Sade “Diamond Life”

Posted 11 May 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1985, Albums of the 80s, Soul/R+B

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#371 in the Series) is Sade,  Diamond Life

Sade, Diamond Life was released, here in the States,  in February, 1985.  I distinctly remember two things about that time.  Firstly, I remember listening to this album and being taken in on how different it sounded from what was on the radio. Who was going to play this? Would Top 40 touch it? Could it possibly be played on the R+B stations? How about the better rock stations of the time? Well, the answer turned out to be yes.  I heard this album on those formats, and then some.  It really sprayed to all fields.

The other thing that I remember was that at the time I had been a sales rep for a music distributor for only about a year or so, and my district manager LOVED this album!  So I had to make sure that I it featured prominently in all my accounts! Well, at least the ones that he might visit. I remember having to explain to a few store managers about who she was and why a whole end cap was filled with just this one album. I’m telling you this because I am now officially taking credit for breaking her in the south suburban area of the Chicago market!

It’s no coincidence that the first track on the disc is “Smooth Operator.” That’s what this album is completely about, being “smmooooth!!”  “Smooth Operator” was one of many smooth hits. I’m sure you also remember “Cherry Pie”, “You’re Love is King”, “Hang on to Your Love” and also that cool version of “Why Can’t We Live Together.”  Looking back, that’s quite an effort for a debut album.

Now we’re up to 2011 and Sade is even more popular than she was back in the eighties.  I must admit, I never saw than one coming, in fact she’s playing three nights at the United Center here in Chicago! Three nights!  The least she could do is get me a pair of freebies!

Normally I like to look for live videos for the playlist below. But for this album I did not. (Except for the last track) This music needs the original versions to be appreciated the best.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

Side One

  1. “Smooth Operator” (Sade Adu, Ray St. John) – 4:57
  2. “Your Love Is King” (Adu, Stuart Matthewman) – 3:41
  3. “Hang On to Your Love” (Adu, Matthewman) – 5:55
  4. “Frankie’s First Affair” (Adu, Matthewman) – 4:39
  5. “When Am I Going to Make a Living” (Adu, Matthewman) – 3:27

Side Two

  1. “Cherry Pie” (Adu, Matthewman, Andrew Hale, Paul S. Denman) – 6:20
  2. “Sally” (Adu, Matthewman) – 5:23
  3. “I Will Be Your Friend” (Adu, Matthewman) – 4:45
  4. “Why Can’t We Live Together” (Timmy Thomas) – 5:28


  • Sade Adu – vocals
  • Andrew Hale – keyboards
  • Stuart Matthewman – guitar, saxophone
  • Paul S. Denman – bass
  • Paul Cooke – drums
  • Terry Bailey – trumpet
  • Martin Ditcham – percussion
  • Dave Early – drums, percussion
  • Gordon Matthewman – trumpet

Listen to Diamond Life

Back to the Cool Album of the Day Home Page

Posted by Larry Carta

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