Sade – “The Sweetest Taboo”

The “Sweetest Taboo” is the height of sexual pleasure. In this song, Sade sings lovingly about a man who gets her there. With him, every day is Christmas, every night is New Year’s Eve.

The line, “There’s a quiet storm,” is a reference to the Quiet Storm radio format, which is filled with baby-making music like this song. The Quiet Storm indicates a sensual sexual experience.

Released in 1985 on their album titled “Promise,” the song peaked at #31 on the UK charts and #5 in the US.

Sade is the name of the band and also the first name of the lead singer, Sade Adu. Formed in London, their first album,”Diamond Life,” with the hit “Smooth Operator,” was released in the UK in 1984 almost a year before it appeared in America in 1985. They earned the BRIT Award for Album Of The Year and the Grammy for Best New Artist. “Promise,” their second album, was released in both territories later in 1985 with “The Sweetest Taboo” the first single. The cantankerous British press made life difficult for Sade Adu, accusing her of giving lackluster performances and cultivating a homogenized lounge-act sound. In America, where she wasn’t a tabloid story, the music did the talking, and “The Sweetest Taboo” spoke volumes, getting lots of airplay on a variety of formats. It was most successful on the Adult Contemporary chart, where like “Smooth Operator,” it went to #1.

Directed by Brian Ward, the video finds Sade looking out a window at a desert landscape, thinking about a man. In other scenes, she’s riding a horse, interacting with the guy who is her sweet taboo. The video was manna for VH1, which had recently launched as an adult alternative to MTV.

Sade Adu wrote this song with Martin Ditcham, who was a touring drummer for the band. He and the band’s official drummer, Dave Early, came up with the distinctive pre-chorus percussion in the studio by setting up glasses and bottles, then tapping them with various implements and blowing over the bottles. The sound of rain was added at the beginning and end of the song from a sound effects disc.

According to Wikipedia, “Sade,” has been credited with influencing the musical genre of neo-soul and achieving success in the 1980s with songs that featured a sophisti-pop style, incorporating elements of soulpopsmooth jazz, and quiet storm. The band was part of a new wave of British R&B-oriented artists during the late-1980s and early-1990s that also included artists Soul II SoulCaron WheelerThe Brand New HeaviesSimply RedJamiroquai, and Lisa StansfieldAllMusic‘s Alex Henderson writes that “Many of the British artists who emerged during that period had a neo-soul outlook and were able to blend influences from different eras”. Following the coining of the term “quiet storm” by Smokey Robinson, Sade was credited for helping give the genre a worldwide audience.

Song Lyrics –

If I tell you
If I tell you now
Will you keep on
Will you keep on loving me

If I tell you
If I tell you how I feel
Will you keep bringing out the best in me

You give me, you give me the sweetest taboo
You give me, you’re giving me the sweetest taboo
Too good for me

There’s a quiet storm
And it never felt like this before
There’s a quiet storm
That is you

There’s a quiet storm
And it never felt this hot before
Giving me something that’s taboo
(Sometimes I think you’re just too good for me)

You give me the sweetest taboo
That’s why I’m in love with you (with you)
You give me the sweetest taboo
Too good for me
(Sometimes I think you’re just too good for me)

I’d do anything for you, I’d stand out in the rain
Anything you want me to do, don’t let it slip away
There’s a quiet storm
And it never felt like this before

There’s a quiet storm
I think it’s you
There’s a quiet storm
And I never felt this hot before
Giving me something that’s taboo

You give me the (you give me, you give me the) sweetest taboo
That’s why I’m in love with you (with you)
You give me, keep giving me the sweetest taboo
Too good for me

You’ve got the biggest heart
Sometimes I think you’re just too good for me
Every day is Christmas, and every night is New Year’s Eve
Will you keep on loving me
Will you keep on, will you keep on
Bringing out the best in me

Written by: Martin Ditcham, Helen Adu

Credit: Songfacts.com, YouTube.com, Bing.com/images Wikipedia