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Comprised of guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Denman, keyboarder Andrew Hale, and vocalist Sade Adu, Sade are one of the greatest bands in pop and soul history. Their warm, seductive blend of dance-pop grooves and sensual R&B elements has stood the test of time, with the band’s catalogue sounding as fresh today as it did in the 1980s. With only six albums, Sade have covered an array of elegant sounds, and the result is one of the most masterful discographies in music.
Diamond Life (1984)
The band’s debut is one of their strongest efforts. Sade Adu herself has such a strong, commanding presence, belting her voice on the cuts of balladry laced between stretches of summery dance-pop. The opener, “Smooth Operator”, shows off all the band’s strengths from the very start, with Sade’s smooth voice strengthened by the elegant backdrop of glittering keys and ever-moving saxophone. Her storytelling about a slick heartbreaker poisoning romance across America is so simple yet so effective, with Adu’s expressive, almost theatrical voice adding to the narrative. The rest of the album is just as glamorous and polished. “Hand On to Your Love” has a punching funk bassline that sounds like something ripped straight from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The instrumental bridge brings the song to a powerful crescendo with Hale’s keys taking the spotlight as the bass and backing vocals swirl around his solo. Above all, “Frankie’s First Affair” stands out as one of the best songs in the band’s history. Adu tells the story of Frankie, a woman prone to infidelity whose heart is broken when, for the first time, she is the one cheated on. The despairing saxophone gives the track such a crestfallen tone, and as Adu’s vocals rise, the saxophone rises in harmony, making for an impactful climax where the emotion of the track is just as vivid in the instruments as in Sade’s vocals. In every regard, Diamond Life is gorgeous, and the band could not have started their catalogue in a finer way.
Just a year later, Sade returned with Promise, an album far more sombre than its predecessor. The album kicks off with “Is It a Crime,” a contender for the greatest song the band has ever put out. Adu’s vocals start off as hesitant and whispery, but as the instrumentation gradually builds, her voice gains power, reaching its climax on the chorus where she yells about her feelings for her ex-lover. As her vocals become louder, the drums crash, the sax wails – the instrumental acts as a reflection of her emotions, building upon the drama of the track and making for an emotionally potent opener that showcases the effortless ability of each bandmember. Promise is full of these dramatic ballads, but the album is kept from feeling dreary by the straightforward pop tunes mottled throughout the tracklist to lighten the mood. Brilliant examples are “The Sweetest Taboo” with its infectious chorus, and “Never as Good as the First Time” with a groovy back and forth between the bass and keys. On this album, Sade’s ability to embody emotion in their sound is unleashed to the fullest, making for a record less catchy but equally as impactful as their debut.
Stronger Than Pride (1988)
Compared to their first two albums, Stronger Than Pride is noticeably weaker, but that’s not to say it’s a subpar record. On the contrary – with Adu’s vocals as intimate as ever, complemented by a stripped back soundscape, the album embodies this mellow sound more atmospheric than any of their previous work. There are still danceable moments – such as the crackling percussion and hypnotic chorus on “Paradise” or the upbeat bassline on “Turn My Back On You” – but otherwise, Stronger Than Pride consists of sparse, patient instrumentals and a surprisingly relaxed performance from Sade herself. At times, the sparsity of the instrumentation works to the album’s detriment. For example, the bubbling percussion and therapeutic backing vocals on the title track are mesmerising, but beyond the first minute, the song does not change much, without that evolution in the instrumentation or vocal performance to keep it captivating. Furthermore, the spacey sound of “Give It Up” with its somewhat monotonous hook comes off as simplistic compared to the intricate heights of Sade’s finest work. The songs are far from bad, but the thin production leaves many feeling a little half-baked compared to the ever-changing bliss of tracks off Diamond Life and Promise.
