubu Smith
Calvin Napper
Past members McKinley "Bug" Williams (deceased)
Sam Porter (deceased)
Robin Duhe
Wuane Thomas
Joe Provost
Ahaguna Sun
Ron Smith
Billy Johnson
Phillip Woo
Wayne "Ziggy" Lindsay
Vernon "Ice" Black
William Bryant
Michael White
Anthony Beverly
Chris Johnson
Road Manager: Calvin "VJ" Jones

Maze are an American soul / quiet storm band, also known alternately as Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly and Maze & Frankie Beverly, was established in San Francisco, California in the early 1970s.

Career[edit]

The band can be considered as the project formerly known as The Butlers, and later Raw Soul, with member Frankie Beverly being songwriter, record producer, arranger, singer, keyboardist and guitarist.

The Philadelphia born Beverly started the group as Raw Soul in 1970. They recorded a couple of singles on the small Gregar label, but without any major hits. With a few personnel changes, a relocation from Philadelphia to the San Francisco Bay Area in California in 1971, and an introduction to Marvin Gaye, the group became an immediate success. Gaye took the group on the road with him as one of his opening acts, and in 1976, he suggested that they changed their name from Raw Soul to Maze.

Maze signed a recording contract with Capitol Records in 1976, and released their debut album, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, in 1977. From that album, the hit singles included "Happy Feelin's", "While I'm Alone", and "Lady of Magic", ultimately giving them their first gold record and earning Maze a devoted following. They also had success with the albums Golden Time of Day (1978), Inspiration (1979) and Joy and Pain (1980).

Their next recording was Live in New Orleans, three quarters of which was recorded at the Saenger Theatre, on November 14–15, 1980. Three of those songs got into the US R&B chart, including "Running Away", "Before I Let Go", and "We Need Love To Live". By that time, the band had both a reputation in America and also enjoyed a following in the United Kingdom with promotional support from the British DJ Robbie Vincent. In May 1985, Maze sold out eight nights at the Hammersmith Odeon.[1]

The group released their next album, Can't Stop the Love in March 1985, which featured the group's first number one R&B hit "Back In Stride." The Top 5 follow-up, "Too Many Games" was also featured on this album. The latter single also became the band's biggest hit in the UK, where it peaked at number 36 on the charts.

In 1989, they signed with Warner Bros. and released the hit album Silky Soul, plus Back to Basics in 1993, and released the live DVD recording at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1994. The two albums also attained gold disc status. They had another number one R&B success with "Can't Get Over You".

In October 2004, "Twilight" appeared in the video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on funk radio station, Bounce FM .

In 2009, a tribute to the hits of Maze was released. Called Silky Soul Music: An All Star Tribute to Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, it included modern stars performing Maze's biggest hits with Maze acting as the backing band.[2]

On September 2, 2011, their percussionist and background singer, McKinley "Bug" Williams, died of an apparent heart attack at a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Maze continues to tour around the United States as well as Europe to this day. Every year they are the closing act for the Essence Music Festival.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Record label
US
[3]
US
R&B

[3]
UK
[4]
1977 Maze featuring Frankie Beverly 52 6 Capitol
1978 Golden Time of Day 27 9
1979 Inspiration 33 5
1980 Joy and Pain 31 5
1983 We Are One 25 5 38
1985 Can't Stop the Love 45 1 41
1989 Silky Soul 37 1 43 Warner Bros.
1993 Back to Basics 37 3
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Record label
US
[3]
US
R&B

[3]
UK
[4]
1981 Live in New Orleans 34 3 Capitol
1986 Live in Los Angeles 92 12 70
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Record label
US
R&B

[3]
1989 The Greatest Hits of Maze...Lifelines, Vol. 1 57 Capitol
1996 Anthology 57 The Right Stuff
1998 Greatest Slow Jams
2004 Greatest Hits 79
2011 Greatest Hits Capitol
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak Chart positions
US
[3]
US
R&B

[3]
UK
[4]
1977 "While I'm Alone" 89 21
"Lady of Magic" 108 13
1978 "Workin' Together" 9
"Golden Time of Day" (A-side) 39
"Travelin' Man" (B-side)
"I Wish You Well" 61
1979 "Feel That You're Feelin'" 67 7
"Timin'" 55
1980 "Southern Girl" 9
"The Look in Your Eyes" 29
1981 "Running Away" 7
"Before I Let Go" 13
1982 "We Need Love to Live" 29
1983 "Love Is the Key" 80 5 88
"Never Let You Down" 26
"We Are One" 47 86
"I Wanna Thank You" 59
1985 "Back in Stride" 88 1 79
"Too Many Games" 103 5 36
"I Want to Feel I'm Wanted" 28
1986 "I Wanna Be with You" 12 55
"When You Love Someone" 38
1989 "Joy and Pain" 57
"Can't Get Over You" 1 89
"Silky Soul" 4
1990 "Love's on the Run" 13
"Songs of Love" 37
1993 "Laid Back Girl" 15
"The Morning After" 115 19
1994 "What Goes Up" 32
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Videos[edit]

  • Live in New Orleans (1981)
  • Live in Los Angeles (1986)
  • Live in London (1994)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 404. CN 5585. 
  2. ^ "Maze featuring Frankie Beverly | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews". SoulTracks. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "US Charts > Maze featuring Frankie Beverly". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  4. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Maze featuring Frankie Beverly". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "US Certifications > Maze featuring Frankie Beverly". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 

External links[edit]