Sunday, 16 April 2017

Diamond Life Sade - Reviews

Diamond Life Sade

Reviews of Diamond Life Sade

Reviewed by **Rob** - Sterling and Seductive Debut Album

I return to Diamond LIfe again and again, to enjoy the understated cool vocals of lead singer Sade backed by her talented, experienced band. The album weaves a narrative of young love, the importance of dedication and strength in relationships, meditations on life's challenges (both matters of the heart and economic concerns), support of family and friends.

My favorite tracks are Smooth Operator, Your Love Is King, and Hang On To Your Love. Each of these tracks highlights Sade's seemingly effortless command of velvety lyrics overlaid a percolating, measured percussive bandplay. Sade's phrasings are often at a lower register; some times seductive, other times maintaining a presence of solid observation. The world is complication and large. The beauty of Sade's debut album is the band's ability to winnow down narratives to a human-to-human level, mining universal tales of heartache, dreams, a dose of reality that nevertheless can offer redemption and hope.

Diamond Life is never rough, always refracting various elements common to our collective human experience. At the time of this writing, February 2015, Diamond Life is approximately 30 years old and is as timely today as it was upon its release. This sterling collection of songs is cohesive and benefits from the fine collaboration between vocalist and instrumentalists. The album is relevant, a pure joy to listen to, and is deserving of a place in your music library. I highly recommend Diamond Life.


Reviewed by Andre S. GrindleTOP 1000 REVIEWER - Sade And The Cool School Of Grooves

Once and awhile you run into an artist who merit a musical sub genre all their own. James Brown and Steely Dan come to mind. Prince actually did. And though you may disagree Sade are another I feel as being deserved of that distinction. All new musics of recent decades have come out of one fusion of sound or another. Helen Folasade Adu had by the early 80's teamed up with sax/guitar player Stuart Matthewman,keyboardist Andrew Hale and bassist Paul Denman during the height of the UK jazz-funk movement featuring people such as Incognito/Light of Worlds,Imagination,Level 42,Chas Jankel and many more. Most of those people I just mentioned never crossed over commercially in any huge way in the United States. Sade,a name which apparently refers to the band whose lead singer is Sade Adu herself,in fact became an enormous success stateside. Their songs were all over contemporary FM radio and Sade stickers could even be found in cereal boxes. For a brief time anyway,they became close to megastars. Why? Well for one their sound struck a chord with many musics that were deemed acceptable by American radio,from soft pop jazz,easy rock and pop/soul. In any case the key ingredient was their understand of the funk.

It's not a big band,but this quartet's style of playing really creates a fullness that's both relaxing and full of vitality. "Smooth Operator" is one of those pop hits I never tire of hearing,with it's night club friendly bossa type soul atmosphere. Same for the soulfully jazzy "Your Love Is King". And there of course is the highly funkified "Hang On To Your Love",one of my favorites here with it's sassy bassline and Adu's elegant assertiveness in the lyric. At the same time it's one of those albums that you can play from beginning to end and get more and more out of. "When Am I Going To Make A Living","Cherry Pie" and "Why Can't We We Live Together" all touch on issues of poverty,sexuality and interracial relationships by applying this spare,smoldering funk that is right at the level of the groove. With little instrumental distraction outside the rhythm section. At the same time it's produced to a polished sheen as well. "Sally" is a cryptic urban tale that may be historical or not. I am not myself sure. That and "Frankie's First Affair" extend on the jazzier,quieter side of this otherwise sleekly grooving affair.

How many bands can you say make you want to dance and chill out at the same time? Even to this day Sade's sound not only defies categorization but is in a class all it's own. A lot of people call it a close cousin to smooth jazz. But the production is only just smooth enough to add elegance to the instrumentation,not a layer of glaze the way it is with a lot of smooth jazz. Not only that but it's easy to tune into Sade Adu's wonderful sense of song craft. She's heavily influenced by American standards,both jazz and pop associated and is just in love with contrasting major/minor chord progressions. Not only that but the music is the type of funk that just glides along like patent leather shoes across a dancefloor. It's sophistifunk at it's absolute finest. And the best part is,at a time when even the best of funk was based largely in big beats and strong electronics Sade were able to maintain the basic essence of funk for pop listeners without them really even realizing it. The lyrics are very human and believable,full of youthful hopes but fully acknowledging the realities of their world with a great sense of dignity. It's definitely adult for the most part. But that blend enthusiasm and ennui that is typical of early adulthood. Which is where these people were at this time. An example of something very exciting and positive about a too often maligned time period.

Reviewed by The GuardianTOP 500 REVIEWER - Diamond debut from 1984

`Diamond Life' was the 1984 debut album from the "famously reclusive" singer Sade, pronounced `Shar-day' (Nigerian-born but UK-reared Helen Folasade Adu).

Most people will know the opening number `Smooth Operator' which was a hit single and perennial coffee-lounge favourite, but the whole album is a sublime collection of rhythmic, mellow, jazz-influenced delight with exemplary musicianship and production values dominated by Sade's melodious contralto. `Your Love is King', `Hang on to your Love' and `Cherry Pie' also shine brightly; a bridge between mellow jazz and funk-rock has rarely been built so successfully or with such delicacy and finesse.

This band has no weak areas and the album no flat spots. The music verges on perfection, works as non-intrusive background music to a dinner party yet rewards closer attention, and never seems to age.

