Before I Let Go
by Maze

Album: Live in New Orleans (1981)
  • In this soul classic, frontman Frankie Beverly wants to make damn sure he's done all he can before he lets his girl go. The song peaked at #13 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and didn't even rank on the Hot 100, but it sure has staying power, constantly streamed decades later and a fixture at summer gatherings.

    Maze, who started in Philadelphia but made their mark in San Francisco, are under the radar to many because they didn't crank out hit singles like Earth, Wind & Fire, and they didn't do disco. But each of their first five albums went Gold in America; the fifth was Live in New Orleans, a double album with four studio tracks, one of which is "Before I Let Go." Considered filler to round out the album, the song became their most popular track.
  • The song was written and produced by Frankie Beverly.

    We were so close
    I love your charm
    I can understand it, no
    Where did we go wrong?


    The song was inspired by Beverley's two-timing. He explained to Essence that he was seeing one lady but was with someone else and they broke up. "It got kind of hard because I wasn't with the woman I wanted to be with, and I couldn't stay with the one I was with," he said.
  • "Before I Let Go" was re-worked by Beyoncé as a bonus studio track for her 2019 live album Homecoming, which chronicles her headlining performance at Coachella. Her cover samples "Get Ready Ready" by New Orleans bounce artist DJ Jubilee and interpolates "Candy" by Cameo. Beyoncé's version reached #65 on the Hot 100.

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