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Nu Shooz 1988 vinyl. (Craig Allen photo)

Nu Shooz is a Freestyle/R&B/Dance group formed by husband and wife John Smith and Valerie Day, in Portland Oregon, in 1979.

Valerie Day & John Smith, from the 1988 album “Told U So.” (Craig Allen photo)

When it formed, Nu Shooz had 12 members! That was the lineup that released the band’s first album, in 1982.

The album “Can’t Turn It Off” saw some limited success…and over the next few years, the band would shrink in size to 7 members.

The single “I Can’t Wait” was originally released on “Poolside Records” in Portland, in 1985. It was featured on Nu Shooz’s  second album, “Tha’s Right.”

“I Can’t Wait” was a big hit locally, on the Portland radio stations…but Nu Shooz couldn’t turn that success into a contract. They were turned down by every major record label!

Here’s where luck and fate stepped in…

A copy of “I Can’t Wait” made its way to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. His version of the song is known as the “Dutch Mix.”

The remix made its way back to America, as an import, on the Dutch label “Injection Records!”

It was this remix version of “I Can’t Wait” that got Nu Shooz signed to Atlantic Records in 1986!

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“I Can’t Wait” turned out to be a MAJOR hit (as well as one of “Jersey’s Favorite Hits’).

It went to #2 on the R&B charts, #3 (1986) on the Billboard Hot 100…it spent 15 weeks on the Top-40 countdown shows, and hit #1 on the Dance/Club charts!

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“Point Of No Return,” the followup single, was remixed by Shep Pettibone.

It went to #1 on the Dance charts, #28 (1986) on the Hot 100 charts, and #38 on the R&B charts. The “Poolside” album sold over 500,000 copies, earning it RIAA Gold Record status!

Not too bad for a band that was denied a deal by all the major record labels…

Nu Shooz was nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy for 1986.  They lost out to Bruce Hornsby And The Range. Glass Tiger, Simply Red and Timbuk 3 were the other nominees that year!

Nu Shooz released the “Told You So” album in 1988.

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“Should I Say Yes?” went to #41 on the Hot 100, and #17 (1988) on the R&B Charts.

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“Are You Looking For Somebody Nu” didn’t blip on the Top 40 charts, but was a #2 Dance Chart hit.

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“Time Will Tell” was supposed to be the first single from a third Nu Shooz album, but the “Eat And Run” album never came to be.

But wait…that’s NOT the end of the Nu Shooz story!

2006 brought Nu Shooz back into the studio to record “I Can’t Wait-20th Anniversary Edition,” what they describe as a “chamber-jazz” version of the hit record.

In 2007, Smith and Day reformed as the “Nu Shooz Orchestra.”

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In 2010, they released the album “Pandora’s Box,” including the music video “Spy Vs Spy.”

The album “Kung Pao Kitchen” was released in 2012.

Nu Shooz continues to record, and perform live! Last summer, they toured with fellow ’80s artists including: Expose, Lisa Lisa, Stacy Q, and Pretty Poison (from South Jersey).

Check out their official website by clicking here!

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