Love Deluxe (1992)
Only releasing one album in the 1990s, Sade had a surprisingly quiet decade compared to their ‘80s run, but the single record they did release is the magnum opus of their discography. Unlike the minimalist approach the band took on Stronger Than Pride, their sound is grand and lush on Love Deluxe, while maintaining that rich sense of atmosphere. “No Ordinary Love” is the monstrous seven-minute intro to the record, basking the listener in the dense, soulful production before Adu comes in with some of her most enchanting vocal work ever. The momentum is kept up with “Feel No Pain”, a funky pop banger whose grim depiction of an impoverished family is juxtaposed by the irresistibly groovy bassline. From a production standpoint, Love Deluxe is the band’s strongest album. Every bassline is entrancing; the ambient keys and synths build such a magical atmosphere; the silky sax work, though infrequent, adds another layer of elegance. Sade’s writing is at her sharpest, exploring the tragic life of a desperate Somali woman on “Pearls” and detailing the shame a war veteran feels for his violent misdeeds on “Like a Tattoo”. With a diverse range of themes, Adu bends her voice in so many different ways to fit the anguish or ecstasy of any given track, making Love Deluxe her most dynamic performance.
Lovers Rock (2000)
Although it has its moments, Lovers Rock is quite easily my least favourite album from Sade. There isn’t a bad song to be heard, but the standouts are nowhere near as compelling as the highlights from their first four records. Lovers Rock is a strange combination of sounds, with a heavy emphasis on acoustic guitar, synthesisers, and slow, trip hop style percussion. This change of pace starts of refreshing, but the frequent usage of simple guitar melodies begins to feel monotonous, with many tracks blending into one another. “By Your Side” starts the album on a high note, with some romantic, inviting vocals from Sade coupled by the warm strum of a guitar and the occasional burst of keys. “Flow” takes the album in a downtempo direction, with a moody bassline and hip hop style drums that give the otherwise mellow track a much-needed punch. “King of Sorrow” is one of few Sade songs that doesn’t compel me much at all. Its simple guitar melody is oddly derivative, and Adu’s soft performance is not enough to save the song from being one of their sleepier tunes. Similarly, “Somebody Already Broke My Heart” is underwhelming – its soundscape is like a void where sounds ebb and flow, never coming together into a complete piece. It fails to capture that same atmospheric beauty that worked to the band’s favour on Stronger Than Pride. However, tracks like “Slave Song” and “Immigrant” are brilliant, with Adu’s staccato delivery adding to the theme of being treated inhumanely, reciting her lines in a strangely unnatural fashion. Lovers Rock is full of compelling ideas, but fails to tie them all together into a cohesive whole.
Soldier of Love (2010)
A decade later, Sade returned for their sixth and (as of now) final album. Like Lovers Rock before it, on Soldier of Love, the band completely disregard the dance-pop sound that brought them to fame, favouring a more acoustic soundscape. However, unlike their last record, the natural sound of this album works in its favour, with a diverse range of ideas scattered throughout the project, tied together by a captivating performance from Sade Adu. Despite the album releasing twenty-six years after Diamond Life, Adu sounds as if she hasn’t aged a day. Her voice still holds all the same strength and elegance that made her such an enchanting vocalist. The ever-changing layers of instrumentation on “The Moon and the Sky” are balanced out by the crisp percussion, keeping the densely detailed song from sounding messy. The title track, “Soldier of Love”, makes brilliant use of electric guitar and marching drums to evoke the tense atmosphere of war, in turn making this one of Sade’s most sinister tunes. “The Safest Place” serves as the album’s gorgeous closer, where Adu glides over a lush blend of strings and guitar that close off the band’s final effort beautifully. Soldier of Love may not have the danceable grooves of Diamond Life nor the theatrical balladry of Love Deluxe, but its versatile sound and consistent performance from Sade Adu make it an exciting highlight from the band where every risk pays off. Whether this is the final album from Sade or not, looking back after Soldier of Love, it’s undeniable that the band have a truly masterful discography.
- A Masterful Discography
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Is Sade Adu still alive? ›
|Born||Helen Folasade Adu 16 January 1959 Ibadan, British Nigeria|
|Alma mater||Saint Martin's School of Art|
The best-selling album by SADE is DIAMOND LIFE, which sold over 7,020,160 copies .How much money is Sade worth? ›
Sade Adu Net Worth 2023.
|Net Worth:||$80 Million|
Performing in the Netherlands, 1984
Also, note the use of leather drivers gloves to hold the mic.
Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" was the first to achieve the feat in 1977.
- " You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone. ...
- " Physical" by Olivia Newton-John. ...
