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WE SALUTE BRITAIN’S QUEEN OF SOUL

 

By Kalamu ya Salaam of Kalamu.com

 

Friday, 06 February 2009.

 

A  lot of people are awaiting — wishing and hoping, expecting, some even fiending for new music from the smoothest operator pop music has witnessed since, well, since Nat King Cole.

Yes, Ibadan, Nigeria-born Helen Folesade Adu ranks that high as an artist.

Some argue that five studio albums in twenty-five years barely qualifies her as a superstar. Her fans respond it’s about quality, not quantity. Certainly, it’s refreshing that an artist chooses to avoid the trap of releasing crap in a vain and futile effort to keep making hits. For sure, when you look at Sade’s record, there was never any fall off in artistic terms.

By now most of us have accepted what is more and more a certainty: Sade has retired from recording and touring—but then again maybe…

I’ve never experienced her in concert but I can tell from the DVD of her Lover’s Rock tour that it’s my lost. The early Sade reminded me too much of smooth jazz and I made the mistake of not paying attention to her development.
 
Beyond the strength of her music, I have grown to totally admire her steadfast refusal to artistically prostitute her talents, her physical appearance, or her fame. She is one of the few who has successfully walked awake from the limelight at the zenith of a career.

Even more amazing, the core band members have been together for over twenty years. In the music industry, twenty years is four or five life times and at least three major career changes. Not Sade. Her consistency is beyond admirable.

Such longevity and commitment to her band mates is unheard of regardless of what genre of music you consider. Indeed, as recent statistics reveal, close to half the people who married when Sade released her debut album in 1984 are now separated or divorced. In today’s world, to stay the course is a major task.

Got to give big ups for and to Sade.
 
Even though she may be out of the spotlight—hell, even the paparazzi can’t catch her – still, we ought to keep her light burning in our minds. If only we had more artists of this quality.

I do quite a bit of scavenging and internet fishing. Here are 17 cuts from my Sade stash. What I’ve gathered here is a collection of remixes with a few interview snippets.

I’m not going to be suckered into arguing that these remixes are better than the originals, nor am I going to suggest that these remixes are standing in for the long expected new material from Sade.

I just give thanks that there are DJs and producers who maintain an interest in Sade’s music.

As cold as it may sound, I’d rather listen to a bunch of remixes than for Sade to release inferior material in an effort to keep her name out there. Now, if Sade has some new songs, sure, I’m in the house and down with it but I don’t believe she owes us any more, not one note, not one crucial melodic interlude.
 
Sade has given us far more than twenty of your average singers lumped together. Sade has exemplified strong principles, consummate artistry and a willingness to live a healthy lifestyle devoid of drama, manufactured notoriety, or, worse, a public decline in artistic ability.

Sade gives the lie to the old truism that all the great ones die young. She’s great. She’s not dead. And all of her work is far, far beyond average.
 
Viva Sade. Happy Birthday my sister, and here’s wishing you many, many more.


Sade Remixes Mixtape Playlist
 
1. Sade interview
 
2. Intro - Sade Blends - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

3. "Keep Looking" - Sade Blends (Sade Vs. Paul Nice)

4. "Feel No Pain" - (Nellie Hooper mix)

5. "King of Sorrow" - (Guru Mix)

6. Sade interview
 
7. "Somebody Already Broke My Heart" – (remix)
 
8. "Smooth Operator" - (extended jazz mix)

9. "Love Is Stronger Than Pride" - (DJ Evil Twin)
 
10. "By Your Side" - (
Neptunes remix)

11. "By Your Side" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

12. Sade interview
 
13. "Lovers Rock" – (Grooveman Spot)
 
14. "Sweetest Taboo" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

15. "
Paradise"
- (Ronin Remix)

16. "Cherish The Dré" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

17. "Pearls" - (
Somalia
mix)

18. "Hang On To Your Love" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)
 
19. "Nothing Can Come Between Us" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

20. "Bonus Track" - (Sade Vs. DJ Paul Nice)

 

 

Kalamu ya Salaam is a New Orleans-based writer and filmmaker. He is also the founder of Nommo Literary Society - a Black writers workshop.

 

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