No Doubt is an American rock band from Anaheim, California, founded in 1986. The ska-pop sound of their first album, No Doubt, failed to make waves due to the popularity of the grunge movement at the time. The band's diamond-certified album Tragic Kingdom helped to launch the ska revival of the 1990s, and "Don't Speak", the third single from the album, set a record when it spent sixteen weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.
The group released its next album, Return of Saturn, four years later, but despite positive reviews, the album was considered a commercial failure. Fifteen months later, the band reappeared with Rock Steady, which incorporated reggae and dancehall music into their work. The album was primarily recorded in Jamaica and featured collaborations with Jamaican artists Bounty Killer, Sly and Robbie, and Lady Saw. The album produced two Grammy-winning singles, "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All".
No Doubt released the compilation The Singles 1992?2003 and box set Boom Box in 2003, both of which contained a cover version of the Talk Talk synthpop song "It's My Life". Frontwoman Gwen Stefani launched her solo career the next year with several collaborations, including bandmate Tony Kanal as well as Neptune Pharrell Williams, while guitarist Tom Dumont began his side project, Invincible Overlord. During its career, the band has won two Grammy Awards and sold 27 million records worldwide to date. The band has recently embarked on a national tour throughout the summer of 2009.
Eric Stefani, and Eric's sister Gwen formed a band called Apple Core in 1986, having worked together at a local Dairy Queen. Eric, who had taught himself to play accordion played for the band with Gwen singing back up.
About a year later Eric met Spence at a Dairy Queen and had talked about getting a group together to play music. Eric got a keyboard and gathered some players together to practice. The practice included Eric Stefani (keyboards), Gwen Stefani (vocals), John Spence (Vocals), Jerry McMahon (Guitar), Chris Leol (Bass) and Gabe Gonzalas (Trumpet), Alan and Tony Meade. They practiced in Eric's parents garage. They planned to play live at Fenders but Chris and Gabe didn't show up to practice.
Tony Kanal went to one of these early shows and soon joined the band as its bassist. After initially rejecting her advances, he began dating Gwen, but they kept their relationship secret for a year, feeling that it was an unspoken rule that nobody date her.
In December 1987, Spence committed suicide several days before the band was to play a gig at The Roxy Theatre for record industry employees. No Doubt disbanded but decided to regroup after several weeks with Alan Meade taking over vocals. When Meade left the band, Gwen replaced him as lead singer, while No Doubt continued to develop a live following in California. In early 1988, Tom Dumont left Rising, a heavy metal band of which he was a member with his sister, stating that local metal bands "were into drinking, wearing Spandex" but that he wanted to focus on music. He joined No Doubt and replaced Jerry McMahon as the band's guitarist, adding a distinct metal influence to its sound. Adrian Young replaced Chris Webb as the drummer the following year.
"Trapped in a Box" (1992)
The only single from the band's ska-pop debut album.
Impressed by the presence of rabid, stage diving fans at No Doubt's concerts and Gwen's mesmerizing on-stage presence, Tony Ferguson signed the band to a multi-album deal with the newly created Interscope Records in 1990. No Doubt's self-titled debut album was finally released in 1992, but it featured no radio singles, although a video was made for "Trapped in a Box". The album's distinctly upbeat ska/pop/cartoon sound sharply contrasted with the then-dominant grunge movement. Because the music world's focus was redirected squarely at Seattle, No Doubt's album was not supported by the record label and considered a commercial failure for selling only 30,000 copies. The band embarked on a national tour in support of the album, though Interscope refused to support the tour. The band failed to bring the audiences that it had attracted in Southern California, and often found that No Doubt was not even available in the cities where it was playing. Eric Stefani began to withdraw from the group, vacillating between being in and out of the band.
The band began work on its next album the next year, but Interscope rejected much of its material, and the band was paired with producer Matthew Wilder. Eric did not like to relinquish creative control to someone outside the band and eventually stopped recording and rehearsing. He left No Doubt in 1994 to resume an animation career with the cartoon TV series The Simpsons. Kanal then ended his seven-year relationship with Gwen, saying that he needed "space". Unsure of what to do with the band, Interscope sublicensed the project to Trauma Records in 1995. No Doubt released The Beacon Street Collection, consisting of outtakes from its previous recording sessions, that year on its own label, Sea Creature Records. Mixing 1980s punk rock and some grunge influences into the band's sound, the album contains a rawer sound than No Doubt, and it sold more than three times as many copies as its predecessor. Later that year, the label released Tragic Kingdom, much of which dealt with the relationship between Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani.