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|Lady Gaga discography|
|Bon Jovi discography|
Will Sade ever make music again? ›
R&B legend Sade might have new music in the works. The singer — born Helen Folsade Adu — reportedly visited Brad Pitt's Miraval Studios in Correns, France to work on a new project. The facility is co-owned by actor Bradd Pitt and music producer, Damien Quintard.What is considered the greatest album? ›
The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the list, with Rolling Stone's editors describing it as "the most important rock 'n' roll album ever made". The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) was ranked second in recognition of its influence on Sgt. Pepper.Who sold the most album units ever? ›
The Eagles' Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) is the best-selling album of all time in the U.S.What is the number 1 selling album by a female artist? ›
The top-selling female-fronted album of all time based on certified unit sales worldwide is currently Whitney Houston's 1992-released 'The Bodyguard Soundtrack,' with a massive 45 million copies sold.How much is it to book Sade for a concert? ›
One example fee to book Sade is in the starting range of $750,000-$999,998. Also, their speaking fee might be different than the fee shown for the cost to perform or to just appear. Popularity, career stage, along with current demand will cause fluctuations in their speaking price too.Did Sade win any Grammys? ›
|2||Paul McCartney||$1.5 Billion|
|4||Andrew Lloyd Webber||$1.3 Billion|
Much of the reason for that—beyond Sade's own natural inclination toward somber lyrics—has to do with what's happened in the eight years between her last two albums. In the late '80s, Sade fell in love with, and married, Spanish film director Carlos Pliego, relocating from London to Madrid as a consequence.Why do gangsters wear rubber gloves? ›
Many criminals often wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints, which makes the crime investigation more difficult. Although the gloves act as a protective covering for the wearer's prints, the gloves themselves can leave prints that are sometimes unique like human fingerprints, thus betraying the wearer.What actress wears gloves all time? ›
To love Diane Keaton is to love her trademark buttoned-up fashion. But why does the Annie Hall actress always wear gloves, turtlenecks, and bowler hats anyway? Well, for starters, Diane favors “clothing that actually hides the body,” as she told NPR in 2014.
Who is the 5 time one-hit wonder? ›
With five top-20 hits for five different bands, Tony Burrows is surely the most successful – and the most anonymous – one-hit wonder the American pop charts have ever known.Which one-hit wonder made the most money? ›
One of the most successful one-hit wonders of all time, it peaked at No. 1 on July 4, 1992, and spent a total of 28 weeks on the chart. The song achieved multiplatinum status in July 1992, when sales reached 2 million. It was re-released in 2002, and digital sales totaled 500,000 by May 2005.
But, exactly 50 years ago, one performer took it to the extreme. Starting in February 1970, Tony Burrows, a British recording session singer, had three top hits, with three different one-hit wonder bands, all at the same time — and few people knew it.What is the most bought song of all time? ›
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.What is the most certified song of all time? ›
Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" is the best-selling physical single in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991.
Elvis' 14 chart-toppers spent a combined total of 62 weeks at #1 on the “Top/Hot 100,” while The Beatles' 20 #1s spent a total of 59 weeks in the top slot.Who has had a #1 hit every decade? ›
Cher's career as a recording artist spans seven decades and she is the only artist to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in each of the past six decades.Who has written the most #1 songs? ›
Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26), of The Beatles, rank first and second, respectively, for having written the most Hot 100 No. 1s, thanks to their respective group and solo outputs.Who has had a number one hit in every decade? ›
As the first-ever artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart across four separate decades, Carey beats out icons like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Usher, who have each topped the same chart across three decades.What octave is Lady Gaga? ›
Lady Gaga's vocal range is approximately three octaves, spanning A2 – G5 – B5.
Who sold more CDs than Beyonce? ›
Q Acoustics - In 2016, Mozart sold more CDs than Beyoncé!... | Facebook.Who kept Radio Gaga off number 1? ›
Queen - Radio Ga Ga
It peaked at Number 2 in the UK, held off the top by Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax, and years later inspired a cover by rockers Electric Six (that version peaked at 21) as well as the name of little-known artist Lady Gaga.
|Alicia Keys discography|
Canadian singer Shania Twain has released six studio albums, three compilation albums, three remix albums, one box set, two live albums, 45 singles, 38 music videos, six promotional singles, and made six guest appearances.How many CDs does R Kelly have? ›
American R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly has released 18 studio albums, five compilation albums, one soundtrack album, six video albums, one mixtape, two extended play, and 129 singles (including 47 as a featured artist and 10 promotional singles).How much has Sade sold? ›
Sade Albums Sales
To score over 7.5 million sales with each of your first 5 albums over a span of 16 years is amazing, even more when you are off the media radar. Diamond Life was an unexpected smash back in 1984. One of these albums from discreet singers that the public fell in love with.
