smooth on

instagram
youtube

On this day in music history: February 23, 1985 - “Diamond Life”, the debut album by Sade is released (UK release date is on July 16, 1984). Produced by Robin Millar, it is recorded at Power Plant Studios in Willesden, North West London from Late 1983 - Mid 1984. Formed out of the remanants of the Latin soul band Pride, Sade centers around its Nigerian born (and British raised) lead singer and lyricist Helen Folasade Adu along with guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman and keyboardist Andrew Hale. The band sign with the UK division of Epic Records and US subsidiary Portrait Records in the Fall of 1983. The album is issued in the US following its success in the UK, it spins off three singles including “Smooth Operator” (#5 Pop and R&B), “Hang On To Your Love” (#5 Club Play, #14 R&B), and “Your Love Is King” (#35 R&B, #54 Pop, #8 AC). US and UK versions of the album differ slightly, with the original UK release containing an earlier version of “Smooth Operator”. The US version contains the second recording of the track, first issued as a UK single, which becomes the common version around the world. First editions of the US vinyl LP come packaged in a gatefold jacket, which are discontinued briefly after its release, being replaced with a single pocket sleeve with the inner gatefold contents regulated to the inner sleeve. “Diamond Life” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number five on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.