When No Doubt formed in 1987, they aimed to create a sound that captured both the emerging ska and punk scenes rampant at the time. Even as these movements were largely nostalgic and revivalist in nature, lead singer Gwen Stefani’s vocals fit the bill – and the group’s shared love for ska/punk combiners Madness made the pursuit a sensible one. Stefani’s vocals have always bordered on both angelic innocence and raucous mayhem in the vein of riot grrrl, a rock genre popularized in the early ‘90s but deeply influenced by female-fronted punk groups of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, many of these groups influences on No Doubt. They began as a group that aimed to combine ska-punk influences like Madness with new-wave and pop aesthetics, where infectiousness and accessibility would remain priorities despite expanding music styles and aggressive deliveries. As they have evolved throughout the years into an arena-sized article, it’s interesting to look at their
The famous “Just a Girl” off their 1992 self-titled debut is one of the crunchiest, punk-laden efforts on an album otherwise influenced by ‘80s synth-laden new-wave and quirkier incarnations. For instance, “Sad for Me” is an odd Gypsy-style piano ballad with playful woodwinds reminding of a Boy George song. Meanwhile, the perky lounge-style acoustics and cathedral-ready organs of “Sometimes” mixes tropical marimba-pop with organ-tinged soul. They’re stylistically interesting efforts, and largely worthwhile, but it shows how stylistically disorganized No Doubt’s self-titled debut was. Some tracks were a preview of things to come, though. The superbly infectious “Get on the Ball” makes fans of Madness smile, with its slick ska-infused organs and guitars. With explosive brass complementing Stefani’s vocals, it’s a stunning R&B revivalist effort that remains one of the band’s catchiest efforts. The production is relatively polished for a debut, but the polish and stylistic decisiveness of future No Doubt releases was yet to come.
After No Doubt’s debut was neither critically nor commercially successful, major label Interscope pulled back their support. No Doubt answered in 1995 with their follow-up, The Beacon Street Collective. They took the three years between albums to reflect on the highs and lows of their debut, and produced a sound largely consistent in wonderfully quick-paced ska-punk. The jubilant and panting “Total Hate ‘95” features a party-ready duet, with clamoring percussion reflecting bursts of brass that shift in tempo and ferocity though. When the track takes a reggae-tinged turn, both vocally and musically, just before the two-minute mark, it’s apparent that No Doubt is now able to cohesively integrate musical influences without sounding indecisive. The predominance of new-wave and synth-rock are much more muted with The Beacon Street Collective, even as the synth-rock would return later with recent efforts like 2012’s Push and Shove, and synth-charged tracks like “Looking Hot”.
However, before their recent synth-rock resurgence, No Doubt were at their peak of maturity. With 2000’s excellent Return of Saturn, the group began their ascent into breathtaking alt-rock with an emotional grasp. The high-energy appeal of their ska influences was not as apparent, and on efforts like the beautiful string-tinged “Simple Kind of Life” they were completely absent. It didn’t stop anything in terms of success though; it actually showed No Doubt could gravitate from their expected sound, and also rely on a relatively straightforward genre instead of unconventional infusions. Lyrically, it was also Stefani’s strongest, touching on aspects like troubled relationships and bittersweet romance. It may not have been as instantaneously fun as past releases, but it was their biggest artistic achievement. Many critics maintain that it is their best, and for good reason.
Only a few months after the release of Return to Saturn, Stefani’s image was propelled by appearances on Moby’s remix of “South Side” and the Eve duet “Let Me Blow Your Mind”. It was apt timing to shed a spotlight on the group, as Rock Steady was released just a year later. Recent infusions of hip-hop and dance into their rock and ska-tinged sound helped make singles like “Hella Good” and Hey Baby” big radio successes. With a plethora of guest producers, Rock Steady represented the band’s most diverse range of styles. The variety continued on their most recent album, Push and Shove. Even nearly three decades after their formation, No Doubt continues to successfully innovate and maintain their sound’s radio appeal. It’s clear they aren’t going anywhere soon, even if they continue to stay at their one-album-every-ten-years rate. Audiences may have to wait, but they won’t be disappointed.
The band announced the hometown dates in a one-minute video complete with a laugh track (see below). In the video, the group debates when and where the shows should be held, and how many shows they should perform.