Sade's stage performances were always highly professional affairs with perfect sound balance between the instruments, surprisingly with more upbeat rock-along energy than the mellow album recordings might lead you to believe. DL is truly music for all occasions and, almost 30 years after its initial release, still sounds fresh and contemporary.

Reviewed by Nse Ette - A Diamond indeed!

This is an old album (I never thought 1984 would become old, lol!) but I was reminded of it while preparing my first Listmania list, for my 40 favourite albums (yes, it definitely made the list). This album reminds me of UK music magazines Smash Hits, Record Mirror, and Blues & Soul (ah, the days when hardcopies of magazines and music ruled) as it came out while these were the magazines of the day, and Sade was a regular visitor to their pages.

Diamond Life is the debut release from Nigerian chanteuse Folasade Adu and her Band, simply known by the moniker Sade (an abbreviation of her first name). A sleek catchy hybrid of Pop, Soul and Jazz, the album was a multi-million seller and won Sade the Grammy for best newcomer. It showcased excellent musicianship and clever lyrics, rarely bettered even today.

Right from the group's image (her ponytails, large hoop earrings and backless dresses), and the fantastic blue-tinged black and white cover art (giving a retro look to match the sound), everything about this album reeked sheer class, which permeated right through the nine tracks on the album.

Opening cut (and a favourite of mine), the aptly titled dramatic "Smooth operator" with percolating percussion, spoken intro with dramatic flourishes, sprinkled with tenor sax, and that dusky Blues-y voice telling the tale of this western male who goes from "Coast to coast, LA to Chicago" is still a classic to this day, much like anything by Ella or Billie I daresay.

Other standouts are the swinging horn-peppered "Your love is king", the retro funk of "When am I going to make a living" (with semi-biographical lyrics about perseverance despite the hard times the band faced before hitting the limelight, this was well before American Idol remember), the tender and lovely "I will be your friend", and the reworking of Timmy Thomas' paean for racial harmony "Why can't we live together" (with an extremely long brilliant jazzy intro, and rich in congas). Another favourite of mine is the groovy "Cherry pie" with a killer bassline and dreamy echoing vocal effects.

This album stood out when it came out (and that was a time crowded with great music mind you; Prince, MJ, Madonna, Duran Duran, Bowie, Kool & the Gang) and it is easy to see why. Additionally, unlike most other winners of the Grammy newcomer award, every subsequent studio release by Sade has been brilliant and gone platinum, confirming that they (the Grammys that is) definitely got it right that time. The music scene (in the UK at least) has come full cycle with loads of young girls (Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy et all) hearkening back to a time when music was, well, music.
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Reviewed by Donald E. Gilliland - a jewel for sure

I got this album when it was first releasesed and have owned it in various formats over the years (uh, decades!). It's that good, that treasured. But I hadn't played it in a few years until I plucked it from a dusty shelf last month ... and fell in love all over again. Truly, this is a jewel of an album. Stunning that it was Sade's debut offering. It's so assured, so polished, so radiant. Pick a song, any song; they are brilliant. That smooth soulful vocal style, with just the right garnishes of jazz, and a slight hint of world beat/reggae rhythms on a few tunes. And of course Sade's lush, sensual vocals are the perfect wrapping on these songs. I love the way the album ebbs and flows, finishing on a very high note with the stunning cover of Timmy Thomas's "Why Can't We Live Together." Albums don't get much more perfect than this.

Reviewed by rmcrae - Sade's sax heavy affair

Elegance, class, and sophistication barely begin to describe the sound of Sade, the woman and the band. Their debut album Diamond Life shimmers with glamour and style, but it's never stuffy or lacking of substance.

The debut single Smooth Operator is a samba-laced tale of a jetsetting playboy who lives to break hearts while Your Love Is King is a red hot praise to a man that makes Sade's "soul sing" and "cry out for more". Both are top notch jams. Some great relationship advice is dispensed on the bass line swinging Hang On To Your Love. "So if you want it to get stronger/You'd better not let go/You've gotta hold on longer if you want your love to grow/You gotta stick together/Hand in glove/Hold on tight don't fight/Hang onto your love!"

A heartbreaker gets on the receiving end of heartache on the wintery Frankie's First Affair. "It's a crying shame/You left a trail of destruction/Heartbreaker, you know now/They really did care cuz it's your first affair" Sade gently scolds him. The European flavor of When Am I Gonna Make A Living is a starving artist's anthem. Rather than giving in by working a 9 to 5 job, Sade would go without if necessary in order to chase her dreams. "We are hungry but we won't give in!"

Cherry Pie is THE highlight. Sade positively smolders over a funky after hours groove that recounts a man who was "sweet as cherry pie, wild as friday night", but left her out in the cold. "I'm gonna find out what I meant to you/You're the one broke my heart in two!" Why this wasn't a single I can't comprehend.

The downcast Sally calls for a standing ovation for a woman who "saved all those young men" (one running the streets, one a drug addict, and another a country boy far from home) and "doing our dirty work". It's not clear whether Sally is a prostitute or just a kind woman who took them in, but that's why I love it. The listener can decide who Sally is, but it's clear that she did her best to care for them. I Will Be Your Friend is the most dated song on the set, but not in a bad way. It's good 80s, trust me. A typical "lean on me" oath of devotion that's made fresh with Sade's jazzy take on it.