Sade and Snoop Dogg are amongst this year's acts to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The annual ceremony takes place this year on June 15, 2023, and will also recognise inductees including ELO's Jeff Lynne, producer Glenn Ballard, and Taylor Swift co-writer Liz Rose.Is Sade on Spotify? ›
The Best Of Sade - Compilation by Sade | Spotify.Who has the longest number 1 album? ›
|54||West Side Story†||Various artists|
|South Pacific‡||Various artists|
Michael Jackson – Thriller
It is the best-selling vinyl album of all time, with sales of over 33 million copies worldwide. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Male, and American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.
Who has number 1 album? ›
|1. (1)||1||One Thing At A Time Morgan Wallen peak position: 1 – total weeks: 7|
|2. (new)||new||72 Seasons Highest Debut Metallica peak position: 2 – total weeks: 1|
|3. (4)||4||Sos SZA peak position: 1 – total weeks: 19|
|4. (3)||3||Midnights Taylor Swift peak position: 1 – total weeks: 26|
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.Has anyone sold 100 million albums? ›
Conversation. Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Phil Collins are the only musicians to have sold over 100 million albums as a solo artist and member of a group. I remember Phil Collins.How much is 1 album unit worth? ›
Under the updated album equivalent ratios, 1,250 premium audio streams, 3,750 ad-supported streams, or 3,750 video streams are equal to one album unit.Who is the greatest female singer of all time? ›
1. Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin is often credited as one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her ability to transcend genres and styles, such as rock, gospel, soul and jazz, has earned her the title of “Queen of Soul” and the number one spot on this list.Who is the most successful female singer of all time? ›
Madonna is recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Best-selling female recording artist of all time".Who is the most awarded female singer of all time? ›
Whitney garnered over 400 awards during her career spanning three decades. Houston holds the Guinness World Record as the most awarded female artist of all time and her first four albums sold 86million copies. Whitney started out by singing gospel music at her mother's church.Where does Sade Adu live now? › What is Sade doing now? ›
It was announced in 2022 that Sade was working on new music, and fans from every age range were beyond excited. She and the band (both culturally referred to as Sade) created hits that have influenced the sounds of our favorite contemporary artists today.How old is Sade Adu now? ›
Did Sade have a baby? ›
“It'll never be forgotten.” The 23-year-old was born Mickailia “Ila” Adu in 1996 and is the only child born to Sade. He first came out publicly as transgender in 2016.Has Sade ever been married? › Is Sade back in the studio? ›
Sade and her eponymous band are back in the studio, according to a new report in Billboard. Producer and engineer Damien Quintard, who co-runs the renovated Miraval Studios in Corren, France, confirmed to the magazine that Sade have been working on new music.How many children does Sade have? ›
7 Little Known Facts About Sade's Only Child, Mickailia Adu.Who is Sade Adu married to? › Is Sade still making songs? ›
Sade have been working on new music, Billboard reports. The band has been recording at Miraval Studios in Correns, France. The French producer and composer Damien Quintard, who co-operates the studio, told Billboard, “You could feel the love that she and the band had for this place.”Does Sade have a son? › Why is Sade so popular? ›
The malleability of Sade's voice has always made her excellent source material for remixers, and Detroit techno legend Kenny Larkin's dreamy, percussive take on Give It Up is one of the finest out there. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Sade's music is the esteem in which she is held by contemporary artists.Does Sade Adu have children? › Does Sade Adu have a Grammy? ›
Our research shows that the first Nigerian female to win a Grammy did so in 1986. Her name is Helen Folashade Adu, popularly known as Sade Adu. At the 28th edition that year, she got her first nomination and won the Best New Artist category. Adu had eight Grammy nominations and won four during her career.
Is Sade a vegetarian? ›
— Helen Folasade Adu, a.k.a. pop soul chanteuse Sade, had been a complete vegetarian for nine years when she spotted some lambs on her farm in England.