Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nu Shooz


Nu Shooz was a dance music group consisting of husband & wife duo, John Smith and Valerie Day from Portland, Oregon which formed in 1979. The original band consisted of four members, but by 1980, it expanded to 12 members including 4 horns and 3 backup singers known as the I-Lets.
In 1981, Nu Shooz was down to 9 members and a year later, they released the album, "Can't Turn it Off" on Nebula Circle Records, which didn't appear to make much impact on the charts. By 1983, Valerie became the lead singer of Nu Shooz.
In April of 1985, they recorded the 5-song EP, "Tha's Right" and acting on a dare from local music writer, Gary Bryan of Portland, Oregon radio station, KKRZ, he put their song, "I Can't Wait" on the radio and it received strong and immediate attention.

By the end of the year, "I Can't Wait" became a regional hit, but when the song was remixed by Dutch DJ Pieder Slaghuis, the song's success took off, Atlantic Records signed Nu Shooz to the label in January 1986 and released the single a month later.
"I Can't Wait" peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #2 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 24 weeks, and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for 2 weeks.

The song also topped the charts in Canada for a week in July of 1986 and was also successful in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Austria, and France.
In May of that same year, Nu Shooz released their first album on a major record label, "Poolside" which peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The follow-up single, "Point of No Return" peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, #36 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks, and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for a week in September of 1986.

The song was also moderately successful in Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, and the U.K., where it peaked at #48 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The last single from the album, "Don't Let Me Be the One" peaked at #39 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

"Poolside" was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 units and Nu Shooz was nominated for a Grammy in 1987 for "Best New Artist."
In 1988, Nu Shooz released their second album, "Told U So" which peaked at #93 on the Billboard 200 and #49 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single, "Should I Say Yes?" peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, #8 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #17 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.
The follow-up single from the album, "Are You Lookin' For Somebody Nu" peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and #13 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
In 1992, Nu Shooz released the single, "Time Will Tell" which was supposed to be from their third album on Atlantic Records, "Eat & Run," but the album ended up being shelved.

Nu Shooz was dropped from Atlantic Records and John disbanded the group stating that it wasn't fun anymore. After that, it seemed as if Nu Shooz faded into obscurity. During the late 90s, Valerie was a part of the Woody Hite Big Band. In 2005, she recorded duets with pianist Tom Grant.
In 2006, Nu Shooz recorded a chamber-jazz version of "I Can't Wait" and released the single, "I Can't Wait-Unplugged." A year later, John and Valerie reformed the group as the Nu Shooz Orchestra.
In 2010, they released a new album, "Pandora's Box" along with a music video entitled "Spy Vs. Spy."
In 2012, Nu Shooz released their latest album, "Kung Pao Kitchen" which is available on CD Baby, Amazon.com, and iTunes.

In addition to music, John Smith dabbles in art and literature. Since the '90s, he has written music for various commercials and scored many independent films. He is also a frequent musical contributor to a dance company called BodyVox.

John is also working on a graphic novel series, "Evolution: The Mutant Chronicles" with his son Malcolm.

Valerie Day is working on a multimedia project with jazz pianist, Darrell Grant called "Brain Chemistry For Lovers." These days, Nu Shooz continues to perform.

To see Nu Shooz's official website, go to:
http://www.nushoozmusic.com/

To see John Smith's website, go to:
http://www.malcocreative.com/

To see Valerie Day's website, go to:
http://www.valeriedaysings.com/

To see the music video for "I Can't Wait," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZrGEriC_fo

To see the music video for "Point of No Return," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wqxHThRgsA

To see a fan-made video for "Don't Let Me Be The One," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muL2s_98_f8

To see the music video for "Should I Say Yes?," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bCCR3jiG7E

To see a fan-made video for "Are You Looking For Somebody Nu?," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFx9U8Qtceg

To see a fan-made video for "Time Will Tell," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gwZoj07RDU


[updated on 03/23/13]

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