Why Can't We Live Together is a cover of a 60s song, but Sade's version is cooler. "No more war, no more war, no more war/Just a little peace/No more war, no more war/All we want is some peace in this world/Everybody wants to live together/Why can't we be together?" Great closer!

Two B-sides that would've made great additions to the record are Should I Love You and Love Affair with Life. Should I Love You is a midtempo Diana Ross and the Supremes styled song finding Sade upset with a lover who cheats on her and makes her sad, but she can't leave him. "You've been sneaking around I'm told/Why am I the last to know?/Listen, when I say/Should I love you like I do?/I'd like to leave but I'm unable to/Should I love you like I do?/Listen to me, I'm talking to you!" Even though the subject matter is a bit of downer, the lyrics are sung in a fun, infectious way.

Love Affair with Life brings images of a smoky nightclub in the heart of London to mind. Accompanied by Stuart's passionate sax and Andrew's sorrowful piano, Sade is downright blue reflecting on her one-sided relationship with a man more involved in his music than his love for her. "You play to empty eyes in crowded bars/I can't believe we've come this far/Yet got nowhere/What is there left for me in this?/Every time you play is your first kiss".... "You can't play me/I'm not a melody." Had that song ended the record, it would've been even better!

Diamond Life is only a taste of what this group is capable of. Whether they're heavy on the sax or workin' with a funky groove, Sade is always on top of their game. Twenty five years and counting.
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Reviewed by Emmenem - Diamond Life in Blu-spec format

After I had seen Sade perform live last May, I decided that my original Diamond Life CD from the eighties needed an update. I stumbled upon this Blu-spec version that was released in limited quantities in Japan. It claimed to have superior sound quality due to the use of a similar manufacturing process to Blu-ray discs. Furthermore, a Blu-spec CD can be played on all CD players.

Since I don't own the remastered version of the album as released in 2000, I can only compare it to my eighties CD and I have to say the sound on this Blu-spec release is much better and far more detailed. Something that I have always found very annoying about the eighties CD is that the opening track (Smooth Operator) clearly has a lower volume than the rest of the tracks. There are no such flaws on this Blu-spec CD.

The only downside is that this Blu-spec version is not easy to obtain and mostly for a high price (I paid about 80 dollars for a new, sealed copy). Either way, I don't mind paying for quality and I am very happy with this purchase. The only thing that would have made this CD even more perfect is the inclusion of some bonus tracks. There are several tracks that were recorded and released in conjunction with the album, such as Should I Love You, Spirit and the alternate 12-inch version of Smooth Operator that segues into the instrumental track Red Eye. All of these tracks can easily hold their own among the nine tracks on the original album but still they have yet to appear on a re-release of this classic album.

Reviewed by Reviews No More - One of the Greatest British Lounge Music Albums of All Time.

I have never reviewed a Sade product before, even though I have been a fan for 22 years. Well, it's high time I did as Sade is among my favorite British lounge artists. This woman came along with her band in the mid-80s, at a time when British music was experiencing a metamorphosis from punk and new wave to a revival of soul, pop, and jazz sounds with the likes of other U.K. contemporaries like Spandau Ballet, Swing Out Sister, Matt Bianco, Everything But the Girl, and Prefab Sprout--only to name a few--that now gets steady airplay on smooth jazz stations to this day.

To say that Diamond Life was a ground breaker is putting it mildly at best. Sade was not just another beautiful face who worked as a model and fashion designer. She proved herself to be quite a talent with a sultry, smokey voice that matched her exotic English-Nigerian looks and a truly gifted songwriter who looked at human character and racism without being a boring poet and weighing down the talents of her bandmates.

Smooth Operator, with Stuart Matthewman's unforgettable sax work has stood the test of over two decades as one of the most erotically thrilling pieces of smooth jazz to ever receive airplay on the globe, and it is a true classic from start to finish. In fact, it's Matthewman's sax that often steals the show from Ms. Adu, intentional or not. The intimate and beautiful "Your Love is King" is even better than its predecessor for several mood enhancing reasons I will not elaborate on, but it is a song I never push the skip button on. "Hang On to Your Love" has wonderful keyboards and great rhythm that is playful and sensual all at once, just as "Frankie's First Affair" is slow, contemplative, and winsome.

It is true that "When Am I Going to Make a Living" is a bit of a filler song, but "Cherry Pie" is a great slice of lamentative funk that reminds one slightly of revamped Philly soul. "Sally" reminds me of a Toni Morrison novel set to music, and "I Will Be Your Friend," while admittedly not the strongest track on Diamond Life, is a sweet song of comfort and compassion. I must admit, though, that the successful airplay of Sade's remake of "Why Can't We Live Together" is an absolute mystery to me. I never liked the song to begin with, and her version, while smoother and definitely full of honest emotional angst just never grabbed me in the right way. Now that I have had all these years to get used to it, though, I don't question it so much anymore and enjoy the track for its integrity.

If you haven't gotten to know Sade very well yet, I can't recommend a better place to start than with the album that began it all. After all, that's how a lot of us got started. This is a 5 star album because it's 90% perfection, and the other 10% doesn't exactly suck. If you add this disc to your cd collection, Diamond Life will make you all the richer by far.

