There’s no doubt about the fact that Sade is one of the most popular British female artists that’s ever existed. Over a career that has spanned a number of decades, she has performed countless times all over the world. She has also produced no less than six studio albums. Singing mainly in the genres of soul and jazz, she has created a career for herself in an industry that can be exceptionally punishing. Below are all six of her studio albums, ranked from number six all the way down to number one. There is a YouTube link attached to each one, so if you’ve never heard her music before, now would be a good time to start enjoying it.
6. Love Deluxe (1992)
This was her fourth studio album, released by Epic Records and running approximately 45 minutes in length. She produced the album herself and it included genres such as trip hop, jazz and ambient. This album was recorded at a number of studios, including Image Recording in Los Angeles, The Hit Factory in New York City, Ridge Farm in Surrey, England and Condulmer in Venice, Italy. Initially, critics weren’t entirely thrilled with this particular album. In fact, many of them felt like it was an epic departure from the type of work that she had been turning in up until this point in time. Years later, many of those same critics said that when they looked back on the lyrics, they were more akin to the first album that she ever produced and were essentially the reason that she became a star in her own right. Eventually, Rolling Stone magazine placed the album at number 247 on a list of the 500 Best Albums of All Time.
5. Diamond Life (1984)
This was her first studio album, released on Epic Records and produced by Robin Millar. It was recorded at the Power Plant in London and featured genres of music such as pop and smooth soul. It was a respectable album in length, at just over 44 minutes, featuring songs such as “Smooth Operator” and “Your Love is King.” The lyrics were often described as detached, even icy. It was something that most critics had never heard before and the general public seemed to feel the same way. Despite the fact that it was different, it was also something that appealed to a great number of people. As such, Sade definitely put herself on the map with this first album and only continued to do so more and more as she continued on throughout her career with the remaining five studio albums.
4. Soldier of Love (2010)
This is her most recent studio album, released early in 2010 and recorded the previous year at Real World in Box, England as well as a studio in Spain. She produced the album herself along with Mike Pela. Once again, the album was released on Epic Records. This particular album, which stretches to just over 41 minutes in length, is predominantly pop and soul as far as the genre is concerned. It debuted at number four in the UK and number one on the Billboard 200. During its first week of release, it sold 502,000 copies in the United States alone. As a matter of fact, it was the first time in 25 years that Sade had released an album that made it to number one.
3. Lovers Rock (2000)
This album was a little bit different because it featured many soul songs, something that fans of Sade had become quite accustomed to. However, it also incorporated a new sound for her, reggae. The blend of the two made a very unique sound that tended to resonate with people quite well. As a matter of fact, the album earned Sade a Grammy award and it was even well-received by critics, not just fans. She recorded the album in both London and Spain and like some of her other albums, she and Mike Pela produced the album together. As was typically the case, the record was released through Epic Records. Like most of her other albums, it’s just over 44 minutes in length and features songs such as “King of Sorrow” and “By Your Side.”
2. Promise (1985)
This was only her second studio album. It was also longer than many of her other albums by about 10 minutes, coming in at approximately 55 minutes in length. Released through Epic Records, the album was produced by Sade herself, along with Mike Pela, Robin Millar and Ben Rogan. Sade recorded the album in both France and London, incorporating the genres of pop, soul and jazz. The album made it to number one in both the UK and the US as well as the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland. It made it to the top 5 on charts in numerous other countries as well. A number of singles were released from this album, with one of the most popular being “The Sweetest Taboo.” It didn’t take long for this song to become an instant hit almost everywhere that it was heard. It’s still a fan favorite today, all these years later.
1. Stronger Than Pride (1988)
No less than five singles were released from this album alone. Even more impressive, Pitchfork placed the album at number 37 on a list of the 200 Best Albums of the 1980s. It was only her third studio album, but she incorporated genres such as soul and funk with such a commanding presence that people couldn’t help but stop and listen. She herself had mentioned how passionate she was about this album, and it definitely came through in her work. Recording different elements of the album in places such as France, Paris and the Bahamas, she produced the album herself and released it through Epic Records. At just over 47 minutes in length, the album included 10 songs. That means that half of the album became popular singles. Those five songs are “Haunt Me,” “Turn My Back on You,” “Nothing Can Come Between Us,” “Paradise” and “Love Is Stronger Than Pride,” the title song for the album.