You know about No Doubt! They’re the cool genre-blending band behind “Don’t Speak,” “Just A Girl,” “Hey Baby,” and “Spiderwebs,” to name a few. Despite not releasing an album for over a decade; their legacy and influence can be seen in today’s stars and leaving a long-lasting impression on the world of pop culture. Whether it was their ability to bring a third wave of ska to the mainstream, frontwoman Gwen Stefani’s bold fashion choices; or their noteworthy collaborations with Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, and Prince. No Doubt was a defining band for the late 1990s/early 2000s.
With a healthy 9.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify and the music video for their most recognizable single, “Don’t Speak” recently hitting over a billion views on YouTube; No Doubt’s music is still being appreciated at large three decades on. To date, the band has sold over 33 million records worldwide and still remains a favorite by music fans.
But, of course, among the iconic classics are the underrated gems that deserve just as much love as the platinum hits. Here are some of those No Doubt songs that deserve some extra special love.
“Excuse Me Mr.”
To be fair, referring to anything on Tragic Kingdom as underrated is pretty unfair when the whole album was a roaring global success and one of the defining albums of the 1990s. However, out of all the tracks that were given a music video, the electrifying “Excuse Me Mr.,” is probably the most overlooked. And their performance of the song at Glastonbury Festival in 2002? Bloody epic!
“I Throw My Toys Around”
You didn’t know that No Doubt recorded a song for The Rugrats Movie in 1998? Well, now you do! The soft-rock ballad featured vocals from Elvis Costello and still holds up as a wholesome, cute song all these years later.
“Push And Shove”
“Push And Shove” is a crazy mess in the best way possible. With a blend of ska, dub, reggae, and dubstep, the 5-minute-and-six-seconds party anthem sounds like a song that only No Doubt could ever pull off. With added vocals from Jamaican dancehall artist Busy Signal and production by Major Lazer and Spike Stent; “Push And Shove” remains one of No Doubt’s hidden masterpieces.
Talking about the track earlier this year with Fault Magazine, lead singer Gwen Stefani opened up about the creative process behind the song. “We did that with Diplo, and he sent us something and then we were trying to write a chorus to it so it was almost like this Lego song where we put it all together,” she said, adding, “It was an amazing moment … I think it’s just such a weird, weird song, you know what I mean?”
Before Gwen Stefani taught us how to spell bananas, she gave us a lesson on how to spell the word “staring.” And yes, it does only have one R. On the whole, 2000’s Return of Saturn is a rather emotional, raw record with very few happy moments. That said, track 12, “Staring Problem,” is definitely one of the more fun, carefree songs with a lot of vibrant energy. Some think the lively, repetitive number is annoying. But personally, I think it’s a banger.
“Total Hate ‘95”
For many OG No Doubt fans, they might refer to 1995’s The Beacon Street Collection as their best and underappreciated body of work. While not everyone will agree with that statement, many will settle on the ska-infused “Total Hate ‘95,” with Sublime lead vocalist Bradley Nowell, as being one of their iconic diamonds in the rough.
“Settle Down” served as No Doubt’s first original material in over a decade and the comeback song we had all been waiting for. With a catchy hook and their signature blend of reggae and dancehall, it was as if no time had passed. Sadly, “Settle Down” didn’t receive the love it should have and went a little under the radar.
“Platinum Blonde Life”
2001’s Rock Steady is probably No Doubt’s most diverse album. It’s jam-packed with classics and bold anthems, with “Platinum Blonde Life” being one of them. With a helping hand from the legendary Ric Ocasek on the production side of things, Gwen Stefani sings about her choice to dye her hair blonde on a song that should have definitely been accompanied by a music video.
After being released as a promotional single, “Making Out,” for some reason, received negative reviews from music critics for its apparent lazy lyrics and lack of profanity. Over 20 years after its initial release, the groovy track still holds up as a cool song with badass production from William Orbit.
“One More Summer”
“One More Summer,” along with the majority of the songs on 2012’s Push And Shove, is pretty underrated. It also doesn’t really help that No Doubt themselves don’t celebrate and honor the album or any of the songs as they should. “One More Summer” is a track that highlights Gwen Stefani’s emotion-filled vocals we’ve always adored her for and showcases her ability to pen something that has you in your feelings. I always imagine that Sophie Muller would direct a black-and-white music video for it.
Angsty Gwen Stefani will always hold a special place in fans’ hearts. While she may no longer be the sad and lost pink-haired 30-year-old in platform flip flops, Return of Saturn will always be that album you can revisit and discover new things you love about it. “Comforting Lie,” if released as a single, had huge potential to be one of their signature rock anthems but has had to settle for being a brilliant album cut on an understated record.
Even though “New” is easily a huge fan-favorite among No Doubt listeners; it is still not appreciated to the level it should be. Recorded for the Go soundtrack in 1999, the new-wave, alternative rock song is one beast of a song from start to finish. The New & Approved Remix is also a solid 10/10.
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