released Feb 9th, 2010
from the album - Soldier Of Love
YouTube - Sade - Soldier of Love on David Letterman HD 1080p
from all music
When singer Sade and her band of the same name were establishing themselves, their record company, Epic, made a point of printing "Pronounced Shar-day" on the record labels of their releases. Soon enough, the music had no problem with the correct pronunciation. With the breakthrough Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten single "Smooth Operator" propelling the debut Sade album, Diamond Life, to the same spot on the Billboard 200 chart in 1985, the band fast came to epitomize soulful, adult-oriented, sophisti-pop. Though only five more studio albums would follow during the next 25 years, the band's following abated only slightly, and each release was treated like a long-awaited public return of a mysterious yet beloved diva.
Born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria, about 50 miles from Lagos, Sade was the daughter of an African father and an English mother. After her mother returned to England, Adu grew up on the North End of London. Developing a good singing voice in her teens, Adu worked part-time jobs in and outside of the music business. She listened to Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, and Billie Holiday, and studied fashion design at St. Martin's School of Art in London while also doing some modeling on the side.
Around 1980, she started singing harmony with a Latin funk group called Arriva. One of the more popular numbers that the group performed was an Adu original co-written with bandmember Ray St. John, "Smooth Operator." The following year, she joined the eight-piece funk band Pride as a background singer. Pride's opening acts often featured members of the band in different combinations. Pride and their off-shoots performed often around London and stirred up record company interest. Initially, the labels wanted to sign only Sade -- technically a trio featuring Adu, Stuart Matthewman, and Paul Denman -- while the whole of Pride wanted a deal. The members of Pride not involved in the Sade trio eventually told Adu, Matthewman, and Denman to go ahead and sign a deal. Adding keyboardist Andrew Hale, Sade signed to the U.K. division of Epic Records.
The band's debut album, Diamond Life (with overall production by Robin Millar), went Top Ten in the U.K. in late 1984. January 1985 saw the album released on CBS' Portrait label, and by spring, it had gone platinum on the strength of the Top Ten singles "Smooth Operator" and "Hang on to Your Love." The second album, Promise (1985), featured "Never as Good as the First Time" and "The Sweetest Taboo," the latter of which stayed on the U.S. Hot 100 for six months. Sade was so popular that some radio stations reinstated the '70s practice of playing album tracks, adding "Is It a Crime" and "Tar Baby" to their playlists. In 1986, Sade won a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Sade's third album was 1988's Stronger Than Pride, and featured their first number one single on the U.S. R&B chart, "Paradise," as well as "Nothing Can Come Between Us" and "Keep Looking." The fourth Sade album didn't appear for four years: 1992's Love Deluxe continued the unbroken streak of multi-platinum Sade albums, spinning off the hits "No Ordinary Love," "Feel No Pain," and "Pearls."
Matthewman, Denman, and Hale went on to other projects, including the low-key Sweetback, which released a self-titled album in 1996. Matthewman also played a major role in the development of Maxwell's career, providing instrumentation and production work for the R&B singer's first two albums. Sade eventually reconvened to issue Lovers Rock in 2000. The lead single "By Your Side" was a moderate hit, peaking at number 18 on the adult contemporary chart; the following summer, Sade embarked on their first tour in more than a decade and sold out many dates across America. In early 2002, they celebrated the tour's success by releasing a live album and DVD, Lovers Live. The mostly somber Soldier of Love was released in 2010.
Sade’s longest absence yet did not prevent their return from being an event. It at least seemed eventful whenever “Soldier of Love,” released to radio a couple months prior to the album of the same title, was heard over the airwaves. Even with its brilliantly placed lyrical allusions to hip-hop past and present and its mature sound, the single stuck out on stations aimed at teens and twentysomethings, as well as points on the dial that court an older audience. It was the most musical and organic, while also the most dramatic yet least bombastic, song in rotation. Crisp snare rolls, cold guitar stabs, and at least a dozen other elements were deployed with tremendous economy, suspensefully ricocheting off one another as Sade Adu rewrote “Love Is a Battlefield” with scarred, assured defiance. While the song was an indication of its parent album’s reliance upon organic instrumentation — the band’s use of synthesized textures and programming is greatly diminished — it merely hinted at the dark, even fatalist, depth of heartache conveyed throughout the set. On “Bring Me Home,” Adu is content in resignation (“Send me to slaughter/Lay me on the railway line”), while on “The Moon and the Sky,” she projects a bruised and angered bewilderment (“You lay me down and left me for the lions”). The focus at least switches temporarily to a loved one on “In Another Time,” in what resembles a love letter to (what is likely) a young daughter mistreated by members of both sexes (“Their whispers are hailstones in your face”; “Soon they’ll mean nothing to you”). Although the bleakness is tempered with themes of survival and recovery, and (just) one song that is truly sweet (“Babyfather”), a fair portion of the album’s lyrical content comes off as drained-sounding, only echoed with vanilla arrangements that are merely functional, restrained to a fault, greatly outstripped by “Soldier of Love.” Lacking rhythmic hypnotism and relatable most to those who are experiencing solitude created by romantic desertion, this is not your mother's Sade album.
1 "The Moon And The Sky" S. Adu, S. Matthewman, A. Hale S. Adu 4:28
2 "Soldier of Love" S. Adu, A. Hale, S. Matthewman, P. Denman S. Adu 5:59
3 "Morning Bird" S. Adu, A. Hale, S. Matthewman S. Adu 3:55
4 "Babyfather" S. Adu, J. Janes, A. Nicholls, S. Matthewman S. Adu 4:40
5 "Long Hard Road" S. Adu, J. Janes, A. Nicholls S. Adu 3:03
6 "Be That Easy" S. Adu, S. Matthewman S. Adu 3:41
7 "Bring Me Home" S. Adu, S. Matthewman, A. Hale S. Adu 4:09
8 "In Another Time" S. Adu, S. Matthewman, A. Hale S. Adu 5:06
9 "Skin" S. Adu, S. Matthewman, A. Hale, P. Denman S. Adu 4:13
10 "The Safest Place" S. Adu, A. Hale S. Adu 2:46