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4.7 out of 5 stars90
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 27 November 2003
There has never been a singer quite like Sade Adu. Although she is of Nigerian origin, and her voice is clearly that of a woman of color, she is equally influenced by her English upbringing; the resulting combination of African heat and British coolness, particularly when combined with her band's elegant mixture of American and European jazz idioms and African rythmns, is as original today as when it first appeared. Superficially cool and seemingly detached, everything about the band simmers with an underlying passion.
While Adu and her band have done many memorable recordings since they debuted, DIAMOND LIFE remains their single finest recording: it is pure liquid elegance every step of the way. Opening with "Smooth Operator," which makes particularly good use of Stuart Matthewman on sax, the entire collection flows effortlessly from cut to cut--some dark, some slightly dissonate, some slightly upbeat, and every one of them memorable in the most haunting way imaginable.
Like "Smooth Operator," both "Your Love Is King" and "Hang on to Your Love" actually broke into the charts as singles--a truly amazing feat for a jazz-oriented club band in the ultra-synthetic 1980s. But in truth, be it "Cherry Pie," "When Am I Gonna Make A Living," or "Sally," there isn't a bad cut on the entire CD. Everything shimmers with a sultry yet subtle beauty, pulling you into an atmosphere in which you seem to feel the pulse of a midnight lounge, the atmosphere of the club scene fromw which Sade emerged.
As a band, Sade is sexy, cool, smart, delicately shaded, and brilliantly shaped, and the aptly titled DIAMOND LIFE is perhaps one of the best debut recordings made over the past fifty years. Mix yourself a drink, turn the lights down low, drop this on the stereo--and dream of smoke, the clink of cocktail glasses, and the murmur of voices gone suddenly silent when the band begins to play. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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on 10 April 2010
From the cover work to the final musical element, DIAMOND LIFE almost managed to avoid every signature trap of the "oh so cliched" 1980's it was born during. There are signs of wear, but for a 26 year old work, this remains remarkable.
Much misunderstood, still millions came to honour with their purchase, the little known songstress with the strange dusky voice who in a single stroke smashed the ball clean out of the stadium.
Never eclipsed in her own careers - and no that's not a typo - Sade has twisted and turned through the genre, but simply set the bar too high at the first attempt. DIAMOND LIFE will be remembered long after she herself has been forgotten. It was a great album then, it remains so now.
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on 13 September 2011
After I had seen Sade perform live last May, I decided that my original Diamond Life CD from the eighties needed an update. I stumbled upon this Blu-spec version that was released in limited quantities in Japan. It claimed to have superior sound quality due to the use of a similar manufacturing process to Blu-ray discs. Furthermore, a Blu-spec CD can be played on all CD players.

Since I don't own the remastered version of the album as released in 2000, I can only compare it to my eighties CD and I have to say the sound on this Blu-spec release is much better and far more detailed. Something that I have always found very annoying about the eighties CD is that the opening track (Smooth Operator) clearly has a lower volume than the rest of the tracks. There are no such flaws on this Blu-spec CD.

The only downside is that this Blu-spec version is not easy to obtain and mostly for a high price (I paid about 80 dollars for a new, sealed copy). Either way, I don't mind paying for quality and I am very happy with this purchase. The only thing that would have made this CD even more perfect is the inclusion of some bonus tracks. There are several tracks that were recorded and released in conjunction with the album, such as Should I Love You, Spirit and the alternate 12-inch version of Smooth Operator that segues into the instrumental track Red Eye. All of these tracks can easily hold their own among the nine tracks on the original album but still they have yet to appear on a re-release of this classic album.
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on 20 April 2006
I have been listening to Sade's music since I was 12, and after 13 years, I still love it. Diamond Life is groovy, nostalgic and this is music you'd want to unwind to and to get in the mood for a slow session. Hits such as Smooth Operator, Hang On To Your Love, Your Love Is King are as timeless as Sade is. There are also some new ones that are growing onto me such as Cherry Pie and Frankie's First Affair. Sally reminds me a bit of Jezebel - not in the beat, but in the story of the song. This album is worth more than 5 stars, but I was a bit disappointed with the product that I received from Amazon because the lyrics were not included - and I felt that the product deserved 4 stars because of this.
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on 28 August 2011
Had this on vinyl in the 80's and forgotten just how good the album is. Fantastic and hasn't dated over the years. Every track brilliant!!
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`Diamond Life' was the 1984 debut album from the "famously reclusive" singer Sade, pronounced `Shar-day' (Nigerian-born but UK-reared Helen Folasade Adu).

Most people will know the opening number `Smooth Operator' which was a hit single and perennial coffee-lounge favourite, but the whole album is a sublime collection of rhythmic, mellow, jazz-influenced delight with exemplary musicianship and production values dominated by Sade's melodious contralto. `Your Love is King', `Hang on to your Love' and `Cherry Pie' also shine brightly; a bridge between mellow jazz and funk-rock has rarely been built so successfully or with such delicacy and finesse.

This band has no weak areas and the album no flat spots. The music verges on perfection, works as non-intrusive background music to a dinner party yet rewards closer attention, and never seems to age.

Sade's stage performances were always highly professional affairs with perfect sound balance between the instruments, surprisingly with more upbeat rock-along energy than the mellow album recordings might lead you to believe. DL is truly music for all occasions and, almost 30 years after its initial release, still sounds fresh and contemporary.
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on 20 November 2010
classic sade album given the blu spec treatment your in for a very pleaseant surprise .if blu ray films does it for you over standard dvd then this is an audiofiles dream.if you already own the original or any remaster they might have done please dont let that put you off buying this blu spec in short buy this and sell off the old copys we have hit a different league i was a bit cautious after hearing some bad digital remasters from other various artists but this blu spec is the one dont just take my word for it go ahead and treat yourself enjoy sade in your living room whenever you please got to go can here her calling thanks for reading just buy it and look for other titles there is some bob dylan and other artists out there too on blu spec happy listening
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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2005
Sade suffered from the same lazy pigeon-holing that plagued Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" and countless other albums over the years. The cliche was that you put Dire on to demonstrate your new, shiny compact disc player, and you put Sade's "Diamond Life" on to show your dinner-party guests how sophisticated, yet contemporary you were.
Playing this remastered CD just over 20 years on from the album's first release, the quality of the band's playing and the soul in the vocals comes as quite a surprise. None of these tracks are bad. Some are exceptional. "Hang on to your love" ploughs a muscular groove that is marvellously tight. "Smooth Operator" either celebrates or lampoons the yuppie male of the eighties, concluding ultimately ambiguously. "Your love is King" is allegedly about something very intimate, but I couldn't possibly comment... judge for yourself! The other tracks never really let up in terms of sheer class.
The remaster is good in terms of quality, although the original CD certainly wasn't awful. The only minor complaint - and true of so many remastered CDs - why no extra B-side-type tracks, such as the excellent "Spirit" that I remember from the "Smooth Operator" single?
Sade's next album ("Promise") was resolutely uncommercial, and pushed the soulful vibe even further. Meanwhile, however, forget the smoothie dinner-party jibes, this has got more soul than a coachload of today's chart hopefuls.
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on 31 March 2013
have this on cd already but was interested to see what a modern 180 gram pressing would sound like so gave it a try. Sound is great on vinyl and dynamics is better than cd very quite noise floor on my copy very happy with this transfer.
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on 11 December 2008
When When When are we gonna get a re-packaged - 24/bit re-mastered verison of this gem. To include also the two additional tracks that were on the original cassette tape release ! !! ... SNAKE BITE & LOVE AFFAIR WITH LIFE..
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