Happy Hump day, folks. Today’s featured artists are:Nu Shooz, Human League, and Rick Astley.
Nu Shooz is an American Freestyle-R&B-Dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon. The Shooz released four albums in the U.S. during the 1980s, and it was its third album, Poolside, that brought the group’s sound to a wider audience.
Nu Shooz formed in 1979 in a lineup that originally featured 12 members. This incarnation of the group released its debut album, Can’t Turn It Off, in 1982. Although the album saw limited success, the band continued on, paring its lineup down to seven members over the next several years.
Nu Shooz originally released the single “I Can’t Wait” in Portland in April 1985 on Poolside Records. The original recording was done 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 the time, but they were 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. It was this version that got the attention of Atlantic Records, which signed the band to a contract in January 1986.
Nu Shooz scored two major pop/R&B/dance hits. “I Can’t Wait” climbed to #2 on the R&B charts and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1986 and spent 15 weeks in the Top 40, and it also hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart earlier that year. Its follow-up, “Point of No Return,” was remixed by Shep Pettibone and also topped the dance chart in September 1986; the song peaked at #28 on the Hot 100 and #35 on the R&B charts. Both singles were on the album Poolside, which charted on Billboard’s 200 chart at #27, and sold a half million copies in the U.S., garnering gold record RIAA certification on October 2, 1986.
Nu-Shooz-I Can’t Wait
The Human League
The Human League, formed over 33 years ago in Sheffield, have made a new album, their 10th, and their first since 2001’s Secrets. It’s called Credo, and it’s produced by younger, fresher Sheffield technicians I Monster, and released on the erratically adventurous Wall of Sound label. What you think about this will depend on whether you think of the Human League like Wall of Sound do, as one of the great pioneering electronic acts whose sound and aesthetic has had a positive impact on successive generations of liquid modern dance pop, or like I do, as one of the most brilliant and strangest acts of all time, or as a tired, faded and mostly irrelevant group who never made it beyond a gaudy, defective 1980s.
If you think of the Human League as stuck in the 80s, occasionally enacting some kind of futile comeback, a new album will not be much of an event. If it knowingly updates their sound so that it fits in with the stylised electronic pop soundscape they helped influence, one that stretches from Madonna to Black Eyed Peas, from Pet Shop Boys to La Roux, from Trevor Horn to Xenomania, then that will merely seem desperate. If it faithfully reflects their original sound, an experimental English form of fantasist sonic engineering, which at the time, immediately post-Kraftwerk/Roxy/Bowie/glam/punk/disco, was irresistibly new and inventive, then it will seem at best quaint. It will, perhaps, sound like an affectionate, technically deft I Monster interpretation of an ideal Human League sound: for electropop specialists, fastidious geeks and ageing experts only.
The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
I’m Only Human
C’mon now, ya’ll know ya’ll got down with Rick Astley!
Richard Paul “Rick” Astley (/ˈrɪk ˈæstli/; born 6 February 1966) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and radio personality. He is known for his 1987 song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, which was a No. 1 hit single in 25 countries. Astley holds the record for being the only male solo artist to have his first 8 singles reach the Top 10 in the UK and by retirement in 1993 had sold approximately 40 million records worldwide.
After retiring from the music industry in 1993, Astley made a comeback in 2007 when he became an Internet phenomenon, as his video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” became part of a popular Internet meme known as “rickrolling”. Astley was voted “Best Act Ever” by Internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008.
“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let down, never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.” Gone Rick!
Cry for Help” is the title of the first single taken from British dance-pop singer Rick Astley’s third studio album, Free. It was written by Rick Astley and Rob Fisher.
Released as a single in January 1991, “Cry for Help” reached the Top 10 on both the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom as well as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where the song peaked at No. 7 on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached No. 3 in Canada, and it was a No. 1 hit on the U.S. adult contemporary chart. The song’s No. 7 UK chart placing meant that Astley became the first male solo artist to have his first eight singles reach the British Top 10.
The song is a moving soul ballad, unlike many of Astley’s other more famous dance-oriented hit singles (“Never Gonna Give You Up”). It was co-written by British singer-songwriter Rob Fisher, formerly one half of the 1980s pop group Naked Eyes and Climie Fisher. To date, the song was Astley’s last appearance in the Top 10 in either the U.S. or U.K.
The song has been sung by Rick Astley in duet with Soren Sko and covered by Thomas Anders (ex-Modern Talking).
Cry For Help
“Why must we hide emotion? Why must we never breakdown and cry for help? All that I need is to cry for help. Somebody please hear me cry for help. all I can do is cry for help.”