I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3) & R&B (#2 for 3 weeks); 1986

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In the 1980’s, Portland, Oregon wasn’t a hotbed of music happenings. Nor were husband and wife duos all the rage in rock ‘n’ roll. Still, in 1986, John Smith and Valerie Day, collectively known as Nu Shooz, managed to place three singles on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100. Valerie, with her blond tresses, and John, sporting a beret, hardly looked like, say, Patti LaBelle, who held down the #1 slot that June. Yet, MTV broke down many barriers in its first decade, and cross cultural success was one result, not unlike the changes in the wake of early rock ‘n’ rollers such as Elvis, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. As a result, I Can’t Wait and the follow-up Nu Shooz singles also placed well on the R&B chart, plus Wait was a #1 Hot Dance Music track.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • John Smith
  • Rick Waritz

Lyrics Written by:

  • John Smith