♚ No Doubt Discography Rate (#45 - Step by step...) ♚ | Page 36 | The Popjustice Forum

♚ No Doubt Discography Rate (#45 - Step by step...) ♚

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Maki, Mar 14, 2021.


What is your favourite studio album by No Doubt?

  1. No Doubt (1992)

    0 vote(s)
  2. The Beacon Street Collection (1995)

    0 vote(s)
  3. Tragic Kingdom (1995)

    15 vote(s)
  4. Return of Saturn (2000)

    15 vote(s)
  5. Rock Steady (2001)

    20 vote(s)
  6. Push and Shove (2012)

    4 vote(s)
  1. In case you're wondering what's my inspiration for the current thread title, it's these songs by two critically acclaimed icons:

    soratami, DJHazey and berserkboi like this.
  2. A mystery has been solved!
    We finally know where the male voice sample used in the middle-8 of "Sixteen" is taken from - a 1943 short documentary film Youth in Crisis as part of 'The March of Time' series. I really want to know how that happened. Were they just watching the movie and thought of using it or someone else suggested? Either way, it's very random and quite interesting.
    Here's the moment which is sampled:

    Next elimination coming tonight. And it's a big one.
  3. Please be my lowest score left in a shocking result.
    berserkboi, DominoDancing and Maki like this.
  4. So, we're about to lose the first song that appears on "The Singles 1992–2003" album.

    Which also means the first song to have a music video.

    It surely won't be leaving that early, though I bet you'll still be satisfied with this one.

    Controlling my mind, what to eat, what to buy
    Subliminal rules, how to live, how to die...



    Trapped in a Box

    Average score: 7.331

    Highest score: 10 x 3 (@Disco Tears, @Sprockrooster, @Angeleyes)
    Lowest score: 3 x 1 (@GimmeWork)
    My score: 7

    High peak: #37 (10 voters)
    Low peak: #70 (5 voters)

    And then there were two. "Trapped in a Box" is the last pre-Tragic Kingdom single to leave and becomes 3rd placed out of early No Doubt songs, leaving "Let's Get Back" and "Open the Gate" to battle it out for the win from that category. Surprising? I mean, it was bound to be one of the first singles out, but having heaps of album tracks outlasting it may not be expected for some of you. While it was the highest scoring (i.e. favourite) debut album song for a lot of you, it also got some lower scores which prevented it from going further. "Let's Get Back" being the self-titled album's winner is absolutely correct. We'll see how far that one will go...

    "Trapped in a Box" was written by Eric Stefani, Tom Dumont, Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal around 1989 and was recorded in 1991, like the rest of the debut album. The song is based on a poem that Tom Dumont wrote about being addicted to television and how it can control one's way of thinking. Tom himself will tell us the background of the song: "We moved into this band house in Anaheim. It used to be Gwen's grandparent's house. Me and Eric and Adrian moved in there. One day I was sitting on the porch enjoying our new home, and I wrote this little poem. I'm not a poet. I'm not a lyricist at all, but I just wrote this little poem, and I showed it to Eric. I think this is how it happened. Eric got really excited because he likes when people create things, no matter what they are or how cheesy they might be." The last sentence is so accurate. He continues by saying: "The whole idea of the poem... I just wrote a few lines, and it was just about how I hated when I watched TV too much because I would get sucked in and ended up watching it all day long, and I was trying to avoid it. From those short couple of lines, I think Gwen and Tony and the rest of the band kind of came up with the rest of the lyrics, and kind of really expanded it and made it into a whole 'nother thing." Gwen jumps in to confirm that: "It was so weird back then because there was nobody that was really a lyricist, that took on the role. I mean, Eric would write lyrics, but we would all contribute. For Trapped In A Box, that was one song where each person... we all sat down at the coffee table and okay, "everybody try to write a verse." It was like an exercise because we were all so inexperienced. We were still learning. It was such an accomplishment when it all came together. We were really very proud of it because it had a message behind it." So, to sum it up, Tom wrote a poem, Eric Stefani then shaped the melody and arrangement (the opening guitar riff in the song was originally played by the piano), with other bandmates contributing to the lyrics.

