Top 10 No Doubt Songs
Although No Doubt songs encompass five albums, it wasn’t until Gwen’s brother, and the band's primary songwriter, Eric left that they were able to inject their own experiences and creativity. The result was a resurrection of ska punk, which was followed by new wave and reggae fusion influences. Now, with Gwen Stefani declaring that her days as a solo artist are over, we are excited for the full-force return of the quartet. Celebrate the return of the band by taking a look at our list of the Top 10 No Doubt Songs.
The Synthpop No Doubt song — credited to a Yamaha keyboard melody that bares similarities to an ’80s video game — became the group’s last single off their third and most recent studio album 'Rocksteady.' The music video includes old cut-out pics and video footage of the band, tapping into the nostalgic lyrics of life and being with the people you love the most.
With flamenco-sounding guitar breaking up the song's new wave, slower tempo verses and a catchy, fast-paced ska punk chorus, ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ is a standard song that every broken-hearted girl can relate to. The song’s video features a pink-haired Gwen getting revenge on her ex/bandmate Tony Kanal, while also referencing the gory and controversial anime movie 'Kite.'
‘Simple Kind of Life’
This melancholy, lo-fi power ballad was solely penned by Gwen. The song speaks to her personal struggles between getting married and raising a family and being committed to her role in No Doubt. The video creatively features the two, with bride-to-be Gwen featured in several dream sequences.
Penned by Gwen along with former boyfriend and No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal, the 1995 single features a trombone in the chorus and heavy percussion, putting ska punk back on the radio airwaves. The song became their most successful single to-date, until the ballad ‘Don’t Speak’ was released the following year.
The heavily-produced reggae composition features keyboard melodies, electric bass, overdubbed vocals and a bridge by Jamaican reggae and dancehall DJ Bounty Killer. Describing groupies who attend post-show soirees, the Grammy Award-winning song was one of the first tracks written for their album ‘Rock Steady,’ which was finished in Jamaica.
‘Underneath It All’
The slower tempo, reggae fusion love song was written by Stefani and the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart while Stefani was in London visiting now husband Gavin Rossdale. Guitarist Tom Dumont says that Stewart helped keep his guitar changes simple, and Lady Saw added a guest verse when the band finished production on this top No Doubt song in Jamaica.
Hip-hop production duo the Neptunes collaborated with the Anaheim, Calif. natives on this funky, dance-laden top No Doubt song. The track, which features an ominous yet groovy bass line, borrows San Fran lyrical slang, Queen and Afrika Bambaataa influences. Roger Sanchez’s remix of the song won him a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.
‘It’s My Life’
To coincide with both No Doubt’s compilation album and box set, the group covered Talk Talk’s 1984 synthpop record 'It's My Life.' It was the last No Doubt song released before the band went on hiatus and Stefani launched her solo career, moving away from the band’s alternative rock sound towards more hip-hop and pop influenced sonics.
From 'Tragic Kingdom,' 'Don’t Speak' became No Doubt's most successful song, breaking airplay records and earning the group their only Hot 100 No. 1 hit, as well as a Song of the Year Grammy nomination. The heartfelt, softer rock-sounding track is presumed to be about Gwen and Kanal’s seven-year relationship, penned by Gwen with a little help from her brother Eric.
‘Just a Girl’
Once Gwen's brother Eric left the band in 1994, the group was forced to write their own music, which is evident in the style change found in 'Tragic Kingdom.' 'Just a Girl' was the first and arguably best single from that album, penned by Gwen and guitarist Tom Dumont. The lyrics address female stereotypes: “Don’t you think I know / Exactly where I stand? / This world is forcing me / To hold your hand.” It's rockin', girl power message brings this tune to the No. 1 spot on the Top 10 No Doubt Songs.