Diamond Life (Epic, 1984)
Diamond Life is the debut album of the English band Sade. Lead singer of the band is Helen Folasade Adu, a singer known simply as Sade. (It’s confusing, I know.) Adu sang backup for the British band Pride. After they began attracting attention, Adu and three Pride members (Paul Anthony Cook, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman) left to form the band Sade and signed with Epic. Recording Diamond Life took a mere six weeks. Diamond Life received much critical acclaim and a Brit Award for Best British Album of 1985. It was certified multi-platinum in the UK, the U.S. and Australia (4x times Platinum); in Canada and France it was certified double platinum; and Platinum in Germany and the Netherlands. Diamond Life sold over 6 million copies worldwide and was one of the top-selling debut albums of the 1980s. It was the best-selling debut of a British female vocalist until Welsh singer Duffy released Rockferry in 2008.
Four singles were released from Diamond Life: Your Love is King, When Am I Going to Make a Living, Smooth Operator and Hang On to Your Love. Your Love is King was the debut single in the UK, but the album’s final U.S. single release. It peaked at #6 in the UK and #7 in Ireland. In the U.S., it peaked at #54 (but hit #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart). When Am I Going to Make a Living peaked at #36 in the UK, #28 in Ireland and #12 on the Dutch chart. Smooth Operator is Sade’s most successful single internationally. Smooth Operator peaked at #19 in the UK and #5 in the U.S. (hitting the top spot on the Adult Contemporary chart). Internationally, it’s second best outing was in South Africa where it peaked at #6. Hang On to Your Love was released as their debut American single. It failed to chart in the UK, but hit #14 in the U.S. (#5 on the Dance chart).