    It was released on February 25, 1992 as No Doubt's debut single. Though it was more of a """single""" than a single. Tom says about this: "It’s funny on that album—it’s our first album—at that point we didn’t really have any concept of what singles were, as far as being in a band. We had just come out of playing clubs and playing shows, so all of a sudden a ‘single’ was a brand new thing. When we recorded the album and the song, I don’t think we thought of it—we didn’t know until the album was coming out that somebody said, ‘Hey you have to have a single’ and ‘Which song?’ and we just liked that song, we were excited about it. I’m remembering back in ancient history but I think that was how we arrived at that. The record label was like, ‘You get to make a video for that song.'" and concludes: "We called it a single but it wasn’t really a single." This combined with the fact there is no photo evidence of a CD for this song, let alone a single cover artwork, makes me think that only some local radio stations got a recording of this a month earlier than the album - yet none of them really played the song. After the album flopped spectacularly, the label didn't want to push any of the songs. This also means that "Trapped in a Box" sold exactly zero (0) copies, despite being a single and subsequently failed to achieve status on any chart. Not everyone has that. Our faves can only wish of such accolade. Though there was a music video filmed for the song, filmed and released after the album's release. No Doubt stated that they used to call themselves into The Box to request the video (at a cost each time, which prevented them from requesting it too often). Once again, Tom is here with the tea: "In Orange County, there was this after school local cable show that would play videos in the afternoon and you could call in and request videos. We used to come home from school every afternoon and watch that show, and the ‘Trapped In A Box’ video got played a bunch on that local cable access show. We were pretty stoked about that. I think I’m pretty sure we must’ve called in a bunch. As a single, I don’t think anyone ever played it on the radio." It's a real prodigy that this appeared on their greatest hits album!

    The music video, directed by Mike Zykoff with help of Eric Stefani and Eric Keyes, was shot in 1992 atop and inside the now iconic home on Beacon Avenue. It was financed entirely by the band (around $5000) and a lot of the band’s friends and family were invited over to take part in the filming. It's quintessential early 90's, borderline home-made video and, like nearly all their music up to that point, fun and excessively goofy in a charming way. In a rare sighting before her iconic platinum blonde hair days, Gwen (who is looking absolutely gorgeous) is shown stagediving at one point, reflecting their live performances at the time. The video received a lot of local airplay but failed to make an impression on MTV and VH1. However, it did make it to MuchMusic Canada. For one final time, Tom goes further into details: "When we did it, I remember the video cost $5000. For some reason we remember that, because at that time $5000 was kind of a lot. But really, in MTV terms, that’s zilch. We filmed it at our band house in Anaheim, and I remember that experience more than anything. It was all very exciting and a big deal for us at the time. I think MTV maybe played it once in the middle of the night, and that was it. But at the time MTV was pretty big—it was a big deal." It's the only No Doubt music video to feature original keyboardist Eric Stefani.
    Here's an example of a storyboard the two Eric's did:

    The ending scenes of the video - clock the suggestion about someone dressing up in a gorilla costume!

    The song was first performed around 1990, and quickly became a staple of the live set through the early days up until 1995, and later has been less often, but still appeared on each tour before their first hiatus. Among the most memorable performances was with Eric Stefani for VH1’s Storytellers which aired back on October 28, 2000.

    Personally speaking, "Trapped in a Box" is not one of the debut's highlights. While it probably has some of the most thought-provoking lyrics of the entire album (which isn't really much of a feat at all), it has never really clicked with me sonically. It's evident that they were still in the process of perfecting their sound and
    Even though I'm not a big fan of the song, it makes sense why they chose it as their debut "single", since it was evidently among the most interesting offerings from the self-titled. Mixing a variety of styles, such as 2 tone ska in the verses and sudden gush of Dixieland in the chorus, it's a great idea that in execution sounds quite chaotic. The highlight of the track has to be that middle-8, which has a darker, nearly punk sound, and the guitar solo mostly relying on bass, already very prominent throughout the song (Tony deserves praise for this) and a really nice contrast to the horn section - it made me bump its score a tiny bit. Gwen's quirky vocals are on-brand when it comes to this album. Put it all together and it's... a bit of a mess. The good stuff prevails, that's for sure. As for the lyrics, they are very cute and cleverly written, albeit of their time, since TV is pretty much the safest technology nowadays. Still, like majority of their early output, it all has a certain charm to it. While it was a bold move to put them on the map with something so out there and resembling a novetly single, it just couldn't cut it in any way for further popularity and the reason was evident.
    I can't help but this this one greatly benefited from being the most 'popular' and earned, meaning that most of you are already familiar with it. It's not even in my top 5 from the album, but it remains a really nice benchmark for No Doubt's musical progress.

    Since there's a ton of text above, I'll spare you of further reading by simply displaying the comments.


    @berserkboi (6) - "Pas vraiment pour moi but a fun beat!"

    @bonnieetclyde (7) - "It's certainly catchy but still somewhat annoying."


    @Remorque (8) "Sums up the era perfectly."

    @clowezra (8.5) - "I don't know if I've been indoctrinated into loving this thanks to it being on the greatest hits, but what a tune. Great memories dancing around my bedroom to this with my cousin way back when."

