One of the biggest and most elusive British music acts of all time, but how much do you really know about Sade?

Part two – the 1990’s and beyond

by Mark Keen

“No Ordinary Love” heralded the return of Sade in 1992, with the video again directed by Sophie Muller, and featuring Sade as a mermaid.

Although a bit of a flop when first released in 1992 and going largely unnoticed, it did finally reach number 14 in the UK in 1993 after featuring on the soundtrack of ‘Indecent Proposal’ and won Sade a Grammy Award. Another bit of trivia here – Lisa Stansfield auditioned for the main role but lost out to Demi Moore!

The album “Love Deluxe” would hit the top 10 in the UK and the USA, and again selling 4 million copies there. It seemed like single success hardly mattered anymore, with the follow up singles not making much impact, but served by great videos directed by Albert Watson a renowned Scottish photographer.

Then would follow an eight year hiatus until the next studio album in 2000, although there was a successful greatest hits in 1994 “The Best of Sade”, a hit across the world. The only new track would be the sublime cover of “Please Send Me Someone To Love” which featured on the ‘Philadelphia’ film soundtrack.

Sade would make a great comeback in 2000 with the excellent “By Your Side” from “Lovers Rock” reaching the top 20 in the UK for the first time in seven years and only the fourth time ever for Sade. This would be her last single to reach the top 40 in the UK, and Sade would hardly trouble the USA single charts again. However, album success continued. “By Your Side” would be another collaboration with Sophie Muller who has directed all subsequent videos.

“Lovers Rock” hit the top 20 in the UK in 2000, but would go top 10 in the USA. Not bad after an eight year hiatus, during which Sade’s band worked with Maxwell (who would later do a great cover of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work”). “Lovers Rock” would continue the multi platinum success and again selling close to four million copies in the USA.

Another single from the album would follow in 2001 with the release of “King Of Sorrow” which is well worth a spin. Again, a great video by Sophie Muller with those muted colours used so well in the Kylie videos of late. Filming it in Puerto Rico obviously helps with the atmosphere and the similarities with Kylie’s videos filmed a hop and a skip away in Havana!

Sade would manage another great return in 2010 with the Grammy winning sixth album “Soldier Of Love” returning her to the number one album slot in the USA and the top five in the UK. It was a triumphant return in many ways and really proved Sade’s staying power and finally getting critical approval, and gain selling nearly four million copies in the USA. The cover art was also by Sophie Muller – Sade and Kylie share excellent taste!

The single “Soldier Of Love” starts with the powerful “I’ve lost the use of my heart, but I’m still alive” and has an epic video giving Sade her biggest single hit in the USA for nearly twenty years. Again, the follow up singles “Babyfather” and “The Moon And The Sky” made little impact, not that it mattered. “Babyfather” had a great Sophie Muller video:

So what have we heard from Sade since 2010? Not a lot to be fair. Are we preparing for a record breaking hiatus to compete with Kate Bush? Another successful greatest hits appeared in 2011 entitled “The Ultimate Collection” reaching the top 10 in the UK and the USA. This included some previously unreleased tracks, such as “Still In Love With You” (a Thin Lizzy cover!), “Love Is Found” and some remixes. I can largely cope without the appearance of Jay-Z if I’m honest.

However, just as we were giving up hope some new music has appeared in 2018. “Flower Of The Universe” was featured in the movie ‘A Wrinkle In Time’. There’s a lyric video available:

Let’s hope this is a precursor to a new album. Sade has stood the test of time for over 35 years and their charms do pass many by (as my friend said today in the car “what is that racket”?!), but the multi-million selling albums suggest I am not alone. How many other artists can we name who have had such enduring success?

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

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Written by

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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