On this day in music history: July 9, 1988 – “Paradise” by Sade hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #16 on the Hot 100 on July 16, 1988. Written by Helen Folasade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale and Paul Spencer Denman, it is the lone R&B chart topper for the Nigerian British R&B Smooth Jazz band fronted by lead singer and songwriter Sade Adu. The band actually begin writing “Paradise"while preparing to tour in support of their second album "Promise” in 1986. They work on the song sporadically over the next year, finally completing it during the sessions for “Stronger Than Pride”. The track is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. Released as the first single from Sade’s third album in April of 1988, “Paradise” quickly becomes a fan favorite and a staple of the bands live performances. The 7" version features a remixed edit of the song. Also issued commercially as a 12" single, it features an extended version of “Paradise” considerably longer than the album version. The 12" also features the instrumental non LP B-side “Super Bien Total”, in extended form with the 7" version including a shorter edit.
Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at:PayPal.Me/jharris1228
On this day in music history: May 10, 1988 – “Stronger Than Pride”, the third studio album by Sade is released (UK release is on May 3, 1988). Produced by Sade, Ben Rogan and Mike Pela, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas, Studio Marcadet in Paris, France and Studio Miraval in Le Val, Var, France from Mid 1987 – Early 1988. Coming after the back to back multi-platinum success of “Diamond Life” and “Promise”, it is Sade’s first new release in over two and a half years. Exhausted from the cycle of recording and touring behind those albums, the band take a much needed break. When they do reconvene to begin work on their next album, it is done at a more relaxed and leisurely pace. Featuring more of the bands trademark smooth jazz/R&B sound, it vividly reflects locales in which it was recorded. The initial sessions take place in the Bahamas, at the studio owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Following these sessions, Sade continue work on “Stronger Than Pride” in Paris and in the south of France. After releasing their first two albums just a year apart (ten months in the US), it also marks the beginning of the band taking longer and longer hiatuses between recording and touring. It spins off four hit singles including “Paradise” (#1 R&B, #16 Pop), “Nothing Can Come Between Us” (#3 R&B), and “Turn My Back On You” (#12 R&B). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2000, with a limited edition numbered audiophile LP pressed on 180 gram vinyl released by Audio Fidelity Records in 2014. Music On Vinyl also reissues the title on vinyl the same year as the AF LP, and is the current issue in print. “Stronger Than Pride” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, number three on the R&B album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at:PayPal.Me/jharris1228
On this day in music history: February 23, 1985 – “Diamond Life”, the debut album by Sade is released (UK release date is on July 16, 1984). Produced by Robin Millar, it is recorded at Power Plant Studios in Willesden, North West London from Late 1983 – Mid 1984. Formed out of the remanants of the Latin soul band Pride, Sade centers around its Nigerian born (and British raised) lead singer and lyricist Helen Folasade Adu along with guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman and keyboardist Andrew Hale. The band sign with the UK division of Epic Records and US subsidiary Portrait Records in the Fall of 1983. The album is issued in the US following its success in the UK, it spins off three singles including “Smooth Operator” (#5 Pop and R&B), “Hang On To Your Love” (#5 Club Play, #14 R&B), and “Your Love Is King” (#35 R&B, #54 Pop, #8 AC). US and UK versions of the album differ slightly, with the original UK release containing an earlier version of “Smooth Operator”. The US version contains the second recording of the track, first issued as a UK single, which becomes the common version around the world. First editions of the US vinyl LP come packaged in a gatefold jacket, which are discontinued briefly after its release, being replaced with a single pocket sleeve with the inner gatefold contents regulated to the inner sleeve. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001. The title is also reissued as a 180 gram LP by Audio Fidelity and Music On Vinyl in 2012. “Diamond Life” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number five on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 21, 1985 – “Promise”, the second album by Sade is released (UK release date is on November 4, 1985). Produced by Robin Millar, it is recorded at The Power Plant Studios in Willesden, London, UK and Studio Miraval in Correns, Provence, France from February – August 1985. Issued as the follow up to their highly successful debut album “Diamond Life”, recording begins in London during the Spring of 1985, but is moved to the South of France when Sade becomes a target of the British tabloid press and paparazzi. Like their debut, “Promise” is recorded mostly live in the studio with few overdubs recorded after the fact. During the initial recording, Sade sings her guide vocals as the band plays, then overdubs the final vocals in the control room. When preparing to record one of the albums’ centerpieces, “Is It A Crime?” (#49 UK, #32 US R&B), the band performs it live for several months before attempting to capture it on tape. Even then, they spend three days just setting up their equipment in the studio at the Power Plant to their satisfaction. The album spins off three singles including “The Sweetest Taboo” (#31 UK, #5 US Pop, #3 US R&B) and “Never As Good As The First Time” (#89 UK, #20 US Pop, #8 US R&B). Like their debut album, part of the initial pressing of the LP is packaged in a gatefold sleeve (with the song lyrics, credits, and photos of the band inside), which is changed to a single pocket sleeve with the inner gatefold contents printed on the inner sleeve on subsequent re-pressings. The CD and cassette configurations contain eleven songs (“Punch Drunk” and “You’re Not The Man” added to the track listing), while the LP only has nine tracks due to the time constraints of vinyl. Eagerly anticipated, it is an immediate hit with the public, quickly topping the charts in the UK, the US, and throughout much of Europe. