Where were you in 1986?
In the all night discos in New York City?
Combing through the 12” DJ dance bins at a record store in Holland?
Going out to “get lucky” on Ladies Night at the Last Hurrah in Portland OR?
Listening to “Voice of America” in a remote jungle in mainland China?
Whether you were listening to the radio in a small Pacific NW town, or shaking your booty in a big city disco, from coast to coast, Europe to Asia, you could hear the song that took the world by storm and introduced the band NU SHOOZ to music lovers everywhere. “I Can’t Wait,” went to #3 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and top five in most of the civilized world. The group had two more hits, “Point of No Return,” (#28 in 1987,) and “Should I Say Yes?”. (#41 in 1988)
NU SHOOZ was formed in Portland Oregon in 1979, by two ex-members of the local Calypso band Felicidades. It took a year for them to find their direction, as a 12 piece horn band in the tradition of Tower of Power and Earth Wind and Fire. By 1982, the Shooz were one of the top bands in Portland. A year later though, a series of personnel changes decimated the group and its following. There followed a dark period, once again they seemed to be searching for an identity. Still, they never stopped playing. The band’s line-up was reduced to seven, and they moved out beyond Portland, touring the Northwest region of the U.S. in a converted school bus. “I Can’t Wait” was written during this time. Portland Top 40 station KKRZ picked up on the song in the spring of 1985. After that their popularity grew all over again.
I Can’t Wait is still being played on the radio somewhere on earth every 11 minutes. The bass-line shows up in NBA games, and there are You-tube videos of people singing along to it. Whether you’re hearing it for the first time on your iPod, or you danced to it during the Reagan era, these Shooz just get more comfortable with time.