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.