Coast to Coast L.A. To Chicago…..

Ladies and Gentlemen Ms. Sade Adu….

Today is Mother Helen Adu’s birthday!! Queen of the Quiet Storm. Mother Adu and the guys (who eventually released their own material under the name Sweetback) have swept in and took the world by storm with the smooth tunes. They are the main reason people today have an appreciate for smooth jazz. Personally I fell in love with Sade not only for her music but for her stance in life. Sade refuses to release new material unless she feels the need to say something. Hence why all of her albums are spaced out and very personal. She doesn’t live for the limelight and the celebrity status. Sade just lives for her music and her truth. Got to love when artists stays true to the game. That’s when they are at their most genuine, that’s when their gift has the most presence. Anyway, I’ve been a fan of Sade for the longest. I have no idea when I FIRST feel in love with her, she was always just there. Like a staple in my musical mind. I remember summers during high school I would play her tapes (yes cassette tapes) on rainy days with the candles lit. Even back then I was a creature for moments like that. Listening to her entire albums has allowed me to cherish the b sides….as well as the main singles. But to fully get into Sade you need to know AAAWWWWLLLLLLLLL of the jams. I got so bad with listening to Sade that I can tell which live performance of a certain song is playing..any variation of a certain song I WOULD KNOW IT! My favorite tour/live album has to be  her Lovers Rock/Lovers Live Tour. That was the first time I saw Sade in all her glory owning the stage and the audience with such ease and joy. Ugh try describing Sade and not use the word statuesque (I’ll see if anyone can get that reference). Not only does Sade have amazing b sides but the House mixes to her tracks are incredible. I would have never guessed you can turn a smooth jazz track song into a House banger….(well then again DC can turn any song into a GoGo track so….yeah). I hope while you read this post that you have a glass of wine and some candles lit because the journey we are about to go on will have you relaxed and ready to love. Sidebar: Im drinking OJ and Bacardi Gold at the moment to substitute the wine…don’t judge me.

Now like I said Im a lover of the album cuts so the majority of these highlights are tracks that the average Sade fan have never heard of. Honestly All you need is her Best Of…cd and youre good. The Essential Sade album not the old Best Of Sade album, although theyre basically the same just have a few new tracks from Soldier of Love on it……so youre not missing much.

Alright SO, VH1 Soul would play Mother Helen all the time. I would always catch at least 4 Sade videos a day if I was lucky. You would think Smooth Operator would be the first Sade video I’ve seen but nope it was this one

Turn My Back On You

Mind you this is the first time Im seeing Sade in action. This is the first time Im seeing those smooth vocals match a body. So I’m seeing this for the first time in amazement. Like…..”Whoa……this chick is dancing down the strip in Vegas in a suit with the band having the time of her life..wooooooow”. The album that this song is featured on Stronger Than Pride became my all time Sade album and heres why

I Never Thought I’d See The Day

I don’t know how and I don’t know why but this song immediately captured me. I guess I was going through something at the time but I played that track over and over and over again. The mellowness of it all, the smoothness, the lyrics it just all jumped at me. I WAS STUCK!! Later on I found the House mix to the track and fell in love all over again

I Never Thought I’d See The Day House Mix

We will discuss on another post about my love for House Music. But that track there puts me in a trance. It puts me in the moment and relieves me. Indescribable really, it’s like being at peace….like being so calm yet your heart is enraged. Your mind runs but at a steady pace. That’s abstract but thats how it makes me feel.

Another track of hers that has a House mix that I love is

Couldn’t Love You More

Anyway on the older albums the backing band of Sade always got their shine on at  least one track. There was always an instrumental waiting to slide through the vibes and from the same album Pride came this gem

Siempre Hay Esperanza

That groove made me feel like I was in a 90’s film. Like John Singleton or Babyface would be directing my life for the duration of this song. Dramatic I know but her music is dramatic. Speaking of dramatic am I the only one that tried to reenact this video?

Cherish The Day

I would be standing on my bed swaying back in forth like I was on a rooftop with a flowing white fur coat and Mary J Blige knee high boots on, singing to the heavens.I told yall Im dramatic. I also love when she performs this live and the crowd goes CRAZY!

Cherish The Day (live)

Sade and that legendary ensemble. She’s only really had 2 outfit changes during her entire concert. Crazy how her concerts are over 2 hours long with all those hits stuffed inside but Mother Helen said YALL ONLY GETTING TWO OUTFITS FROM ME!! I think in the Bring Me Home Tour there may have been three. Which is a stretch for a Sade concert to be honest. Now, the very first Sade CD I purchased myself (the cassettes were always in the house so I didnt actually buy them with my own money) was Lovers Rock. My second favorite album from Mother Helen. The main track that stood out to me was

Somebody Already Broke My Heart

If someone has to lose I DONT WANT TO PLAAAAAAAAAAY! Now, you would have thought someone had broken my heart, that I was in a messed up relationship or sometihng but nope! I knew Sade before I knew “Love” and in a way she prepared me for that battle so to speak. Speaking of battles….

Soldier of Love

She raised all of the Soldiers of Love. SHE RAISED US TO KNOW BETTER!!! When I saw this video and saw her appearance on 106 and Park thats when I knew EVERYBODY loved Sade…..EVERYBODY. Here was this *redacted* year old woman on a program for black teenagers singing about being a Soldier of Love…..AND THEY WERE ACTUALLY RECEPTIVE!!! I bowed right there and then to Sade. She became my supreme right then and there.

No Ordinary Love

When I first saw that video I just about lost it! When Sade was running down the dam street in a wedding dress…..A WEDDING DRESS!!! I remember saying to myself that homegirl had some issues but I loved it! Yet….I never realized how many people covered this song! My top three covers are

Vesta Williams

Kenny Lattimore  and Chante Moore

Syleena Johnson and Monifah

I believe they gave her justice with their covers. They kept it genuine and they kept it true to Sade’s style. I so wish that these award shows will honor her soon. Sade definitely deserves it. BUT lemme mention my TOP TOP favorite cover of a Sade song

Robert Glasper and Lalah Hathaway – Cherish The day

Im not even going to get into the “feels” that this song originally put me through but hearing this cover of it just made my heart explode. I dont know what kind of voodoo Sade has put the world under but its an everlasting love spell and Im not mad about it. She has been working on something in these recent years and I cannot wait for her to unleash her craft to the world.


I leave you with her most notable hit….

Smooth Operator/ Red Eye



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Unkie says:

    happy birthday helen!


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