Sade is the epitome of counter-culture, which is why streetwear gravitates so much toward this mystic English band. With Sade Adu as the lead singer, Stuart Mathewman at guitar, Paul Cooke on the drums, and Paul Denman playing bass, the synergy of the band is top tier. Breaking the rules of fitting in a certain genre and pop culture, Sade blended the musical arts at their disposal. To this day, they can disappear and reappear 10 years later with a new album that everybody will stop what their doing and listen to it, going at least triple platinum on 5 of 6 of their albums. Sade Adu's immaculate voice and the band's perfect blend of genres creates a quiet storm of self-reflection in love and heartbreak. Since the 80's Sade has had a hold on the culture mesmerizing their listeners. We have concocted a top 5 list of their classic albums that you can't ignore. I wouldn't recommend to Sade and drive, it heavily impairs your driving abilities.
5. Lover’s Rock
2000’s Lover’s Rock was released after the band’s eight year hiatus from music. Some people say it was something to do with group turmoil, others say it was due to Sade Adu having her first child. Despite the rumors, the album didn’t disappoint listeners awaiting a new project. The album had a heavy reggae influence giving it a distinct sound that stands out from previous projects released, with very minimal instrumentation, relying more on the raw talent of Sade Adu’s mellow voice with meticulously crafted lyrics. Most of the album was composed with an acoustic guitar with songs like “Lover’s Rock” and “By Your Side”. They came with a completely different approach than previous efforts with a minimalistic aesthetic, standing on pure raw talent. This album aged very well as well as the rest of their catalog. Sade has another hiatus for 10 years after this album unfortunately.
4. Love Is Stronger Than Pride
The album’s title is such a beautiful tagline that matches the music. The album cover of Sade Adu on the beach gives you the backdrop of the album, very serene and chill. Starting with the title track “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”, it gives you somebody at peace with their decisions right or wrong. Love Is Stronger Than Pride had a more upbeat feel to it with songs like “Turn My Back On You”, and “Give It All”. This album didn’t have as much of Sade’s signature style of sorrow and heartbreak in its subject matter as their previous projects, which is actually a plus; not everybody wants to feel the sadness.
With the pressure from their debut album being such a world-renowned classic, Sade had high expectations on their follow-up. Sade didn’t fall into the traditional sophomore slump fortunately. The follow-up of the Diamond Life album didn’t disappoint, with classics such as “Sweetest Taboo”, and “Is It A Crime”. Promise was a great sophomore album compared to the critically acclaimed debut album Diamond Life, utilizing the same producers from the previous project: Robin Millar and Mike Pela. While recording for Promise, the band began experimenting more with early digital technology such as digital keyboards, drum machines, and synthesizers that were not around during the recording of Diamond Life. The album is filled with love ballads with the soft, laidback voice of Adu. Promise was covered with Sade’s signature sorrow voice, luring listeners without much vocal variation. The album was named after a letter from Sade’s dad promising the hope to beat cancer before his passing. Listeners gravitate towards Sade because of Adu’s ability to engage the audience with experiences of being in love entangled in the lyrics.
2. Love Deluxe
By the fourth album you can tell they found their stride in their music. With peak production, instrumentation, and lyrics, this album is almost neck to neck with the debut album Diamond Life. With peak storytelling from Adu in songs like “Tar Baby” being the chef’s kiss of the album. Sade’s lyrics touch on a lot of subject matter, like “Feel No Pain” going through unemployment Packed with finely layered instrumentals throughout the album. Creates very serene ambiance with songs like “Cherish The Day”, “Bulletproof Soul”. This was their last project before their 8 year hiatus from music. Heavily inspired by smooth jazz and rnb.
1. Diamond Life
Debut album from Sade released in 1984. Diamond Life includes their biggest all time hit “Smooth Operator,” which crossed over into a mainstream success. The album boosted them into stardom, selling 10 million albums worldwide, keeping them relevant over the decades. With jazzy instrumentation, stacked with Sade’s beautiful voice, takes you on a lonely trip of love and heartbreak. The album was solely written by Sade Adu and guitarist/saxophonist Stuart Matthewman. Diamond Life introduced Sade to the masses of American pop culture and worldwide. With classics like “Love Is King”, “Sally”, and Timothy rendition, “Why We Can’t Live Together.” This album changed all contemporary music from 1984 forward, inspiring numerous genres. The band did an excellent job blending rnb, jazz, soul, and blues, setting the trend for their future projects.