    @AshleyKerwin (8.5) - "I like it too much for a song based off a poem about television. It makes me think of The Real World."

    @Untouchable Ace (8.9) - "The most interesting song this early on. They were younger and this was too crazy to be #1 everywhere but definitely showing potential."


    @Disco Tears (10) - "Sorry, not sorry."

    @Sprockrooster (10) - "I am pretty sure if that was not tacked on the end of the greatest hits I would not have loved it this much now. It definitely made the track grand and worthy of a greatest hits in time as it has the range to do so. Despite feeling out of place there it is essential to their career obviously. The song feels like a story told and generates easy nostalgia by doing so."

    @Angeleyes (10) - "It's hard to rate this album overall, because it all merges together in my head, but since this was on The Singles 1992-2003, I knew it before and it's always stood out to me. I think it's so much fun and a great debut for them, even if Gwen's voice can be too much to take in places. My bf absolutely despises this song for that reason! But I love it, and the video is such a laugh!"

    Reading these comments, it seems that my speculation of it benefiting from appearing on the greatests hits might be very true after all.

    "Trapped in a box of tremendous size
    It distorts my vision, it closes my eyes..."

    1990 performance with additional intro:

    VH1’s Storytellers performance with Eric Stefani from 2000:

    Rock Steady Tour, 2002:

    Next up: At least one of the highest scorers for this song is losing another 10.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  5. Some bonus stuff related to "Trapped in a Box":

    Behind the scenes footage of the music video:

    Performance from 1997:

    Performance on Return of Saturn Tour, 2000:

    During "Return of Saturn" era, No Doubt did a photoshoot where they were trapped in a box... literally:


    The next song to leave doesn't really belong to its section, but that's your host's mistake.

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  6. Write-up for the upcoming elimination is nearly finished, but I'll need some activity before posting it. Surely "Trapped in a Box" isn't an elimination that leaves no impression?
    Perhaps it's because there's a buttload of text in the that write-up... I promise I'll try to reduce it in the future.
    An Insider, soratami, DJHazey and 3 others like this.
  7. All I can say about Trapped In A Box is that it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did, especially not over... some of the songs we lost in the process. It's... cute I guess.
  8. I cannot remember how it goes but considering my score and commentary - I am not pressing play to find out ddd
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  9. 2 words: Vocal affectations.

    It seems like Gwen had a Brian Higgins on board to over time subtly reign in her vocal style.
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  10. Thanks for your contribution!

    And now the elimination.

    We'll be unexpectedly visiting "Rock Steady" era...

    Lying in your bed
    I am a refugee you try to love...



    Everything in Time (London)

    Average score: 7.381

    Highest score: 10 x 2 (@Sprockrooster, @Angeleyes)
    Lowest score: 5 x 2 (@DJHazey, @Maria)
    My score: 6.5

    High peak: #50 (7 voters)
    Low peak: #82 (5 voters)

    And thus, both "Everything in Time" songs fall. The London version has pretty much been ahead of Los Angeles (which left at #65) throughout the voting period, received two 10's compared to LA's none and was scored slightly more consistently when it comes to the display of lower scores, so there's no surprise it ended up eight spots above it.
    In another news, @Sprockrooster loses four 10's in a row. Ouch.

    First of all, I should've done better research when it comes to this, because I've just recently found out that this is technically a "Rock Steady" outtake (it was even mentioned in the album booklet - see here), since it was rearranged and recorded during the early sessions for that album. It was even placed after "New Friend" in the tracklisting. Damn... can't believe I missed that! As a result, my OCD is going crazy for it not being counted in the 'correct' section and was tempted to change it additionally, though that would mean a lot of amendments behind the scenes. Still, the song was written during "Return of Saturn" and the slight lyric and melodic changes are nothing, because the skeleton of the song remains the same. Then again, "Waiting Room" was also written in late 90's. Actually, had I known that these two versions were recorded for separate albums, I would've just included the LA version, since that one is the original. "Everything in Time (London)" was written by Eric and Gwen Stefani, with production done by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. The background info is already mentioned here, so I won't go into further detail and repeat what's already been said.

