As I type this, it’s a sunny Friday afternoon. The type of day that makes me think about going outside and enjoying the sunshine. Only problem—I have to work. So, in lieu of being able to go out and take in a beautiful spring day, I’ll give you guys a nice, bouncy spring song-“I Can’t Wait,” by the husband-and-wife duo known as Nu Shooz.
John Smith and Valerie Day were based out of Portland, Oregon when “I Can’t Wait” became a smash in the spring of 1986. It peaked at #2 on the R&B charts and crossed over to land at #3 pop. It also won them a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist-which they lost to Bruce Hornsby & The Range. While Hornsby is much beloved by me as well as many other members of Team Popdose, you can’t dance to “Mandolin Rain.” You can boogie your ass off to “I Can’t Wait.” Plus, none of Hornsby’s videos were as delightfully offbeat. That snaky bassline. Those echoing synthesizer noises. Irresistible.
Excuse me while I dance for a few minutes.
(Clears throat.) Now, where were we?
John and Valerie scored Gold success with Poolside, the album that contained “I Can’t Wait.” They even scored a second Top Ten smash with “Point Of No Return,” which is not to be confused with Expose’s “Point Of No Return,” which was a hit around the same time. A second album, Told U So, didn’t do as well despite boasting the moody beat ballad “Should I Say Yes,” which, to me, was the best song they ever recorded. Believe it or not, a quarter century plus after “I Can’t Wait” was a smash, the twosome continues to make music. An album called Kung Pao Kitchen was released this year, and as you can see from their website, they’ve maintained a sense of humor over the years.
You’ll also notice that remixes and remakes of “I Can’t Wait” abound. They may be Nu Shooz, but you’d best believe they’re getting plenty of mileage out of those olde shooz.