When Sade arrived on the scene in the 1980s their sophisticated adult contemporary sound certainly stood out from the crowd. When the radio was filled with new wave music Sade’s contemporary adult sound was literally in a class of it’s own. Sade followed the success of their debut album with Promise, and the lead single The Sweetest Taboo.
Released in September 1985, The Sweetest Taboo only reached number 31 on the UK Singles Chart, but in the USA it peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 by March of 1986 and remained in the top 40 for 13 weeks. The Sweetest Taboo was also the bands second consecutive number 1 single on the Adult Contemporary chart, following Smooth Operator.
In terms of effects used for the recording of The Sweteest Taboo…the AMS DMX 15-80 was used for sampling duties on drums, but for the vocals which were recorded through a Neumann U87, a delayed EMT 140 plate reverb with DBX 160 compressor, as well as an AMS RMX 16 digital reverb for the middle section of The Sweetest Taboo.