Sade – “Is It a Crime” – (1985)

Sade’s second album, Promises, had big shoes to fill because Diamond Life was incredible. This album had three singles and “Is It a Crime” was the third and final one. It was also the least successful of the three – and while that’s understandable considering the other two, it’s still a great song with soulful vocals, roaring sax, and haunting music. Sade is truly one of the greatest musical acts ever.

Sade – “Smooth Operator” – (1984)

Sade – pronounced SHAH-DAY (don’t make the mistake of saying pronouncing it SAYD in front of one of the group’s fans) was both the name of the group and of the leader singer, Sade Adu. Diamond Life was the group’s debut album and it contained “Smooth Operator” which is one of the smoothest and coolest songs I can think of. This is a gateway song – fall in love with it and pretty soon you’ll be listening to the entire Sade catalog. This is their best known hit and they’ve got a fair number of pretty solid, awesome smooth jazz songs, but this remains my favorite.