I would not qualify myself as a Sade fan - like many artists, she has always kind of existed on the edges of my musical taste. Her music is pleasant enough but I never bought any of her studio albums. Rather, I was satisfied with her hits collection The Best of Sade, even though I flirted with her debut album Diamond Life rather intensely via the Iowa City Public Library when I was in pharmacy school. I finally purchased Diamond Life tonight from eMusic. Buying from eMusic always feels a little bit like stealing, but hey, it's their business model.
Sade has a new album coming out in February, a fact I know only because of my friend XO who has done a great post on Sade. I, sadly, only have two Sade stories worth telling. The first involves, as you might expect, her best known song "Smooth Operator." That song is definitely of the 80s but doesn't sound like an 80s song. My father always used to tell us that it was his "theme song" - mostly because of the line "We move in space with minimum waste/Maximum joy." We always kind of rolled our eyes at that, but it was my dad all over. I can't help but think of my dad when I listen to that song.
My second Sade story comes from 1995, and it was what ultimately led me to purchase The Best of Sade. I was at a the house of a friend of my roommates, and one of the guys that lived there had this most amazing CD collection. In it was The Best of Sade, and he played some of it for us. As I mentioned previously, I had already had Diamond Life out of the ICPL on a semi-permanent basis, and knew some of her other singles, but this was the first time I had ever heard "Never As Good As The First Time." I was hooked in the first few notes, and by the time she got to the lyrics "it's like the weather/one day chicken/Next day feathers" I knew that I was going to buy the album. "Never As Good As The First Time" is still probably my favorite Sade song.
That guy's CD collection was oddly influential to me as it also prompted me to go out and purchase a Level 42 best-of and also exposed me to the Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits (The 90s Version)" from her Simply the Best collection and the Prince song "Pope" (which I could not stop thinking about when they were choosing the new pope after John Paul II died.) For as musically influential as he was, you'd think I'd remember his name, but alas, it is lost to history.
(and yes, I realize Sade is a band, but I'm too tired to go back and fix it.)