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2000, with a limited audiophile LP released by Audio Fidelity Records in 2012. It is also reissued as a 180 gram LP by Music On Vinyl in 2013. “Promise” hits number one on the UK album chart, topping the Billboard Top 200 for two weeks, also topping the R&B album chart for eleven weeks, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 13, 2000 – “Lovers Rock”, the fifth album by Sade is released. Produced by Sade and Mike Pela, it is recorded at Deliverance Studios, Sarm Hook End Studios in London and El Cortijo Studios in San Pedro de Alcántara, Spain from September 1999 – August 2000. Despite scoring yet another multi-Platinum selling album with “Love Deluxe” in 1992, it is one of only two times that Sade are heard from during the 90’s. After releasing their first greatest hits package in 1994, the band begin their longest hiatus from the public eye yet. After a turbulent marriage to Spanish director Carlos Pliego which ends in divorce in 1995, Sade Adu begins another relationship with music producer Bob Morgan, giving birth to a daughter named Mickailia (aka “IIa”) in 1996. Taking time off to raise her child, the band do not begin work on a new album until the Fall of 1999. Refreshed from their extended time apart, band members Stuart Matthewman, Paul Spencer Denman and Andrew Hale have been active in the interim, recording an album under the moniker Sweetback, and Matthewman co-producing R&B singer Maxwell’s first two albums. Once back together in the studio, the band decide to try a different creative approach from their signature sound. Sade move away from the full band arrangements of their previous albums, toward more spare and acoustic guitar driven tracks. Having spent much of the 90’s living in Jamaica to escape the European tabloid press, Adu is inspired and influenced by the sounds of the Caribbean. The title “Lovers Rock” comes from the sub genre of reggae music that is notable for its romantic and sensual vibe, that Sade listened to growing up. Her ups and downs relationship wise also figure significantly in the overall mood and feeling of the album, most notably on the first single “By Your Side” (#75 Pop, #18 AC), the follow up “King Of Sorrow” (#101 R&B) and “Somebody Already Broke My Heart”. Like their previous work, “Lovers Rock” receives a rapturous reception from fans when it is released in the Fall of the new millennium. In the US, the album is also issued with a bonus CD through big box chain store Target, featuring four previously unreleased live versions of “The Sweetest Taboo”, “Smooth Operator”, “Nothing Can Come Between Us” and “No Ordinary Love”, recorded during the Love Deluxe Tour. Sade also follow it with a world tour in 2001, which is then followed by a live concert video and album both titled “Lovers Live” released in 2002. “Lover’s Live” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 3, 1992 – “Love Deluxe”, the fourth album by Sade is released (UK release date is on October 26, 1992). Produced by Sade and Mike Pela, it is recorded at Studio Condulmer in Venice, Italy, Ridge Farm Studios in Capel, Surrey, UK, The Hit Factory in London and Image Recording in Los Angeles, CA from May – August 1992. Returning from a more than three year long hiatus after the release of their previous album “Stronger Than Pride”, Sade begin work on their fourth release in the Spring of 1992. Working on a very tight timeline, the band write and record the album in a relatively brief and intense four months. Most of “Love Deluxe” is recorded in Venice during the Spring and Summer, moving to London and Surrey, with the final recording taking place in Los Angeles. During the sessions, Sade herself often writes her lyrics while listening to the already completed tracks, then recording vocals singing into a Shure SM 57 microphone in either a vocal booth in the studio control room. Lyrically many of the songs focus on themes of “unreciprocated love”, with the intensely private singer giving listeners a glimpse into her tumultuous marriage to Spanish film director Carlos Pliego. Along with meditations on relationships (or the lack thereof), one of the emotional centerpieces of “Love Deluxe” is the powerful ballad “Pearls”. The songs’ narrative follows the struggle of a Somalian woman foraging for food by the road side to feed her daughter, and rejoicing at the few meager grains she scrapes from the dirt. The song is later given a deep house remix, which is rejected by the band for commercial release. However, the remix slips out as a bootleg and becomes a big underground club hit. Led by the mesmerizing first single “No Ordinary Love” (#28 Pop, #9 R&B, #14 AC), it wins Sade their second Grammy Award in 1994 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and is also prominently featured in the film “Indecent Proposal”. The elegant and understated cover art work features a striking sepia toned photo of Sade covered in bronze body paint, taken by famed fashion photographer Albert Watson. The album spins off three other singles including “Kiss Of Life” (#78 Pop, #10 R&B, #20 AC), “Cherish The Day” (#116 Pop, #45 R&B) and “Feel The Pain” (#59 R&B). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2000, and is reissued on vinyl by Music On Vinyl in 2010. “Love Deluxe” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, number two on the R&B album chart, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: July 9, 1988 – “Paradise” by Sade hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #16 on the Hot 100 on July 16, 1988. Written by Helen Folasade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale and Paul Spencer Denman, it is the lone R&B chart topper for the Nigerian British R&B Smooth Jazz band fronted by lead singer and songwriter Sade Adu. The band actually begins writing “Paradise" while preparing to tour in support of their second album “Promise” in 1986. They work on the song sporadically over the next year, finally completing it during the sessions for “Stronger Than Pride”, while recording at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. Released as the first single from Sade’s third album Stronger Than Pride in April of 1988, “Paradise” quickly becomes a fan favorite and a staple of the bands live performances.