The last time I heard from Sade was in 2002 when she released Lover’s Rock after a seven year hiatus. Over the course of her career she only released six albums; the first five sold over 50 million albums worldwide. With that kind of following it seems that she would be dropping CDs like hotcakes, but not Sade. Helen Falasade Adu noted for her soulful, smoky contralto voice achieved success in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s as the front woman and lead vocalist for the Grammy Award winning group.
Her first foray into the music business came about this time, as a member of a short-lived Latin soul group named Arriva. It was as a member of Arriva that she first performed the song “Smooth Operator” which would eventually become her first US hit. This song was co-written by guitarist/bassist Ray St. John. Shortly thereafter, she joined St. John's band Pride, which also included guitarist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Denman, and drummer Paul Cooke. When St. John left Pride the remaining members morphed into Sade, with the addition of Andrew Hale on keyboard.
I was fortunate enough to catch the band in the summer of 1988 at what was then called Pine Knob Theater, an outdoor venue in Clarkston, Michigan. It was a warm summer night filled with the sweet sounds of “Cherry Pie”, “Your Love Is King”, ”Sweetest Taboo”, “Is It A Crime”, Stronger Than Pride” and a host of other songs from her first three albums. I remember leaving the park satisfied that I had witnessed one of the best concerts that I had attended so far.
So if you are out there Sade, please know that your fan base certainly miss you and your multi genre music. Hopefully you will return sometimes soon. If anyone sees her or any of the band members tell them the fans are waiting for her return. Until then I will have to be satisfied with listening to the excellent and perfect “Diamond Life”, “Promise”, “Stronger Than Pride”, “Love Deluxe” and “Lover’s Rock” CD’s. Check out this performance of the group in its heyday.