Nu Shooz is an American freestyle/R&B group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Nu Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s. Their third album, Poolside, brought the group’s sound to a wider audience.
Nu Shooz originally released the single “I Can’t Wait” in Portland in April 1985 on Poolside Records. The original session happened at Cascade Recording in Portland in the fall of 1984 and was also featured on the band’s sparsely distributed second album, Tha’s Right, in 1985. “I Can’t Wait” was a big hit on Portland radio stations at that time, but Nu Shooz was turned down by every major label. A copy of the song made it to the Netherlands, where it was remixed by Peter Slaghuis. This version is known as the ‘Dutch Mix.’ The remix came back into the United States as an import on Dutch label Injection Records. This version got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed the band to a contract in January 1986
“I Can’t Wait” is from the 1986 album Poolside. The song was originally recorded in late 1984 and was featured on the band’s second album Tha’s Right the following year. Credits on the back of the single indicate that the Poolside LP was originally to be called The Point of No Return. The song was remixed by the Dutch DJ and producer Peter Slaghuis. This remixed version is the one that appears on Poolside.
In the United States, the song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart in late March 1986, remaining atop the chart for two weeks. Soon afterwards, the song appeared on the Hot 100 chart, where it climbed to No. 3 in mid-June of that year, and remained in the top 40 for 15 weeks and it reached #2 on the R&B/Soul singles chart. In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The single returned to the U.S. charts in 2015, where it peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Digital Songs chart.
The song’s American chart run coincided with that of a Stevie Nicks song also titled “I Can’t Wait”.