With such irresistible songs as “Smooth Operator,” “The Sweetest Taboo,” and “Soldier of Love,” Sade has been winning the hearts of listeners everywhere for over 35 years. The group’s small but powerful discography – six studio albums, all of which have been certified Platinum and Gold all around the world, including the U.S. and U.K. – will be collected in a new vinyl box set due October 9 from Sony Music.
This Far brings together remastered versions of all of Sade’s albums on 180-gram vinyl. The white casebound box includes the following LPs:
- Diamond Life (1984);
- Promise (1985);
- Stronger Than Pride (1988);
- Love Deluxe (1992);
- Lovers Rock (2000); and
- Soldier of Love (2010)
Sade, the band, formed in the U.K. out of a Latin soul band called Pride. Nigerian-born vocalist Helen Folasade Adu, a.k.a. Sade, is joined in the group by guitarist/saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale and bassist Paul S. Denman – all of whom were involved in the process of putting together this box set at Abbey Road Studios with mastering engineer Miles Showell and longtime producer Mike Pela.
Sade’s debut album, Diamond Life, was released by Epic in 1984 and yielded a U.K. top 10 hit, “Your Love is King,” in addition to a U.S. Top 5 smash in “Smooth Operator.” The LP also earned them a BRIT Award for Best British Album and a Grammy for Best New Artist. 1985’s Promise, issued on Epic in the U.K. and Portrait in the U.S., spun off three more hits including “The Sweetest Taboo” (No. 1 AC/No. 3 R&B/No. 5 Pop in the U.S.), “Is It a Crime?” (No. 32 AC), and “Never as Good as the First Time” (No. 6 AC/No. 8 R&B/No. 20 Pop). Stronger Than Pride, issued three years later, nodded at the band’s roots with its title and boasted a quartet of charting singles, most notably “Paradise” – Sade’s only U.S. No. 1 R&B (which also reached No. 3 AC and top 20 Pop as well as top 30 in the U.K.). Another six years passed before the foursome regrouped for Love Deluxe, but that span of time would be eclipsed by the eight-year wait for Lovers Rock and ten-year wait after that for Soldier of Love, Sade’s final studio album to date. Fans remained loyal, however, as the band maintained its sultry, sleek, and stylish sound while adapting to the changing musical landscape.
Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios sourced the collection from high resolution digital transfers of the original stereo masters, remastering at half-speed using his own restored Neumann VMS80 cutting lathe to perform the 12 sides of vinyl lacquer cuts. Sony specifies in its press release that “no additional digital limiting was used in the mastering process…preserving the dynamic range of the original mixes for the very first time.”
The original album sleeves have been faithfully recreated (including gatefolds where applicable) right down to the paper stock and printing methods, while the new box was designed by the London-based Tom Hingston Studios. The title of This Far leaves open the possibility that Sade will return with another studio album – 2020 marking ten years (the longest wait to date between Sade LPs) since Soldier of Love. But for now, the set is one-stop shopping for the band’s core discography. It’s due on October 9 from Sony Music.
Box set includes the following LPs:
- Diamond Life (1984)
- Promise (1985)
- Stronger Than Pride (1988)
- Love Deluxe (1992)
- Lovers Rock (2000)
- Soldier of Love (2010)