In 1984 Nu Shooz was one of the hardest working bands in the Northwest corner of the United States. The group, formed in Portland Oregon in 1979, was playing over three hundred days a year, traveling in a converted school bus. By this time the line-up had slimmed down from twelve members to seven. Manager Rick Waritz decided it was time to shop for a record deal.
The band was changing. A year earlier percussionist Valerie Day replaced David Musser as lead singer. NuShooz was wandering stylistically too. There was an exodus of members, so by 1984 the Shooz were once again firmly under the control of bandleader John Smith. Tha's Right is a transitional album.
Waritz said, "We need to go into the studio and record something."
"I don't have any songs I like," Smith said, "Except for 'I Can't Wait.' That sounds real."
During that transitional period the Shooz dabbled in rock. Smith wanted to take them back to the funky stuff that packed the dance floor at the Last Hurrah, the premier live music club in Portland. There are rock songs on "Tha's Right," but it was "I Can't Wait," that rebooted the Shooz sound. (Listen also to the exuberant 'Make Your Mind Up' for a snapshot of the 1984 club band.)
A local music critic named Attilio called the live band 'boring,' (translation; not new wave enough,) but praised Tha's Right. "The album is surprisingly good," he wrote. "But local Top-40 Radio will never play it".
Morning jock Gary Bryant of KKRZ Portland read the review on the air. He said, "If you're out there listening, come on down!" Waritz hopped on his Vespa and rushed a copy down to the station. They put 'I Can't Wait' on the air within the hour. The phones lit up.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
ALBUM NOTES FOR “THA’S RIGHT”
Produced by John Smith, Rick Waritz and Fritz Richmond
Vocals, congas, percussion – Valerie Day
Guitars – John Smith
Keys, Vocals – Mark Bosnian
Tenor Saxophone – Danny Schauffler
Trumpet – Lewis Livermore
Bass Guitar – Gary Fontaine
Drumset – Peter K. Williams
Background Vocals – Shannon Day, Lori Lamphear-Rosenfeld
Thanks to our friends:
Add’l gang vocals on “Make Your Mind Up” – Calvin Walker,
Caton Lyles, Jim Dunn
Moog Bass on “I Can’t Wait” – Nate Phillips
Bass Guitar on “Don’t Turn Back” – Dave Captein
Recorded June – December 1984 at Cascade Recording, Portland OR.
Engineered by Fritz Richmond except “Don’t Turn Back” – recorded Jan. 1984 at Fresh Tracks. Jon Lindahl engineer.
Special Thanks to Mom, Dad, and anonymous Italian benefactors (who turned out to be Llloyd and Patti Babler).
Cover Concept and Design – Fred Ingram
Updated graphics for the Nu Millenium – Ginnie MacPherson
NOTE: This album was lovingly restored from decades old analog sources. Since analog tape can suffer from natural decomposition over the years we hope you will enjoy this classic material and forgive any imperfections that result from the effects of time.