Reviewed by Gary F. TaylorHALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE - Pure Liquid Elegance

There has never been a singer quite like Sade Adu. Although she is of Nigerian origin, and her voice is clearly that of a woman of color, she is equally influenced by her English upbringing; the resulting combination of African heat and British coolness, particularly when combined with her band's elegant mixture of both American and European jazz idioms, is as original today as when it first appeared. Superficially cool and seemingly detached, everything about the band simmers with an underlying passion.
While Adu and her band (collectively known as Sade) have done many memorable recordings since they debuted, DIAMOND LIFE remains their single finest recording: it is pure liquid elegance every step of the way. Opening with "Smooth Operator," which makes particularly good use of Stuart Matthewman on sax, the entire collection flows effortlessly from cut to cut--some dark, some slightly dissonate, some slightly upbeat, and every one of them memorable in the most haunting way imaginable.
Like "Smooth Operator," both "Your Love Is King" and "Hang on to Your Love" actually broke into the charts as singles--a truly amazing feat for a jazz-oriented club band in the ultra-synthetic 1980s. But in truth, be it "Cherry Pie," "When Am I Gonna Make A Living," or "Sally," there isn't a bad cut on the entire CD. Everything shimmers with a sultry yet subtle beauty, pulling you into an atmosphere in which you seem to feel the pulse of a midnight lounge, the atmosphere of the club scene fromw which Sade emerged.
As a band, Sade is sexy, cool, smart, delicately shaded, and brilliantly shaped, and the aptly titled DIAMOND LIFE is perhaps one of the best debut recordings made over the past fifty years. Mix yourself a drink, turn the lights down low, drop it on the stereo, and dream of smoke, the clink of cocktail glasses, and the murmur of voices gone suddenly silent when the band begins to play. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer

Reviewed by Alex - Great debut (and a reason to get the cassette instead)

First off, I need to point out that when Epic decided to release remastered versions of all her albums, they released the cassette with an additional track, Love Affair With Life, but left it off the CD. How smart is that? Buy the cassette just for that track alone - it's a gorgeous, melancholy torch song which she sings with sparse accompaniment (piano, lonely sax). It's Sade at her smoky, soulful best.
Now to the rest of the album. What can I say that hasn't been said about it already? For a debut, it's a stunner (and, if I'm not wrong, it's still the best selling debut by a British female artist). She's made better records since (including Love Deluxe and the awesome Lovers Rock), but Diamond Life is still a very accomplished and sophisticated record. Of course, Smooth Operator is here, but the best track is the soul gem Your Love Is King. It's an erotic song, but its words are thoughtful and meditative, reflecting the post-coital contentment of a woman in love. Sally is another knockout track, brilliant in its lyrical depth and jazzy delivery. (Sade is a great lyricist, something she's not credited often for.) Written as a tribute to the Salvation Army, it tells the story of three men rescued off the streets by "Sally," and shows Sade's skill at writing songs with vivid character development.
Diamond Life is great start to a career that seems to grow from strength to strength. (Pity it's a none too prolific career, but I suppose she emphasizes quality over quantity.) For an 80s album, it still sounds sumptuous and relevant (compared to, say, a Thompson Twins or Culture Club album, which you can only listen to with embarassment). I guess timeless is the word for it.

Reviewed by Daniel J. HamlowHALL OF FAME - Cafe Sade--pleasant and warm pop-jazz

From the cover, one might think this was another R&B album of the 1980's. However, the bongos and Stuart Matthewman's sax signal something more jazzy. And Sade's opening monologue and her smooth, gentle but potent voice from her debut single "Smooth Operator" shows more than ever an artist with a truly gifted voice. Once again, soulless corporate life is embodied with "We move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy/City lights and business nights/When you require streetcar desire for higher heights" and "No place for beginners or sensitive hearts/When sentiment is left to chance/No place to be ending but somewhere to start." As in the other songs, the other musicians really play a nice, balanced combo.
If my ideal one were to burn me a CD of love songs, I'd want her to put "Your Love Is King" on. Matthewman's sax wails wonders after the third verse. It's warming to hear "Touching the very part of me/It's making my soul sing/Tearing the very heart of me/
I'm crying out for more" and the bridge, when she says "This is no blind faith/This is no sad and sorry dream." I hope so.
Paul S. Denman's pounding funky bass opens and maintains a constant rhythm in "Hang On To Your Love." Sade gives good advice maybe I should heed: "Be brave when the journey is rough,
it's not easy when you're in love/Don't be ashamed when the going gets tough/it's not easy/don't give up." In other words, don't see things in the short-term, but long-term. After taking my jazz course, six minutes of worthy instrumentation doesn't seem long enough. I wouldn't mind a ten minute jam here.
The reverse in fortune of a heartbreaker is told in "Frankie's First Affair." Her scolding is soft and reserved, but she shows emotional range at points, and when it does, the sax wails to a crescendo, accompanied by the piano and bass. At the end, she says, "Don't you realise they really, really, really did care."
When Am I Going To Make A Living has a bouncy rhythmic sound and seems to be an antidote to the cut-throat world, with fussing and stealing people who don't achieve anything due to "too many lies." She sings, "There's no end to what you can do/If you give yourself a chance to prove." Yet even though nasty people will " waste your body and soul if you allow them to", sometimes it's matter of lacking empowerment. Those people can be too strong.
The prominent bass and "wicka-wicka" guitar opens "Cherry Pie," a heartbreaker song. The title refers to how sweet the guy was. Then comes "Sally," an ode to a Salvation Army worker tirelessly working to help men in trouble, such as a drug addict, and a man from the country who needs company in the harsh and lonely city. The chorus goes "So put your hands together for Sally/She saved all those young men/Put your hands together for Sally/She the one who cared for them." The sad and lonely sax and bass punctuates this nighttime cafe number.
I Will Be Your Friend is the second track here for my From Ideal to Me CD. Another favourite which demonstrates the emotional support pledged from the woman to a man, that woman who's "here to wipe away the tears." Something I need right now. And love this lyric: "'So trust in me!'/These are the words I tattoo on you" Other words of emotional succor: "'You've got so much to give,'/I'll tell you just when you need to know/'Get out and live,'/I'll pick you up when your feeling low." And "So here's my hand/trust in me I really am true/You've got to understand, there's nothing I wouldn't do." It has a matching pleasantly upbeat rhythm.
She closes with a cover of Timmy Thomas's timeless "Why Can't We Live Together." "No more war, no more war, no more war.../Just a little peace/No more war, no more war/All we want is some peace in this world."
Small wonder Anglo-Nigerian Sade won a well-deserved Grammy as Best New Artist, beating out Whitney Houston. One misconception is the word Sade. True, it is what Helen Folasade Adu calls herself, but it's actually a group: her on vocals, Stuart Matthewman on sax, Andrew Hale on keyboards, and Paul S. Denman on bass. Because this music is a pop-jazz, with really great musicians, Sade as a group is more apropos.

