The Sweetest Taboo

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"The Sweetest Taboo"
Single by Sade
from the album Promise
B-side "You're Not the Man"
Released 12 October 1985 (UK)
23 November 1985 (U.S.)
Genre Quiet storm
Length 4:37
Producer(s) Robin Millar
Sade singles chronology
"Smooth Operator"
"The Sweetest Taboo"
"Never as Good as the First Time"

"The Sweetest Taboo" is the lead single by the English band Sade on their second studio album, Promise (1985). While the song peaked at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart, it fared considerably better in the United States, where it reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1986, remaining in the top 40 for 13 weeks. It also became the band's second consecutive number-one hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, following "Smooth Operator". It is considered the group's signature song.

"The Sweetest Taboo" is mentioned in the lyrics of Prince's 2005 charity single "S.S.T.", as well as in Mos Def's 1999 song "Ms. Fat Booty".

The French duo Les Nubians recorded a song called "Tabou" on their 1998 album Princesses Nubiennes, credited as a French adaptation of "The Sweetest Taboo", although the lyrics are significantly different.

British artists Glamma Kid and Shola Ama sampled the song in 1999 in a somewhat more upbeat version with both a ragga and R&B feel to it. It was released as a single only.

Track listings and formats[edit]

UK 7-inch single
  • Side A: "The Sweetest Taboo" – 4:25
  • Side B: "You're Not the Man" – 5:20
UK 12-inch single
  • Side A: "The Sweetest Taboo" (Extended Version) – 5:30
  • Side B: "You're Not the Man" – 5:20
U.S., Dutch, and New Zealand 7-inch single
  • Side A: "The Sweetest Taboo" – 4:24
  • Side B: "You're Not the Man" – 5:09
Dutch 12-inch single
  • Side A: "The Sweetest Taboo" (Extended Version) – 5:27
  • Side B: "You're Not the Man" – 5:09
U.S. 12-inch promo single
  • Side A: "The Sweetest Taboo" (Long Version) – 5:27
  • Side B: "The Sweetest Taboo" (Short Version) – 4:24


Chart (1985) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 65
Austrian Singles Chart[2] 24
Dutch Top 40[3] 14
French Singles Chart[2] 30
German Singles Chart[4] 28
Irish Singles Chart[5] 11
Swiss Singles Chart[2] 14
UK Singles Chart[6] 31
Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles[7] 3
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[7] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 263. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and June 19, 1988.
  2. ^ a b c "Sade – The Sweetest Taboo –". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  3. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 45 – 1985". Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  4. ^ " – Sade – The Sweetest Taboo". (in German). Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts". IRMA. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  6. ^ "Chart Stats – Sade – The Sweetest Taboo". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  7. ^ a b c "Promise > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 

External links[edit]