No amount is too big or too small. Any donation is appreciated.

Why Not? It helps the blog survive!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Collection of 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. Allmusic by Alex Henderson

Album: Maze (1977)

01. Time Is on My Side
02. Happy Feelin's
03. Color Blind
04. Lady of Magic
05. While I'm Alone
06. You
07. Look at California

Album: Golden Time of Day (1978)

01. Travelin' Man
02. Song for My Mother
03. You're Not the Same
04. Workin' Together
05. Golden Time of Day
06. I Wish You Well
07. I Need You

Album: Inspiration (1979)

01. Lovely Inspiration
02. Feel That You're Feelin'
03. Call on Me
04. Timin'
05. Welcome Home
06. Woman Is a Wonder
07. Ain't It Strange
08.Lovely Inspiration [Instrumental Version]

Album: Joy and Pain (1980)

01. Changing Times
02. The Look in Your Eyes
03. Family
04. Roots [Instrumental]
05. Joy and Pain
06. Southern Girl
07. Happiness

Album: Live in New Orleans (1981)

01. Changing Times
02. Joy and Pain
03. Southern Girl
04. Look at California
05. Feel That You're Feelin'
06. The Look in Your Eyes
07. Running Away
08. Before I Let Go
09. We Need Love to Live
10. Reason

Album: We Are One (1983)

01. Love Is the Key
02. Right on Time
03. Your Own Kind of Way
04. I Wanna Thank You
05. We Are One
06. Never Let You Down
07. I Love You Too Much
08. Metropolis

Album: Can't Stop the Love (1985)

01. Back in Stride
02. Can't Stop the Love
03. Reachin' Down Inside
04. Too Many Games
05. I Want to Feel I'm Wanted
06. Magic
07. A Place in My Heart
08. Twilight

Album: Live in Los Angeles (1986)

01. Running Away
02. Too Many Games
03. I Wanna Thank You
04. You
05. Happy Feelings
06. Feel That You're Feelin'
07. I Want To Feel I'm Wanted
08. We Are One
09. Back In Stride
10. Freedom South Africa
11. I Wanna Be With You
12. Dees Song
13. When You Love Someone

Album: Silky Soul (1989)

01. Silky Soul
02. Can't Get Over You
03. Just Us
04. Somebody Else's Arms
05. Midnight
06. Love's on the Run
07. Change Our Ways
08. Songs of Love
09. Mandela
10. Africa

Album: Back to Basics (1993)

01. Nobody Knows What You Feel Inside
02. Love Is
03. The Morning After
04. Laid Back Girl
05. What Goes Up
06. In Time
07. All Night Love
08. Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
09. Twilight

Album: Greatest Slow Jams (1998)

01. Happy Feelin's
02. I Wish You Well
03. Lovely Inspiration
04. Happiness
05. Family
06. Reason
07. We Are One
08. I Wanna Thank You
09. I Love You Too Much
10. Your Own Kind of Way
11. Reachin' Down Inside
12. A Place in My Heart
13. When You Love Someone

Album: Anthology (1996)


01. While I'm Alone
02. Lady Of Magic
03. Workin' Together
04. Golden Time Of Day
05. Feel That You're Feelin'
06. Lovely Inspiration
07. Southern Girl
08. Joy And Pain
09. Happy Feelings (Live)
10. Reason


01. Running Way
02. Before I Let Go
03. Love Is The Key
04. Never Let You Down
05. I Wanna Thank You
06. Your Own Kind Of Way
07. Back In Stride
08. Too Many Games
09. I Wanna Be With You
10. When You Love Somebody

Album: Greatest Hits (2004)

01. Workin' Together
02. Golden Time of Day
03. Feel That You're Feelin'
04. Southern Girl
05. Running Away
06. Joy and Pain
07. Before I Let Go
08. Love Is the Key
09. Never Let Me Down
10. We Are One
11. I Wanna Thank You
12. Back in Stride
13. Too Many Games
14. I Wanna Be With You
15. Happy Feelin's [Live]
16. Can't Get Over You
17. Silky Soul
18. The Morning After


Probux!!!! A Great way to earn money... No Startup