Reviewed by A customer - Is Sade good or is she?

The smooth girl herself, Sade has not failed us (or at least me), and in my opinion, she never will. Diamond Life...what an album. It is the perfect introduction to the Sade world...unpredictability, in a good way. We need versatility. Most of us are stuck in our ruts, plodding along, afraid to take any chances. Sade, however, is different.
When I first entered the world of Sade, at age three, when listening to the opening track "Smooth Operator", I noticed that this was different from the music I heard my parents listening to. I was too young to totally grasp the lyrics and the meaning, and now, at age 12, I still don't get some of it, and maybe it's a lifelong thing. But as God is my witness, I will keep trying.
As I get further into the music, "Your Love Is King" makes me feel slightly lightheaded. it's so...Sade. For some reason, I love the third verse. It's different, something that only I would catch. I think.
Hang On to Your Love was a bit easier for me to understand, but "Frankie's First Affair" left me and still leaves me in a state of shock.
I never knew Sade could scream like that.
Songs 5-9 are also mysterious, and I think they're things the only the songwriter herself can understand.
Most people my age seem to think that they're supposed to listen to rap and r&b.
I beg to differ.
When I go to someone's house, and they ask me if I want to listen to music, sometimes, I'll be like, if it's not Sade, I don't want to hear it.
At this moment, I am listening to No Ordinary Love. While this is music that some people would prefer to just pop in the CD player and leave it there, I tend to actually listen to the words. I like to actually know what she's saying. I only have about two songs figured out so far, but I'm gonna keep trying.
When I really get into the music, sometimes I can feel as if I'm in the Twilight Zone; I don't notice anything else. The only time I relax is at night. When I relax, I relax to sade. I fall asleep listening to her music, and I dream about her. She is my role model.
In conclusion, I reccomend Sade for anyone. When it's time for a change, it's time for Sade.
Listening to Sade is like a springtime breeze...nothing can replace it.

Reviewed by Henry Cooper - Silky & Smooth

Sade is one of the all-time underrated artists of our time. She is such an amazing performer. Can't wait to hear more from her. I actually have both her CDs from her 1st release to Promise and especially Love Deluxe (one of my all-time favorite). I'm a huge fan to her music and always will be. Some of the albums I don't have on her at this moment are Stronger than Pride, The Best of Sade and Lover's Rock. Those of the 3 I may pick up once it's availble or not. But praise God it was re-released w/o no bonus features but just a new sound and a brand new look.

Ok as I was gonna say about this CD, this classic is a sultry blend of R&B, funk, smooth jazz, Latin, blues, and a bit of rock to deepen the rhythm a lil bit. Like 2 say, I luv every song that's on this CD right here 'cuz it's so timeless not vulgarly.

Sade have put out a band that most often work with her y'know from Stuart Matthewhead, Stuart Gordon, and the other guy (forgotten his name). Like this is one of her best that she put out even it's a must-have classic. I luv the sound that she did on this album.

Some of my favorite songs to date are: Smooth Operator, Your Love Is King, Hang On To Your Love, Cherry Pie (that's such a deep song w/ a lot of upbeats to it), and the remake of Timmy or Jimmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together".

I recommend this if they wanna to tryout some neo-soul or some R&B in their era. Good job on a wonderful disc. God bless u Sade, and put out some albums like this in the future.

Reviewed by Preston - This is still a wonderful debut from Sade!

I still think that this album is still Sade's best album! From the classic Smooth Operator, to Hang on to Your Love, to Cherry Pie,to Your Love Is King, to Sally, and Frankie's First Affair, this album smartly balanced R&B and smooth jazz and scored big in 1985. I've noticed that the album sounds best in South Carolina--the band's songs match so very well to the hilly landscapes down there. There's a consistent live feel to the songs from the band, a lot of improvisation and strong song making. And Sade Adu sounds superb, vocally and with conviction. I've noticed that some of this first album's songs still get a lot of play in drugstores, supermarkets, as well as radio stations. I was so happy that they won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. They were the best ones that year! It set the tone for Promise, Love Deluxe and the most recent one, Lovers Rock. This is still a wonderful and classic debut from Sade!

