October 25, 2014

Sunday Open Thread- Sunday Smooth Grooves

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday! Here’s your smooth Sunday groove!

 

Maze – Happy Feelin’s

 

Maze a soul / quiet storm band, also known alternately as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Frankie Beverly and Maze, was established in San Francisco, California in the early 1970s. The band can be considered as the project formerly known as The Butlers, and later Raw Soul, with member Frankie Beverly beingsongwriter, 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.

 
While I’m Alone
 
 
 
 
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 fan base. They also had success with the following 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. The group released 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 part of that recording. 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 2009, a tribute to the hits of Maze was released to great critical praise. Called “Silky Soul Music: An All Star Tribute to Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly,” it included many modern stars performing Maze’s biggest hits with Maze acting as the backing band.
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