Mainstream success (1995?2000)
Before the release of the video "Just a Girl" on MTV and other outlets the band performed shows in Disneyland for Grad Night in 1995 were they put on a remarkable showing. Gwen would wear the same outfit as in the Tragic Kingdom cd cover, red dress. The release of 1995's Tragic Kingdom and the single "Just a Girl" allowed the group to achieve mainstream commercial success. No Doubt began touring in support of the album late that year, and it grew into a 27-month international tour. In 1996, the second single, "Spiderwebs", was successful, and "Don't Speak", a ballad written about Stefani and Kanal's break-up, was released as the third single and broke the previous record when it topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay for sixteen weeks. No Doubt was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Album at the 1997 Grammy Awards. By the end of the year, half of the songs on Tragic Kingdom had been released as singles, and the album was certified eight times platinum. Later, they were nominated for two more Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, both for "Don't Speak". The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album diamond in February 1999, and with worldwide sales of sixteen million, it is one of the best-selling albums in history. The band's self-titled debut album began selling copies again off of the success of Tragic Kingdom and reached total sales of over a quarter of a million copies.
"Don't Speak" (1996)
The band's most famous song.
The lead single from Return of Saturn, produced with Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison.
The album's release fueled a dispute between Trauma and Interscope Records over No Doubt's recording contract. Trauma sued for US$100 million for breach of contract, fraud, and extortion and sought to have its joint venture agreement ended, claiming that Interscope had reneged on its contract after the band had become more successful than expected. No Doubt had previously stated that it had switched to Trauma Records and that the transition was "really great...because now we have the attention and the focus of a small indie label." The case was settled out of court with a $3 million payment.
The band finished its tour in December 1997 and had several releases during the two-year writing process to make its follow-up to Tragic Kingdom. Live in the Tragic Kingdom, a live long-form video of the band's performance at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, was released and The Beacon Street Collection was re-released while the band was on tour that year. The band recorded "I Throw My Toys Around" with Elvis Costello for The Rugrats Movie, and it contributed to The Clash's tribute album Burning London: The Clash Tribute. Stefani began to make recordings without the band, contributing vocals to tracks for The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Prince, Fishbone & Familyhood Nextperience, and her boyfriend Gavin Rossdale's band Bush. After some time in-between albums, No Doubt included its song "New" on the soundtrack to the movie Go in 1999. "New", inspired by Gwen's budding relationship with Rossdale, was one of the first songs written after the release of Tragic Kingdom.
Later albums (2000-2004)
Gwen Stefani, Stephen Bradley, and Tony Kanal performing in March 2002.
In 2000, the band released Return of Saturn, its follow-up to Tragic Kingdom. The album featured a darker tone and was more lyrically advanced than No Doubt's previous work. The main lyrical focus of the new record had shifted from Gwen Stefani's relationship with bassist Tony Kanal to her new relationship with Gavin Rossdale. Return of Saturn was critically acclaimed, but was not as commercially successful as their previous album, and the lead single, "Ex-Girlfriend", failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Also released as singles from the album were the tracks "Simple Kind of Life" and "Bathwater".
"Underneath It All" (2002)
The band's second highest charting U.S. single, produced with Sly & Robbie in Jamaica and featuring Lady Saw.
"It's My Life" (2003)
The band produced a cover of the Talk Talk song for its compilation album.
After Return of Saturn, the band returned to recording in January 2001. During this time, it contributed a cover version of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" for the Zoolander soundtrack and recorded a song with Kelis for her album Wanderland. Stefani made high-profile appearances on Moby's "South Side" and Eve's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind". These appearances lent No Doubt credibility and an opportunity to explore new genres. Highly influenced by Jamaican dancehall music and recorded primarily in Jamaica, the band's 2001 studio album, Rock Steady, produced two hit Grammy-winning singles, "Hey Baby", which featured Bounty Killer, and "Underneath It All", which featured the first lady of dancehall, Lady Saw. Both singles managed to reach the top five on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also released "Hella Good" and "Running" as singles. In addition, pop-star Prince co-wrote, produced, and performed on "Waiting Room" from Rock Steady. Stefani had previously provided vocals for a song on Prince's Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic album, "So Far, So Pleased". In November 2002, No Doubt made an appearance in the Dawson's Creek episode "Spiderwebs".
