Nu Shooz

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Not to be confused with New Shoes.
Nu Shooz
Origin Portland, Oregon, United States
Genres Freestyle, R&B, dance
Years active 1979–present
Labels Atlantic
Poolside
Website www.nushoozmusic.com
Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz is an American Freestyle-R&B-Dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon. The Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s. Their third album, Poolside, brought the group's sound to a wider audience.

Career[edit]

Nu Shooz formed in 1979 in a lineup that originally featured 12 members. This incarnation of the group released its debut album, Can't Turn It Off, in 1982. Although the album saw limited success, the band continued on, paring its lineup down to seven members over the next several years.

Nu Shooz originally released the single "I Can't Wait" in Portland in April 1985 on Poolside Records. The original recording was done at Cascade Recording in Portland in the fall of 1984 and was also featured on the band's sparsely distributed second album, Tha's Right, in 1985.[1] "I Can't Wait" was a big hit on Portland radio stations at the time, but they were turned down by every major label. A copy of the song made it to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. This version is known as the 'Dutch Mix.' The remix came back into the United States as an import on Dutch label Injection Records. It was this version that got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed the band to a contract in January 1986.[2]

Nu Shooz scored two major pop/R&B/dance hits. "I Can't Wait" climbed to #2 on the R&B charts and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1986 and spent 15 weeks in the Top 40, and it also hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart earlier that year. Its follow-up, "Point of No Return," was remixed by Shep Pettibone and also topped the dance chart in September 1986; the song peaked at #28 on the Hot 100 and #35 on the R&B charts. Both singles were on the album Poolside, which charted on Billboard's 200 chart at #27, and sold a half million copies in the U.S., garnering gold record RIAA certification on October 2, 1986.

In 1987, Nu Shooz was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category, based on its breakthrough success the previous year.[3] The group lost to Bruce Hornsby & the Range; the other nominees that year were Glass Tiger, Simply Red, and Timbuk3. In 1988, the band released the album Told U So, which had its final chart entries to date: "Should I Say Yes?" hit #17 on the R&B charts and #41 on the Hot 100, while the track "Are You Lookin' For Somebody Nu" topped out at #2 on the dance charts. The album itself peaked on the Billboard 200 to #93 and was only an overall success in the urban market. "Time Will Tell" was supposed to be the first single from the third album for Atlantic, which was titled Eat & Run, but the album was never released.

In 2007, Nu Shooz was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.[4] Also that year Smith and Day formed a spin-off band called Nu Shooz Orchestra with a sound they called "Jazz-Pop-Cinema".[5] They released one album, Pandora's Box, in 2010 along with music videos for the songs "Spy vs Spy," (directed by Mike Wellins) and "Right Before My Eyes" (animated by Smith and Day’s son Malcolm Smith.)[6] The following year "I Can't Wait" was sampled in the hit song "Buzzin'" by Mann.[7]

In 2012, the band released Kung Pao Kitchen, a return to their 80's roots. A year later they put the live group back together for the first time in 20 years and joined the 80's era tour Super Freestyle Explosion.[8][9] A cover of "I Can't Wait", performed by Icona Pop and produced by Questlove, was used in a 2015 series of Target commercials.[10]

Nu Shooz continues to record and perform.[2]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[11]
US
R&B

[11]
AUS
[12]
CAN
[13]
GER
[14]
NLD
[15]
NZ
[16]
SWI
[17]
UK
[18]
1982 Can't Turn It Off
  • Release date: 1982
  • Label: Nebula Circle
1985 Tha's Right
  • Release date: March 1, 1985 [1]
  • Label: Poolside
1986 Poolside
  • Release date: May 5, 1986
  • Label: Atlantic
27 18 79 16 30 25 23 32
1988 Told U So
  • Release date: March 28, 1988
  • Label: Atlantic
93 49 72
2010 Pandora's Box
  • Release date: June 10, 2010
  • Label: NSO Music
2012 Kung Pao Kitchen
  • Release date: June 28, 2012
  • Label: NSO Music
2016 Bagtown
  • Release date: May 21, 2016
  • Label: NSO Music
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
[11]
US
Dan

[11]
US
R&B

[11]
AUS
[12]
CAN
[13]
GER
[14]
NLD
[15]
NZ
[16]
SWI
[17]
UK
[18]
1985 "I Can't Wait" Tha's Right
"Goin' Too Far"
1986 "I Can't Wait" (remix) 3 1 2 11 1 2 9 3 4 2 Poolside
"Point of No Return" 28 1 36 23 24 18 23 48
"Don't Let Me Be the One" 39
1988 "Should I Say Yes" 41 17 83 Told U So
"Are You Lookin' for Somebody Nu" 2
"Driftin'"
1992 "Time Will Tell" Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other releases[edit]

  • Nu Shooz: Then and Now DVD (NSO Music LLC, 2006)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nu Shooz- Tha's Right album information @nushoozmusic.com Retrieved 12-3-2011.
  2. ^ a b "Obscure R&B band Nu Shooz morphed into synth-pop stars". Wax Poetics. 
  3. ^ "GRAMMY NOMINATIONS: HIGHS AND LOWS : Winwood, Gabriel and Simon Garner Most Nominations". latimes. 
  4. ^ "2009 and Earlier". omhof.org. 
  5. ^ Boris Plantier. "Nu Shooz: ‘A record label is good at one thing - selling pieces of plastic’". Yuzu Melodies. 
  6. ^ "You Again?: Nu Shooz Orchestra, "Pandora's Box"". Popdose. 
  7. ^ "Mann". billboard.com. 
  8. ^ "Nu Shooz ‘Can’t Wait’ for Super Freestyle Explosion in Ontario". dailybulletin.com. 
  9. ^ Jason DeBord. "Super Freestyle Explosion with Stevie B, Lisa Lisa, Exposé, Debbie Deb, Shannon, Trinere, Johnny O, Nu Shooz, Pretty Poison, Stacey Q at HP Pavilion - San Jose, California - 6/29/13 (Concert Review)". Jason DeBord's Rock Subculture Journal. 
  10. ^ "Hear Icona Pop and ?uestlove’s Cover of Nu Shooz’s ‘I Can’t Wait’". Spin. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Nu Shooz". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  12. ^ a b David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  13. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Nu Shooz". RPM. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  14. ^ a b "GER Charts > Nu Shooz". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  15. ^ a b "NL Charts > Nu Shooz". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  16. ^ a b "NZ Charts > Nu Shooz". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  17. ^ a b "SWI Charts > Nu Shooz". Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  18. ^ a b "UK Charts > Nu Shooz". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  19. ^ a b "US Certifications > Nu Shooz". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  20. ^ a b "CAN Certifications > Nu Shooz". Music Canada. Retrieved 2014-11-11. 
  21. ^ "UK Certified Awards Search > Nu Shooz". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 
  • The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition - 1996

External links[edit]