Reviewed by A customer - This is great!

Well. I love this. It's indescribable. I mean, she's really pretty. By she, I mean, looks and music, and the way she puts it together. She really has herself together. And she isn't trying to change herself to make people like her. She does her own thing. That's obvious in this album. You'd really like this album if you listened to it. My personal favorites are songs 1-4. Sade truly is the "Smooth Operator". Well, anyway, her voice always operates on me when I listen to it. When I finally bring myself to turn it off, I leave the room feeling different from when I entered it. OK. Anyway, the band rocks, very good instrumentation. Even though I don't understand half the songs, and they were all written before I was born, I still like it. I think everybody should try this album out before tossing it in the reject pile, because once you hear it you would want to hear it again...and again...and again. Well, that's how it was for me, anyway.

Reviewed by Andre' S Grindle - Smooth Operating

First off Sade is a band,not merely an ensamble backing
the solo performer Sade Adu,but it sure makes you think it is.
The opener "Smooth Operatore" is Sade's sttment of intent-their
music is soft,subdued but highly sensual and quite funky,notably
on the smooth grooves of "Hang on To Your Love" and "Cherry Pie".
The wonderful "Your love Is King" indicates what a diverse singer
Sade herself is while "Frankie's First Affair","Sally" and the
defiant "When Am I Going To Make A Livining" in which the singer
declares "I'm hungry but I won't give in" doesn't take away from
this albums relaxing ambiance.It's perfect to chill out to-an
excellent stress releiver and great to get down to,as well as
being as catchy as a net.Highly impressive stuff!

Reviewed by Andre' S Grindle - Smooth Operating

First off Sade is a band,no merely an ensamble backing
the solo performer Sade Adu,but it sure makes you think it is.
The opener "Smooth Operatore" is Sade's sttment of intent-their
music is soft,subdued but highly sensual and quite funky,notably
on the smooth grooves of "Hang on To Your Love" and "Cherry Pie".
The wonderful "Your love Is King" indicates what a diverse singer
Sade herself is while "Frankie's First Affair","Sally" and the
defiant "When Am I Going To Make A Livining" in which the singer
declares "I'm hungry but I won't give in" doesn't take away from
this albums relaxing ambiance.It's perfect to chill out to-an
excellent stress releiver and great to get down to,as well as
being as catchy as a net.Highly impressive stuff!

Reviewed by Mark Withers - Evolution of Music

Back in 1987 a good friend of mine made a copy of this cd for me for my birthday on tape.

At the time, the only song I liked on it was 'Smooth Operator' so I rewound it over and over and played that song repeatedly and eventually forgot about it.

About 5 years later, I found the tape and listened to it....instantaneously I found that I absolutely LOVED every song on this CD!

I can't explain why it took me so long to fall in love with this, but after I did I loved everything put out by Sade.

To give this cd 5 stars is a great understatement. Every song deserves 5 stars.

I am glad and grateful that this album has contributed to the evolution of my musical tastes.....I highly recommend it and anything put out by Sade. Their music is KING in my heart.
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Reviewed by Amazon Customer - Killer First Album

Sade's first album, Diamond Life, is truly a diamond. Every song is worth a listen. Sade's luscious vocals make every song hit you really hard. This is a unique album. Music that's worth anything is hard to find these days. But Sade's music is worth a lot. Sade has a song for everything. 'I Will Be Your Friend' is a song about, obviously, friendship ("I will be your friend til the end of time/I will be your friend, I'm here to make you smile"). Then there are the love jams, like 'Your Love Is King', which will always remain one of my favorites. There's 'When Am I gonna make a Living', which is about not giving up when it's hard to make your way in the world. And then there are the other songs. So if you enjoy music that's actually worth anything, then get Diamond Life, and you won't be disappointed.

Reviewed by Todd Hampton - An introduction to Adu

Right smack dab in the middle of the techno 80's when most of the music being put out was done by computers, everything sounded the same, many wondered if real music was dead. Would any new groups come along with something new. Then along came the group Sade. With their musical sounds that sounds like lounge music only deeper and a lead singer whose exotic looks is the stuff cheesy romance novels are based on. This group was definetely different. On Diamone Life you are more than effectively introduced to Sade, all of it's members, but mostly Ms. Adu whose cool, restrained, stylized voice and classic beauty makes this band an iconoclast in the world of modern day music. The entire album is a great listen. My favorites are Your love is king, Hang on to your love, when am I gonna make a living and cherry pie. A classic album and a absolute must for sade fans. This is the one that started it all.

Reviewed by Monchichipox - I wasn't even born when it was released.

I wasn't even born when it was released. It's timeless. It could be released today without being a bit dated and the critics would call it fresh and different. Sade always classes the joint up a little. You can't go wrong with anything she does. Every CD from her is a five+ stars.

Reviewed by D. S. HARDENVINE VOICE - Diamond Life...

