Sade’s “Love Deluxe.”

26 October 1992

Genre: Ambient • cool jazz • trip hop

Label: Epic

Producer: Sade


In loving memory of Mike Pela. (1950-2022)

Sade is one of the best bands of all time, and that’s truly that on that. Originating from London in 1982, the band (who consisted of Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale, Paul Denman & Sade Adu, whom the band is named after,) has amazed audiences across the world.

Touching on genres such as soul, quiet storm, smooth jazz, sophisti-pop, progressive soul & R&B, Sade’s albums are not only remarkable but truly timeless. Selling over 60 million albums worldwide, Sade is one of the best selling artists of all time, and rightfully so.

One of those albums are Love Deluxe. Released on 26 October 1992, Love Deluxe is the band’s fourth album. Love Deluxe came after a four-year absence for the band after 1988’s Stronger Than Pride, and is one of their strongest albums if you ask me.

The title of the album comes from Sade Adu’s concept of love is her saying in an interview in 1992:

The idea is that it’s one of the few luxury things that you can’t buy. You can buy any kind of love, but you can’t get love deluxe.

Sade Adu

Love Deluxe gives more of Sade Adu’s magnificent vocals than prior albums (where they touched more on the magic of the group’s production that made them a household name). Released on 26 October 1992 in the United States & 1 November 1992, Love Deluxe was a successful record for the band in the United States peaking in the top three on the Billboard 200 & Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts respectively.

The album sold over 4 million copies in the US, being certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA. In the UK, the album peaked at number ten, being certified Gold by the BPI with 120,000 copies sold.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Sade’s Love Deluxe

No Ordinary Love

Written by Sade Adu • Stuart Matthewman

Love Deluxe opens with the lead single No Ordinary Love, which is perfect sequencing wise because of how entrancing it is. To kick off their second decade of music with such a record that is so addictive, it is absolutely a crime how good No Ordinary Love is. The songwriting and production made me a fan alone once I got into Sade’s catalog at a young age.

It’s sultry, the music video of Sade being a mermaid bride, and I think it’s just so beautiful. No Ordinary Love was a huge hit on the Billboard Hot R&B charts! A classic for you!!! The song was a top twenty hit on the UK Singles chart, peaking at number fourteen & in the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart as well.

Feel No Pain

Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman

Feel No Pain is one of my favorite highlights from Love Deluxe. The production is stellar, and with Sade bringing it on home with the lyrics that speak about a family that experiences layoffs, poverty, unemployment and hatred at the hands of a society that is not concerned about the less fortunate at all.

However, Sade sings and narrates the story from the perspective of the daughter, where she basically explains that the lack of support in regards to the less fortunate will not end well for the world. 30 years later, and this song is so much more relatable. The song peaked at number fifty-six on the UK Singles chart!

I Couldn’t Love You More

Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman • Paul Denman

I Couldn’t Love You More is one of the album’s gems. From a lyrical perspective, the song has the singer speaking to her love for her significant other and how nothing or no one in the world can change her views on how much she loves him.

Like a Tattoo

Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman

Like a Tattoo is one of my favorite Sade songs of all time, largely because of the lyricism. At a show on the Love Deluxe tour, Sade explained that the song is a true story about a stranger she met at a New York bar…and he told her his life being in the war and the experiences he went through. Based on the timeframe of this album, the veteran had to have fought in the Vietnam war.

Like the scar of age written all over my face.

The war is still ranging inside of me.

I still feel the chill, as I reveal my shame to you. I wear it like a tattoo.

Sade, Like a Tattoo, 1992

The title of the song is in regards to the veteran reliving the horrors of the war, and the shame and stigma from the war is a metaphor for a tattoo. A true masterpiece. Like a Tattoo has been sampled by artists such as AZ, Dave East & Big K.R.I.T.

Kiss of Life

Written by Sade Adu • Stuart Matthewman • Andrew Hale • Paul Denman

Kiss of Life is the perfect wedding song, and will definitely be played at mine! The song became the band’s seventh top ten single on the Billboard Hot R&B charts, and was played tremendously on the smooth jazz radio stations!

Cherish the Day

Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman

Cherish the Day was released as the band’s fourth and final single from the album, and would be their last official single for another seven years. It is one of the album’s finest moments, and as it should be!

The trip hop influences makes me fall more in love with Cherish the Day! The song has been sampled in songs by artists such as Ashanti & Alicia Keys.


Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale

Pearls is possibly one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard in my life, and that’s no cap. While the song can be seen as a sad record, the meaningful lyricism is so good and makes it yet another gem in the band’s catalog. Lyrically, the song speaks about a woman who has a tragic life.

The woman lives in Somalia, and the song discusses how she scraps for pearls on the roadside, and she thinks the pearls is going to be the thing that keeps her alive. The irony is that the thing that she thinks is going to help her chances of surviving in this world is slowly killing her, and the singer compares herself to the woman, wondering what is it like to be that brave. The song has been sampled or covered by artists such as India.Arie, Dawn Richard, Ms. Toi & Trakgirl & Luke James.

Bullet Proof Soul

Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman

There’s always going to be a song that hits so close to home on a Sade album, & Bullet Proof Soul is definitely one of them. From a lyrical perspective, the song is the tale of loving someone more than they love you and when I tell you that this song is like the story of my life chile.

The singer goes into detail that the man was selfish and thought he was going to get the best of her and that HE was the best she would ever get and no one else would fill his shoes. THE AUDACITY! The pain and heartbreak he was putting her through is equivalent to piercing her soul with the bullet from a gun..but she’s a strong woman and will get over that partner who wasn’t worth it!


Written by Sade Adu • Andrew Hale • Stuart Matthewman • Paul Denman

The album closes out with an instrumental titled Mermaid. Mermaid is also a masterpiece production wise. just top tier. period!

A lot of people don’t consider Love Deluxe to be amongst Sade’s strongest albums, and I have to disagree because the songs are classics and was a huge departure from the sound at the time which was new jack swing influenced. Love Deluxe will go down in history as one of the greatest albums from the 1990s, and rightfully so. I hope if you get into Sade’s catalog if you haven’t already, cherish this album. It is amazing! -MW.

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