Maze, Featuring Frankie Beverly: Before I Let Go (1981)

Let me tell ya’ll about this song…. LOL… This song by Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly) was the biggest, and most popular song of the 80s (in my opinion); at least when it came to the Black community. I remember this song being played in almost every single birthday party, every single picnic, and every single barbecue in my community. When people heard this song come on; automatically hands go up, people start screaming “ooooohhh that’s my sooooooong,” and 5 seconds later people started groovin’. I’ve also realize that although the song was released in 1981, there was an (before 1981) “old school nature” about the song “Before I Let Go” that made it so great. It had to have been that groovy baseline. They don’t make great music like this no mo’, fo sho. 😀 This iconic song was written and produced by Frankie Beverly himself, under Capital Records. It peaked at #7 in the U.S. and #13 on the R&B Charts.

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Being that I am much older, and grew up in an entirely different generation, I still find it hard to call this song (or group for that matter) “Old School!” However, the fact of the matter is, it is old school. Could you believe this song is already 20 years old? Wow!! But, let me also say that, by my standards, it’s not just old school because it’s now 20 years old, it’s old school because it’s real good music with great harmonies by three amazing male voices. Next was a very talented group; and I say “was,” because R.L. was “kicked out of the group,” according to R.L. himself. And that’s a shame, because 80% of their songs I like and remember, R.L. was their lead singer, so it’s just not the same. Listen to the interview he did for VladTV. You know, for a long time I mistaken Robert “R.L.” Huggar (far right) for Guy’s Teddy Riley.

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I have to say, “Too Close,” released in 1998, I think is my most favorite song from Next, hands down. It has a nice steady rhythm, and people of all ages can get their dance on when this was played. In addition, it has that element of old beat (almost like R&B disco (if there is such a thing)) that appeals to many people in my age group. The song shot up to #1 on the charts, and stayed  relevant for a whopping 60 weeks!! There was another cute song that was also popular, and it’s called “Wifey,” released in 2000. “Wifey” hit #4 on the R&B Charts, and stayed relevant for 10 weeks.