By mixing elements of soul, pop, jazz and R&B, Sade and her band have sold 50 million records worldwide since their Diamond Life album debut in 1984. The long-awaited 6th studio album Soldier Of Love was released 8. February 2010 on Epic Records, and in 2011 Sade will play live concerts in Europe, US, Canada, South America and Australia.

Helen Folasade Adu was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and raised in Colchester, Essex, where she moved at 4 after her English mother separated from her Nigerian father, she's spent her life trying to do what feels right, honest and true. Because by comparison nothing else has seemed as important. When she was growing up, Sade would listen to soul artists like Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye. Singers uniquely attuned to the complex sensibilities of heartache and hope, who were skilled enough to create from those feelings, something lasting and transcendent. Still she didn't think about singing herself. Rather, she studied fashion at St Martin's art college, only signing on as vocalist when a couple of old school friends started a band "until they found a proper singer". From there to singing with early Eighties Latin funk collective Pride, she discovered a rare delight in songwriting. It was while she was with that group, that Sade co-wrote 'Smooth Operator' , and it was from there that Sade abandoned diffidence and finally stepped centre stage to form her own group with fellow Pride members Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale and Paul Spencer Denman.

In 1984 their first single 'Your Love Is King' became a top ten hit. And quite abruptly Sade herself became an icon. If during the Eighties, she seemed to embody newly discovered values of aspiration and elegance, there was, and remains, something more fundamental to account for Sade's popularity. Her music has a resilience that belies its apparent softness. It stays in the heart and in the head long after the last notes have fallen silent, in the same way that the embers of a love affair never truly go cold.  That's why, just a year after the first single, she became one of the few recording artists ever to appear on the cover of Time magazine. Because from the very beginning her music transcended the pop moment.

Indeed, with the release in 1984 of her debut 'Diamond Life', Sade was speaking to a global audience. Featuring hit singles 'Your Love Is King', 'Smooth Operator' and 'Hang On To Your Love' , the album spent 98 weeks on the UK charts and 81 weeks on the Billboard charts. Sade received a BPI award for Best Album and a Grammy for Best New Artist. After 'Diamond Life' came 1985's 'Promise', the rich, evocative second album that yielded hits such as 'Is It A Crime' and 'The Sweetest Taboo',  which has become one of the most played songs in radio history. Like it's predecessor, this too was an international multi-platinum success.

 

Three years later, she reconvened the group to record 'Stronger Than Pride', the 1988 hit album which produced memorable singles like 'Paradise', 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride' and 'Nothing Can Come Between Us'. In the album's wake came a pan-continental tour across Europe, Australia and Japan that included Sade's first full-scale arena tour of America.

Throughout their history, the group have always attracted a diverse, multi-racial audience who are drawn by the band's open-minded approach to music. Sade have created dance floor classics, songs for film soundtracks, radio favourites and late night love anthems, at the same time refusing to be classified simply as a pop group, an r&b act,a soul band or anything else as one-dimensional. Instead, like the multi-cultural London streets the group hails from, their music has thrived by embracing diversity as a guiding principle.

In 1992, Sade released 'Love Deluxe', a bold, emotionally honest album that won huge critical and commercial acclaim. In America it spent 90 weeks on the Billboard charts. The single' No Ordinary Love' was featured in the Robert Redford movie Indecent Proposal.

In 1994 came the 16 track 'Best Of Sade'.

Eight years later, in November 2000, 'Lovers Rock' was released. Stripped down and subtle, it is a deceptively simple record that showcases Sade's talent as a writer of songs that bear a hallmark of enduring refinement. From the spare, acoustic 'Sweetest Gift' to the poignant 'All About Our Love' and the moving 'Slave Song', this is an album of warmth and intimacy and sensitivity. In other words, a quite typical Sade album, although the use of more acoustic guitars and the stripped down production now gives an overall downtempo pop feel rather than the usual soul/jazz lounge feeling.

Following the Lover's Rock release in 2000, all four earlier studio albums, plus the Best Of album have been remastered. The tracklistings and running orders are the same as the existing albums, - there are no bonus tracks! The booklet artwork has been restored to match the original album releases.


The live-set "Lovers Live" was released 18. February 2002 and is available on CD, DVD and VHS. "Lovers Live" was filmed and recorded on the nine-week US tour that was extended over the summer of 2001 due to popular demand. The DVD includes concert footage, exclusive behind the scenes action and more.

The 6th and latest studio album "Soldier Of Love" was released 8. February 2010. It was recorded at Peter Gabrielís Real World studio and once again with the old team of Stuart Matthewman, Paul Denman and Andrew Hale. The title song is definitely the best track on the album but also the least Sade-like, Ė with its metallic, shiny martial beat not far from trip-hop territory, itís the toughest-sounding thing Sade has ever done. The rest of the songs are quite typical Sade, although the downtempo R&B production is closer to Lover's Rock than the previous four first albums.

The Ultimate Collection was released on 9. May 2011. The double disk set contains 29 tracks including 3 new songs and 2 remixes.


Gunnar Homdrum © 1995-2017