When I first hear SADE in 1984, "Hang on to your love" blew me totally away! I bought the album, put it on casette, loaded into my Aiwa "walkman" and was good to go. I immediately realized that she was what I would term, "a nightclub torch singer." So, I didn't look for any vocal gymnastics from her, but her songs on the "Diamond Life" album was custom made to groove to, to mellow-out with, and frankly, to study with. Sade got me through finals week in one piece! Forgive the digression, but SADE/Diamond Life had that kind of effect on me! Five stars for Diamond Life - it's remastered, so the sound is that much "brighter." Enjoy it! Five stars!

Reviewed by - Hip and intelligent

Sade was the first female artist that was able to create music that is both hip and intelligent.
When the album "Diamond Life" reached the U.S. shores in '84, there was nothing like it in the pop music world. The closest you'd find this type of music would be in the jazz section. But most young people wouldn't normally go to the jazz section to look for this type of music, and Sade was able to make the young listen. I was one of those people. And THIS ALBUM will make a jazz/pop lover in you, too!
This album is also a must-have for those quiet, tender moments with a loved-one, or simply for relaxing. Buy it - you won't be disappointed!

Reviewed by Sadé Renée - The Lady of Grace and Elegance...Still a Smooth Operator

Sade is simply one of the best when it comes down to this music industry. Her vocals are smooth and smokey, and when she wants to hit those notes, you better bet your bottom dollar that she can (just look at her concert DVDs, and witness it in some of her songs). Diamond Life is a phenomenal CD (it won her a grammy). I absolutely love every song on here. The deliverance is wonderful and so is the band. Sade is timeless. Her music will never ever get old. If you don't have any Sade CDs, I strongly suggest you buy ALL of them!

Reviewed by SeanEMack!!! - Sade still cherishes the day for ME!

Since I have been rocking the two turntables since "83 when this promo ended up in my mailbox way back then I was like WHOA!! Sade is the original author of neo classic soul way b4 the Jill Scott's, the Erykah Badu's the India Arie's of the new wave of just good music Sade was telling us to Hang On 2 Ya Love and how to be a Smooth Operator in love, she epitomes the angst of a love gone good as well as a love gone bad! my favorite Sade lyric "Couldnt Love You More If I Tryed" and in a nutshell that says it all..........Love is love is LOVE ©

Reviewed by George E. Laster - Simply superb

She is simply superb, and magnificent. She brought romance back to homes, clubs, cars, etc. She is the essence of love. I find her style to be unique. I being brought up in Europe can relate to her so well. She is the Diamond Life, and the jewel of the nile. I rank her music as soft, jazzy, and saltry. If given the opportunity like most men, we dream of such a lady as Sade. She can call me anytime, any day, and any way. I'd fly to her rescue as her Executive Protectionist. Europe is the place of passion and subduction.

Reviewed by Bob Waskiewicz - Take A Smooth Getaway with SADE

I bought the single,"Smooth Operator," in 1984,but not the album,"Diamond Life." I was positive there wasn't another cut as fantastic as this huge record.Boy was I wrong.This tape(That I just got at the record store for under 4 bucks) is like a relaxing vacation.My favorite cuts,"Your Love is King,Cherry Pie,Why Can't we live together," and the hit single,"Smooth Operator." I love "Diamond Life" so much,I've got to get the CD for my record collection.

Reviewed by DonMacVINE VOICE - How I love this recording

I remember when this first came out. I had heard Smooth Operator in a bar in New York and had to find out what it was. When I was able to get the album (yes, still albums back then) I think I wore it thin. Of course shortly afterwards, everyone I know had to have it. I still love this disc almost 25 years later (jeez!). Beautiful, sultry, sexy, smokey - a preview of great hings to come. It's time for something new - it's been a while, but I'll wait.

Reviewed by Librowork - A nice buy to have

This is a really nice suite of songs. It is a little different from what I was expecting from SADE but it her on another platform of emotion, connectivity and relevance.

Reviewed by William - Cherry Pie buy this album

1984 - Sade enters the scene with this album DIAMOND LIFE. My sister buys it, I look puzzled. It sounds so different to everything else out at the time. That was a blessing! Today, this album stands as a timeless recording. I love it as much as I did then. My favourites include Cherry Pie, Hang On To Your Love, and the brilliant cover of 'Why Can't We Live together'. Sade is,and always will be the Smooth Operator. A must-have for any true CD collection.

Reviewed by Sean Stokes - Great Album

SADE has a very unique sound that blends so well with her companions on this album. Though she has many other terrific albums, her debut is undoubtly her best work. Growing up in the 80's I listened to alot of music in my day. This album definitely brings back the memories when I listen to it now. Sade "diamond life" is a fresh, timeless masterpiece that still has a huge amount of integrity. I guarantee even if you are a music lover of all types, you will come to appreciate this melow-jazz-sexy sound that SADE does so well.

Reviewed by Kelven J. Pealer - Sweet As Cherry Pie, Wild As Friday Night!!!

This CD by Sade is probably one of the best production of all time. They really spent quality time in the studio putting this recording together. Urban radio, and a new concept called smooth jazz radio, placed the songs on this cd in heavy rotation, back in 1984. Pop music was slow to pick up Sade, but when they came aboard, they raise the groups music to another level. Oh yes, Sade is a group, not just a singer.

Reviewed by A. R SCOTT - PLEASING!!!!!