“Do you guys want to play some shows?” asks bassist Tony Kanal to begin the video, to which singer Gwen Stefani says, “Yeah, yeah, I wanna play some shows.” They eventually agree they should play six shows at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles right after Thanksgiving this year.
The residency will kick off November 24, and the band will also play November 26, 28, 30 and December 2 and 4. The shows will begin almost exactly two months after Push and Shove is released on September 25.
“No Doubt are excited to announce six headlining shows at Gibson Amphitheatre this November and December…” said a statement on the group’s official website. “For sure to be memorable hometown shows, the band are making the best seats in the house available first to fans (through the official fan club).”
Push and Shove is the first the group has released since 2001’s Rock Steady. After that, the band was on hiatus from 2004-2008, during which time Stefani released two solo albums. The new album and dates will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, which the group acknowledged in an earlier statement.
“Thank you all so much for you support over the last 25 years,” the statement read. “We’re really proud of our new album and we hope you love it as much as we do… See you soon…”
No Doubt formed in California in 1986, though their self-titled debut record wasn’t released until 1992. Their breakthrough record Tragic Kingdom followed three years after that.
It’s been over a decade since the last No Doubt record, but the band has now announced that a new album will be released on September 25. No title has yet been released.
The band made the announcement in a video on Friday, and the group’s official website contains a letter written from the members of the band.
“We are incredibly excited to share the new music with you,” the letter says. “Ear candy coming your way!”
The announcement also says that the website will be updated as the album release gets closer with new pictures and videos. It states that the album will be a part of the band’s 25th birthday.
“Thank you all so much for your support over the last 25 years,” said the statement. “We’re really proud of our new album and we hope you love it as much as we do. We’ll be posting updates between now and September as we shoot the video and start rehearsing to perform the new songs live for all of you… Se you soon…”
No tour dates have yet been released. No Doubt originally formed in California in 1986, and released a self-titled debut in 1992. They met widespread acclaim with their second album, Tragic Kingdom, which was released in 1995 and included slew of hits including “Don’t Speak,” “Just a Girl” and “Spiderwebs.” The album gained popularity after it was released and eventually got to the number one spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It stayed there for eight weeks and was certified diamond for selling 10 million copies in the U.S. before the decade was done.
The band’s most recent record, Rock Steady, was released in 2001. The band was on hiatus from 2004-2008, a time in which lead singer Gwen Stefani released two solo albums. The group reportedly began recording in 2008, but sessions were cut short when Stefani became pregnant with her second child.
With 2011 coming to an end and 2012 almost here, speculation about festival headliners for Coachella next year are already gaining momentum. Although we just said goodbye to Bestival, rumors from the music industry over who will be topping the bill at Coachella, one of the first big events on the musical calendar, are already making the rounds.
Hits Daily Double, a music trade publication, is inferring that No Doubt and Radioheadare locked in to be the event’s headliners next year, according to Consequence of Sound. The same source last year reported how The Rolling Stones had almost finalized a deal for headlining the event in 2010. However, rumor is still rumor.
Hits Daily Double said that although record revenues for rock has decreased, the concert business has been holding steady and increased in some cases, led by multi-decade career acts performing in stadiums and arenas. The same can be said for festivals that are high profile such as Coachella.
Entertainment Weekly has reported that Gwen Stefani says that she is bringing her solo career to an end.
After releasing two very successful solo sets, “L.A.M.B.” in 2004 and “The Sweet Escape” in 2006, Stefani says she is through performing as a solo singer.
Stefani said, that happened for a time. It lasted longer than anyone thought it would. It was inspired so you go with where you are at in a particular point in your life. However everything works out the way it should.
According to Stefani, she is now focusing her time working on a new album with No Doubt, somethings fans have been eagerly anticipating. The last time the band released a new album was almost 10 years ago, and it’s been two years since No Doubt reunited to perform a summer tour.
No Doubt is known for such hit singles as “Hey Baby,” “Hella Good” and “It’s My Life.”
Stefani added, with a completely changed music scene and nine kids aboard from all the band members, we can expect the band to have a completely different sound. I’m really excited about the reunion. They’ve been favorites of mine for a very long time.