Music and Interviews

Smooth Operator – EMI Publishing Demo – London – Sade – June 1983

The was a demo recording the original Sade band produced for EMI and is one of the first ever studio recordings fixed to master tape of the hit single ‘Smooth Operator’ Certain members of the group Sade went onto claim ownership of this title in 1984 through an agreement with EMI Publishing. The ownership of this title was contested by Paul Cooke through his solicitors in 1995 in the High Courts in London, against the remaining members of the group Sade, Sony and EMI Publishing as well as Ray St John the songs originator from a group called Pride. The song was originally called ‘Diamond Life’ and the Sade group changed this to ‘Smooth Operator’. Sade took ray St Johns original song title as the name for their first album release in 1984.

Cherry Pie – Solid Light Studios – Camden, London – Sade – 1982

This song represents a recording at the original groups rehearsal studios in London. This was the live version of the song that was played by the band in the clubs for many years up to the singer signing her solo recording contract with CBS Records in October 1983. Andrew Hale was not a member of the original group Sade he joined in the summer of 1983 as the bands keyboard session player.

Message in a Melody – Zarjazz Studios – Camden, London – Esposito 1986

This song was produced by Paul Cooke and Mark Bedford for the Madness bands label Zarjazz operating through Virgin at the time. This was the scheduled first single on the bands fledgling label operated and run by Mark Bedford and the groups manager at the time. One of Earth Wind and Fires original backing singers was working with Madness at the time of this recording and he worked with Paul Cooke on the backing vocals for this track. The lead vocal was provided by the bands singer Dino Houtas.

Esposito Interview – BBC World Service, Lyndsey Shapiro – London – 1986


Lost At Sea (Original TIME track)
P Eye Eye – EMIT 2295 & 2000 Time Recordings – Nottingham 1995

This track is now a cult classic in the electronica genre after Paul Cooke and his partner in the group Andrew Smith won a Future Music Publishing competition to work with the famous TIME recordings label based in Nottingham. The track went onto feature on their EMIT 2295 album as well as be released via Instinct Records in 2000 in the USA.


Snake Bite – Solid Light Studios – Camden, London – PSP (Sade) – 1982

PSP was a small jazz trio that consisted of Paul Cooke, Paul Denman and Stuart Mathewman on sax otherwise known as the Martini Boys. This was the original Sade backing band that created all the music for all the songs from 1982 until 1983 when joined by session keyboard player Andrew Hale. This song features on the album Diamond Life by Sade and was originally written by Cooke/Denman/Mathewman

BBC Radio One Interview – Paul Cooke – 1995


Smooth Operator – USA – Gemini 1998

This version of Smooth Operator was produced by Paul Cooke in the USA with singing duo ‘Gemini’ from Southern America.

N-Toxicate vs Sade – Hull, UK – 2004

This mashup was created and produced by Hull DJ N-Toxicate who features at the Welly Club in Hull on a regular basis. AKA Baz Brooks.

Sade Concert – U4 Club – Vienna 1983 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DLR 1983
The arguments so far with ownership of this work centers on the singer not scheduling this recording into her original agreement with CBS Records in Oct 1983. So the ownership is with the company that recorded at the time eg: Diamond Life Records. This recording is a representation of the RCA recordings not the CBS recordings that took shape from October 1983 on-wards at PowerPlant studios in London and then finally released in 1984 as the album Diamond Life. The RCA Recordings however had been finalised at PowerPlant Studios in London prior to Oct 1983 and then the band rehearsed these recordings for its concert in Vienna in Dec 1983. This recording cannot be a representation of the CBS Recordings or Sony album as that product wasn’t fixed as a master tape properly until early 1984. The original producer Robin Millar suggests in his written statement to my solicitors that the RCA Recordings occurred from summer of 1983 on-wards at his studios and under his control. It is my recollection that I spent the whole of Nov 1983 preparing and rehearsing to these RCA masters for the performance in Vienna at the U4 Club on 11th Dec 1983.
Paul Cooke – You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me – Cold Storage Studios – Brixton, London 1999

This song was written and produced by Paul Cooke for his band Papa Divine an R&B group he formed in London in the late 1980’s after Esposito split up. Paul performed the drums on this recording as well as sang the Vocals on the track. The track was released as a 7″ Vinyl single on his own IVI Records Label based in his home city of Hull. The label operated from a recording studio base at a city arts project co funded by the local authority in a converted school at Middleton Street School, Spring Bank, Hull.

Paul Cooke – Star Lit Skies – Scarborough, UK 2008

This song was written and produced by Paul Cooke and recorded in Scarborough, East Yorkshire with the singer Sharon Cuthbert a Hull artist. The arrangement was further created and a final master recording was made by Dutch Producer AD Ryan in a studio in the Netherlands. Paul Cooke contributed the drums on this recording.

AD Ryan – Smooth Operator – Holland, UK 2007

This version of Smooth Operator was mixed and produced by Dutch producer AD Ryan at his studio in the Netherlands.