Before You Accuse Me

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"Before You Accuse Me"
Before You Accuse Me single cover.jpg
Single by Bo Diddley
A-side"Say! Boss Man"
ReleasedFebruary 1958 (1958-02)
Format10-inch 78 rpm & 7-inch 45 rpm records
RecordedAugust 15, 1957
GenreRock and roll, rhythm and blues
Songwriter(s)Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley
Producer(s)Leonard Chess
Bo Diddley singles chronology
"Hey! Bo Diddley"
"Before You Accuse Me"
"Hush Your Mouth"

"Before You Accuse Me" (also known as "Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself)") is a song written and recorded by American musician Bo Diddley in 1957. It was released as the B-side to Diddley's "Say Bossman" and was included on his self-titled debut album in 1958.[1] Backing Diddley on vocal and guitar are Jody Williams on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Frank Kirkland on drums.[2]

Eric Clapton versions[edit]

"Before You Accuse Me" has been recorded four times by Eric Clapton: an electric version on his 1989 album Journeyman; a live acoustic version for the MTV Unplugged series, later to be released on his 1992 Grammy winning album Unplugged; and two other electric versions, released in July 1999, commercially available as "version 1" and "version 2" although they are actually versions 3 and 4.[3] In 1989, the Journeyman electric version was recorded with Robert Cray on guitar performing the second solo. It reached number nine on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1990.

Both the Journeyman electric version and the Unplugged acoustic versions of "Before You Accuse Me" are included on Clapton's various setlists over the years, from the Knebworth charity show of 1990 to the North American and European Summer tours of 2008. The song was also featured on the 2009 Australasian/British and 2010 American tours; it was included on the 2011 Far-Eastern, American and British tours. Clapton resurrected the song in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Other versions[edit]

13th Floor Elevators recorded the song for their 1968 album Live.[4] Creedence Clearwater Revival included a cover of this song on their 1970 album Cosmo's Factory.[5] Creedence Clearwater Revival had previously recorded the song in 1968 during the recording sessions for their self-titled debut album; however, this outtake version was not released until its inclusion on the album’s 40th Anniversary Edition CD as a bonus track. Eric Burdon recorded this song on his 2013 release, 'Til Your River Runs Dry.[6]


  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2002). The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-84195-312-0.
  2. ^ Schnieders, Bob (1997). Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley (CD reissue liner notes). Bo Diddley. Universal City, California: Chess Records/MCA Records. CHD-5904.
  3. ^ "Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself) - Eric Clapton | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  4. ^ Deming, Mark. "Live – The 13th Floor Elevators | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cosmo's Factory - Creedence Clearwater Revival | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "'Til Your River Runs Dry - Eric Burdon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2016.

External links[edit]