Maze were formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. in 1971 (previous incarnations were, Frankie Beverly and The Butlers, and later Raw Soul).
The group comprised of (at varying times):
Frankie Beverly a.k.a Howard Beverly (b. 6th December 1946, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. - lead vocals, rhythm guitar)
McKinley 'Bug' Williams (percussion, backing vocals)
Ronald Roame Lowry (congas, backing vocals)
Robin Duhe (bass)
Sam Porter (keyboards)
Wuane Thomas (lead guitar)
Ron Smith (lead guitar)
Wayne 'Ziggy' Lindsay (keyboards and synths)
Billy 'Shoes' Johnson (drums)
Joe Provost (drums)
Carl Wheeler (organ and keys)
Phillip Woo (keyboards and synths)
Larry Kimpel (bass guitar)
Vance Taylor (keys)
Jubu Smith (guitar)
Michael White (drums)
Originally from Philadelphia, Maze were formed by Frankle Beverly in 1971, and were originally known as Raw Soul.
When Frankie was 12, he joined the Philly doo wop group the Silhouettes and went on tour with them in 1959.
Frankie had served apprenticeships in several Philadelphia groups.
One such unit, Frankie Beverly And The Butlers (above), recorded several well-received singles in the 60's (including 'The Sun's Message' and 'She Tried to Kiss Me').
Frankie then formed a self-contained band, Raw Soul, and relocated to San Francisco where they became the house band at a local club, the Scene.
Frankie Beverly's most notable side for Gamble was 'If That´s What You Wanted' (popular on the Northern Soul Scene).
'Because Of My Heart' on Rouser Records is reputedly to have only one copy pressed.
Discovered by a girlfriend of Marvin Gaye, the group subsequently supported the singer in concert, and it was he who suggested they change their name in a reference to their more relaxed style of Soul Music (other suggestions included Karma and Charisma).
Maze signed to Capitol Records in 1976, and at Capitol they released a 8 albums, 'Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly' in 1977, 'Golden Time Of Day' in 1978, 'Inspiration' in 1979, including 'Feel That You're Feelin' and 'Call Me', 'Joy And Pain' in 1980, including 'Southern Girl' and 'The Look In Your Eyes', whilst their next album was recorded live in New Orleans, with 15th of November declared 'Maze Day' in the city.
live in new orleans
The album featured a hugely popular live version of 'Joy And Pain'.
The song was also covered by several artists including Mike Stevens and Donna Allen.
On 22nd March 1982, Maze made their London stage debut at the Hammersmith Odeon, supported by Second Image, a gig that went so well, Frankie Beverly required medical attention at the end of the show!
They returned to the venue the following year.
maze - london ticket 1983
Maze later sold out six consecutive nights at London's Hammersmith Odeon during their 1985 tour.
Live recordings of 'Before I Let You Go' and 'Golden Time Of Day' were later released in the UK.
Still at Capitol, the subsequent releases inculded the albums 'We Are One' in 1983, including 'Love Is The Key', 'Can't Stop The Love' in 1985, including 'Too Many Games' (U.K. Top 40, the b side of the single, 'Twilight', was 'instrumental of the year') and 'Back In Stride', and 'Live In Los Angeles' in 1986, featuring the studio cut 'I Wanna Be With You' (U.K. Top 75) and the ballad 'When You Love Someone'.
The group then relocated to the Warner Brothers imprint.
Here 1989's 'Silky Soul' included the Marvin Gaye dedicated title song, 'Can't Get Over You' and 'Somebody Else's Arms'.
The same year Capitol released an album of Maze remixes as a greatest hits collection.
To date, Maze's last studio album was 1993's 'Back To Basics', including 'The Morning After', 'What Goes Up' and a re-recorded version of the instrumental 'Twilight'.
In 2005, Maze completed a U.S. tour.
In 2008, the group returned to further live performances, with dates in London at the Hammersmith Apollo in September that year.
Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly (Capitol Records 1977)
Golden Time Of Day (Capitol Records 1978)
Inspiration (Capitol Records 1979)
Joy And Pain (Capitol Records 1980)
Live In New Orleans (Capitol Records 1981)
We Are One (Capitol Records 1983)
Can't Stop The Love (Capitol Records 1985)
Live In Los Angeles (Capitol Records 1986)
Silky Soul (WEA Warners 1989)
Back To Basics (WEA Warners 1993)