Sade and her eponymous band are one of the most sampled artists in house music and there are countless edits, re-edits, bootlegs, remixes, re-works and re-rubs of their songs. We collected a few of our favourites together – what’s your go-to Sade re-edit?
Helen Folasade Adu CBE and her band, both known are Sade are extremely popular and influential in dance music circles. Their music is treasured and respected but has also been sampled in a lot of dance tracks.
Perhaps dance music producers and DJ feel an affinity with their music because Sade’s softly intense albums are such a perfect Sunday post-club come-down soundtrack. Or maybe there’s a sense of shared influences and musical heritage in the gentle rhythmic sub-currents that underpin Sade’s distinctive voice. And of course there is the obvious reason too; that exquisite, enchanting voice just sounds superb on deep house records.
There are perhaps practical reasons why Sade songs have been reworked and re-edited by house producers so often as well. No doubt the gentle chords and warm soundscapes of many of her songs are ideal house sample fodder. The fact that much of the Sade catalogue has a restrained and sparse production, with the voice pushed right to the front of the mix lends them to being easily sampled. Also, many Sade songs feature the rigid pulse of drum machines, meaning that they can be easily dropped into DAWs and manipulated.
All this means that a Soundcloud search for re-edits of 1992’s UK soul classic ‘I Couldn’t Love You More’ will bring up substantial quantities of varying quality re-edits. The Soundcloud re-edits of ‘Couldn’t Love You More’ are truly a microcosm of all the best and worst impulses and excesses of contemporary house music. Some producers opt for a galloping tempo and identikit bmm-tsst drum packs, others unwisely choose to filter or use extreme EQ effects on the vocal. Many of these re-edits will make you question whether we really need to stick some drums under Sade again. But there have been some truly great Sade re-edits and re-works over the years too. So we’ve gathered together a few of our favourites; some official releases and also some unofficial bootlegs or re-edits too. Sit back and enjoy the music.
Love Is Stronger Than Pride – DJ Duke Bootleg Remix
Uncredited on Discogs, this cool tribally take on Sade’s ‘Love Is Stronger Than Pride’ from 1996 is believed to be the work of DJ Duke; it certainly bears his hallmark production sound of the mid-90s and without Sade’s vocal could easily fit on one of his Power Music EPs of the time.
Surrender Your Love – Kenny Larkin Remix
Originally released in 1995, the Kenny Larkin remix of ‘Surrender Your Love’ is a highly percussive, jazz-tinged 11-minute journey that still sounds super-fresh today. Intricate layers of congas and bongo, slinky snatches of trumpet, warm chords and a long, languid arrangement: pure class.
Nothing Can Come Between Us – Danny Krivit Re-edit
A re-edit in the traditional old school meaning of the term, Krivit’s re-work of ‘Nothing Can Come Between Us’ is like all his re-edits, faithful to the original song, stretching out certain sections, cutting down others; a simple and highly effective re-arrangement.
Nothing Can Come Between Us – Late Nite Tuff Guy Rework
The same original track but a completely different approach from Carmelo Bianchetti aka Late Nite Tuff Guy who creates a new 12-minute dub disco filter epic out of the original.
I Never Thought – Musk Men
This 1988 US classic takes the sublime and minimalist ‘I Never Thought I’d See The Day’ from the ‘Stronger Than Pride’ album and transforms it into potent deep house.
By Your Side – Ben Watt Lazy Dog Remix
The official remix of ‘By Your Side’ came from Ben Watt who turned in a party-friendly but sophisticated house anthem. Watt’s remix is packed with guitar licks, Rhodes keys and funky bass, providing a joyous backing for Sade’s luxuriant vocal.
By Your Side – Naked Remixes
The ‘unofficial’ remixes of ‘By Your Side’ were courtesy of Miguel Miggs and Jay Denes who both turned in smokey underground versions, with the murky percussion and wandering keys of Miggs’ version perhaps the stronger of the two.
Love Is Stronger Than Pride – Mad Professor’s Lovers-Rock Reggae Remix
Doing exactly what it says it does, Mad Professor’s 1992 Lovers-Rock Reggae remix of ‘Love Is Stronger Than Pride’ is just beautiful. The song works so perfectly well as a Lovers-Rock jam that when the ‘I still really really love you’ refrain comes in it’s hard to remember the original.
War – DJ Spinna Re-Freak
Great hip hop flavoured rework from DJ Spinna, featuring one of those perfectly balanced boom-bap snares he does so well.
Couldn’t Love You More – Various
As mentioned above, there are an awful lot of re-edits of Sade’s ‘I Couldn’t Love You More’, many of them unofficial bootlegs. Florian Kupfer’s ‘SAD Edit 1’ from 2013 is one of the better versions:
The Vin Sol & MATRiXXMAN’s remix is also pretty tasty:
As is this re-edit by UNKNOWN ARTIST [DSO001] from earlier this year:
Or indeed this one from 20 years ago:
So there you have it, a few of our favourite Sade re-edits and remixes from the last three decades or so. The fact that there are so many is a clear testament to the quality of Sade’s back catalogue. There are plenty more remixes and re-edits that we haven’t mentioned so if you think we’ve missed out any particularly good ones, let us know.
Photos by Gabriel Coutu Dumont