2003 was a big year of releases for No Doubt. The album The Singles 1992?2003, a compilation of the band's commercially-released singles, was released on November 25, 2003. It included a cover of the song "It's My Life", which had originally been a hit for synthpop group Talk Talk in 1984, and earned No Doubt a Grammy nomination for Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. Additionally, a special 2-CD 2-DVD box set titled Boom Box was made available, which included the CDs The Singles 1992?2003 and Everything in Time and the DVDs The Videos 1992?2003 and Live in the Tragic Kingdom. Separately, Rock Steady Live, a DVD of the band performing in Long Beach from their Rock Steady tour was released in 2003 as well. The next year, the band was featured in a re-recording of the Toots & the Maytals classic ska song "Monkey Man". The band also toured with blink-182 in mid-2004, before embarking on a hiatus.
Stefani performing on the Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005.
Lead singer Gwen Stefani began work on her 1980s-inspired New Wave and dance-pop side project in 2003, which eventually evolved into the full-fledged solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., released on November 23, 2004. The album reached multi-platinum status in several countries, including a quintuple platinum certification in Canada and triple platinum in the U.S. Stefani launched her first solo arena tour in October 2005, which coincided with the news of her pregnancy (her son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, was born on May 26, 2006). She released her second solo dance-pop album, The Sweet Escape in December 2006.
In early 2005, Tom Dumont released his own solo music project, Invincible Overlord, with friend and collaborator Ted Matson, and backed up Matt Costa on his 2005 tour. Adrian Young, the band's drummer, did the drums for Bow Wow Wow's 2004 tour and many of the tracks on Unwritten Law's 2005 release, Here's to the Mourning, as well as featuring on several shows in 2006 for TheStart. Young will also be playing on Rockstar: Supernova runner-up Dilana's upcoming album.
Return to music (2008?present)
With Stefani promoting her second solo album, No Doubt began initial work on a new album without her and planned to complete it after Stefani's tour was finished. In March 2008, the band started making posts concerning the progression of the album on their official fan forum. Stefani made a post on March 28, 2008 stating that songwriting had commenced but was slow on her end because she was, at the time, pregnant with her second child.
Manager Jim Guerinot said the yet-untitled album is being produced by Mark "Spike" Stent, who helped produce and mix Rock Steady. Between Stefani's pregnancy and recording, No Doubt did not tour in 2008, but Guerinot promised, they plan to hit the road hard in 2009 for their first full-fledged band tour in nearly five years.
No Doubt announced on their official website that they will tour in the summer of 2009 with Paramore, The Sounds, Janelle Mon?e, Bedouin Soundclash, Katy Perry, Panic! at the Disco, and Matt Costa. while finishing their upcoming album, which is set for release in 2010. Tickets for the tour went on sale March 7, 2009. As a special promotion for the tour, the band is giving away their entire music catalog free as a digital download with purchase of top tier seating.
In 2009, No Doubt made an appearance on the television series Gossip Girl, playing a fictional band called "Snowed Out" in the episode "Valley Girls". They performed their cover version of the Adam and the Ants song "Stand and Deliver".
Gwen Stefani ? vocals
Tom Dumont ? guitar, keyboards
Tony Kanal ? bass guitar
Adrian Young ? drums, percussion
Stephen Bradley ? keyboards, trumpet, back-up vocals
Gabrial McNair ? keyboards, trombone, back-up vocals
Eric Carpenter ? saxophone (1988?1994)
Paul Caseley ? trombone (1987?1990)
Gabriel Gonzalez ? trumpet (1986?1989)
Don Hammerstedt ? trumpet (1990?1992)
Alex Henderson ? trombone (1991?1993)
Phil Jordan - trumpet (1992-1995)
Chris Leal ? bass guitar (1986?1987)
Kevin Wells - Trombone (1986-1987)
Jerry McMahon ? guitar (1986?1988)
Alan Meade ? trumpet, co-lead vocals (1986?1988)
Tony Meade ? saxophone (1986?1988)
Chris Webb ? drums (1986?1989)
John Spence ? original lead vocals (1986?1987)
Eric Stefani ? keyboards, guitar (1986?1995)