MAZE Featuring Frankie Beverly, one of America's best-loved R&B bands, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their acclaimed 1981 double album Live in New Orleans with a 2LP vinyl reissue and two special digital releases on February 19, 2021. The album will be released in two physical forms: standard weight black double-LP and special white vinyl, an homage to Beverly's all-white stage outfits and an acknowledgment to the audience members who in their own tribute faithfully wore all-white to Maze shows.
Live in New Orleans reached #3 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart and #34 on the Billboard 200 chart. With three sides recorded at New Orleans's Saenger Theatre, it features extended live versions of their top 10 R&B chart hits "Feel That You're Feelin'" and "Southern Girl;" the definitive live versions of album cuts "Look At California" and "Joy and Pain," probably their biggest song that was never a hit single – and it shows, as the band performance transforms into a thrilling audience sing-along. The studio side of Live in New Orleans includes the top 10 R&B hit "Running Away," and the Maze anthem, "Before I Let Go."
To coincide with the 40th anniversary release of Live in New Orleans during Black History Month 2021 and the week of Mardi Gras, also releasing the same day are two digital remix EPs: Maze: The M+M Mixes and Joy and Pain: The Lifelines Remixes.
The M+M Mixes EP features all of the remixes created by M+M's John Morales including Maze's first R&B chart #1, "Back in Stride," in a version longer than the original 12", and "Too Many Games" (#5 US, top 40 UK), originally released only in the U.K. in 1985, and Morales's 2017 remixes of "Before I Let Go" and "Joy and Pain," that had only a limited release in Europe. Each remix also has a corresponding instrumental version, two of which are previously unreleased (see track list). All tracks are making their digital debut as well as their commercial US debut.
The Joy and Pain EP features the rare "Lifelines" remixes of the classic song by Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler and Paul Shabazz, a.k.a. members of the production team The Bomb Squad, best known for their era-defining, multi-layered work with Public Enemy. These remixes, with Kurtis Blow doing a guest rap, were originally only issued on a promo 12" in 1989 to promote the album The Greatest Hits: Lifelines that included some remixes – and now, except for the long version on that album, these tracks are making their commercial debut as well as their digital debut. The EP also includes a highly sought-after instrumental version of the original LP version of "Joy and Pain."