Reviewed by G. J Wiener - A True Diamond

This recording is just so precious sort a Diamond. Is that the source of the title? Sade's sultry voice really is so captivating especially on such tracks as Why Can't We Live Together, Smooth Operator, Sally, and Cherry Pie. The supporting musicians add a lot of spunk and spice with relaxing rhythms and timely instrumental fills. Its just s hame that Sade hasn't recorded anything new in a while. She and her band mates are just loaded with talent.

Reviewed by Darrel Drumm - Sultry, jazzy music

Sade has a wonderful sultry, jazzy voice and uses it to it's fullness on this album.

Reviewed by Enlightened - Diamond In The Rough

Sade...easy to describe....Elegant, classy, smooth, silky, professional, relaxing, soothing, jazzy, erotic, velvety, fluid, seductive, emotional, lovely, creative, unique, soulful, buttery, spectacular, extraordinary, intoxicating, haunting, quiet storm, soft, sensual, cool, laid back, chill, sophisticated, genuine, bluesy, reflective, icy, sensational, hypnotic, suggestive, smoky, sexy... CLASSIC...All Sade albums are must haves. One of the greatest singers ever. 5 stars.

Reviewed by Damian P. GadalVINE VOICE - Sultry Sonic Seduction

I stopped in my tracks the first time I heard Smooth Operator - WOW! I couldn't get enough, so I rushed out and bought the CD and never regretted it! There's not a single bad track.
With a stunning funk-soul-jazz mix and great vocals, Sade set the music world on fire with this debut release!
A musical treasure!

Reviewed by P. Kelley - This is a debut album???

This must be the most accomplished debut album of any musical artist who ever lived. Sade's artistic integrity and vision are without parallel...

Reviewed by ann krenn - Five Stars

great cd

Reviewed by BEETLBUG - Sade all day .............

This is truly a remarkable artist with a hauntingly beautiful voice mixed with the right music all of her work is excellent but be careful like a siren she will pull you in and make you fall in love with her. ( I know she did it to me ) You can feel safe knowing that you can buy any of her albums.

Reviewed by Dance Dance Dance - bold

Great work for Sade in the 80's.This album produced 3 hit singles that I still love to listen to. I do not like the backround vocals provided on the 4 and 5 track brought to you by someone other than Sade. I love hearing Sade sing only. Other than that this album is wonderful.

Reviewed by kelley gardner - SMOOTH OPERATOR


Reviewed by D. Handy - Great CD

If your a Sade fan, you need this CD. It is a classic. Just put it on and let it play. Ms. Adu is so soulful and you feel her when she sings. Very rare in today's music.

Reviewed by A customer - T he best jazz-pop album of the decade

Simply the best brittish export of the 80'S. Sophisticated sounds for the sophisticated listener. Pop and Jazz, Jazz and Pop and lots of Sade's smokey voice. The record to be played at a dinning table with wine and lobster.

Reviewed by A customer - I like sade a hole lot.

If you havent noticed I have all of her CDS.She is just so spontanious.So sarcastic.So great.Cool isent it,well got to go so catch you later. your fan chevon the beautifulist princess in the world.bye bye.

Reviewed by Ponce De Bass - Sade's the best.

This was a replacement album in CD format to replace the cassette copy. One of my favorite. For bass guitar players who like to play along with their CDs this one is fun. I have all of hers. She's and excellant singer. Great CD.

Reviewed by MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMADHALL OF FAME - This is Sade's Best

This is without a Doubt Sade's Best Album.The Words&Music have held up.Smooth Operator,Your Love is King,And a Great Remake of Why Can't We Live Together.Sade's Music you can't put a Label on it.

Reviewed by A customer - Yaah man !

I have heard Smooth Operator zillions of times but it is still the coolest song on earth. Sade grooves your pants off and gets you to beg for the next plane to the Carribean. Yaah man...

Reviewed by lucedays - Track Listing

Side 1

1-Smooth Operator
2-Your Love is King
3-Hang on to Your Love
4-Frankie's First Affair
5-When Am I Going to Make a Living

Side 2

1-Cherry Pie
3-I Will Be Your Friend
4-Why Can't We Live Together

Reviewed by A customer - YES

YES...I believe she is the supreme songstress. She has made some really good albums. I just love Sade's music. There's nothing bad about this album, if anybody thinks there is.

Reviewed by Homer J. - If, for no other reason...

buy this CD/Album for Smooth Operator, one of the great songs to come out of the '80s.

Reviewed by M. Bell - My favorite CD of 1985!

Thanks Derrick Livingston for being the first to introduce me to the sounds of Sade!

Reviewed by A customer - Thanks Gos she exists...

Finally we find in all Sade's musice absolutely the best R&B of all times. Hope she will come with a new release

Reviewed by A customer - My Friend loves her Music and so do I.

I Think she is the Most talented woman in music. Hopefully she will put out more hits.

Reviewed by sir_isaac_newton - Perfect

Sultry, sensual and sophisticated - the music and the woman. An incredible album.

A Kid's Reviewon July 26, 2002 - You got to hang on to your love!

I like this album a lot and i love the hit, Hang on to your love!

Reviewed by A customer - It's Sade...come on, she's the best

Every album from the beginning is outstanding. Her voice and style is marvelous.

Reviewed by Curt Van Blokland - Best of Sade

Sade rocks,can not get enough of her!

Next.. Diamond Life Sade

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