    I've already stated that my preferred version is the Los Angeles one, but this one is just as snoozy. Not necessarily in a bad way, though it surely affects how much I come back to it. Comparing the two versions, London one is clearly more focused on the orchestral soundscape, with strings and piano in the lead. It also includes some synth elements and after middle-8, suddenly turns into an odd trip hop-esque tune for a moment. And I'm not really sure how to feel about that. It feels a bit... tacked on, overproduced and doesn't really gel with the core of the song. The original (Los Angeles) version just seems to be more natural and that's mainly why I prefer it. Despite totally getting why some of you find it beautiful, the arrangement here and the melody in general doesn't really do it for me. When it comes to other differences between the two "Everything in Time" songs, this one has an additional intro/outro, as well as some minor melodic and lyrical alterations. The lyrics, most likely written about Gavin, are very pretty and pretty sad, but what else can you expect from something written during "Return of Saturn" sessions. I especially like the moment of parallelism when it switches from "running towards a catastrophe" to "running towards what was meant to be", which doesn't happen in the LA version, hence displaying the optimistic aspect of this song. Saying things like: 'everything there's a reason' and 'everything in time will show' is a way of comfort Gwen wants to bring to the listener. It's a very nice message. Shame the song itself doesn't click with me, sonically speaking.
    After all, I'm not the judge here, and it seems that London version is more loved outside the forum - it narrowly won the poll on No Doubt fansite, too:


    In that case, let me stay quiet and see what the voters had to say.
    Much like the song intends to be, the commentary is filled with positivity. Firstly, @clowezra (9) compares it to its counterpart, saying: "Even better than the already beautiful LA version. Stunning.", but @berserkboi (8.5) has no preference: "As good as the other one!" Both high scorers rated this version of the song better - @Sprockrooster (10) says: "Obviously I stan the cinematic sounding version of the song much more. This could have been perfect for a closing scene in a majestic movie." Making his prefered version clear, @Angeleyes (10) is here with something relatable: "I've heard differing opinions on which version is better, but this is the clear winner for me. It's a lot more polished than the rougher LA take, which fits with it being made during the Rock Steady period. I remember playing it a lot in high school and I'm pretty sure I had some of those "looking out the window when you're feeling sad and it's raining while you pretend you're in a music video" moments." I've definitely had these moments, but with other No Doubt songs.

    "Everything I do
    Everything is you..."

    Next up: Another song that appears on "Everything in Time" album.

  11. Thrilled about both eliminations. :)
    GimmeWork and Maki like this.
  12. Time for a B-side to vacate.

    Up until now things have been fine, temporarily...



    Cellophane Boy

    Average score: 7.406

    Highest scores: 9.5 x 1 (@AshleyKerwin), 9 x 3 (@yeRleDanaL, @SlowGinFizzzz, @An Insider)
    Lowest score: 4.9 x 1 (@Untouchable Ace)
    My score: 7.25

    High peak: #55 (24 voters)
    Low peak: #75 (9 voters)

    Seems like "Everything in Time" is starting to lose songs more frequently, with the next one in line being "Cellophane Boy". I expected this one to leave a bit earlier, at least before "Beauty Contest", but its consistent scores is what kept it in (its next lowest score is a 5.5, followed by a couple of 6's). It's also among the last few songs that haven't received any 10's, which makes sense to me. The leaderboard trajectory isn't notable at all, since it mostly wavered between #70 and #60 at the start and gradually rose to nearly its peak position.

    "Cellophane Boy" was written by Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont and Tony Kanal, and produced by Alain Johannes and No Doubt, which is a change compared to most of the production during the era done by Glen Ballard. Written just after the Tragic Kingdom Tour, this song was mentioned as a track for the album "Return of Saturn" and was recorded during these sessions, but eventually didn't make it on the final tracklist. Instead, it was released as a B-side to the CD single release of "Simple Kind of Life" in UK. But before that, it got a release as a separate promo CD - a bonus track free with purchase of the album "Return of Saturn" at CIMS record store (here's how it looks). Obviously, it was later featured on "Everything in Time" album. Like most of the B-sides and rarities that appear on that compilation, "Cellophane Boy" was never performed live.

    For a song that goes on for less than 3 minutes, "Cellophane Boy" somehow does a lot and not that much at the same time. A non-traditional structure of the song surely contributes to that. Starting off as a beautiful, guitar-led ballad/mid-tempo, it pulls the listener directly into the moody and melodic soundscape of "Return of Saturn" that we all know and love (unless we suffer from a major lack of taste, that is). Unfortunately, that changes as soon as the first verse or two? end and never returns. Instead, it switches to a chorus that into what sound like Gwen parodying their debut album work and later explodes into a brass section solo, which serves as the middle-8, , and also makes me think they didn't upgrade the song much from its demo version. There's no second verse and they even manage to include key change during the final chorus. At least the guitar use was kept consistent. Then again, its unexpected twists and turns make it somewhat intriguing and exciting, as well as succeeding in bringing the ska vibe. However, due to it being quite a sonic outlier compared to most and not sounding particularly finished nor accomplished, I think that it was reasonably chosen as a B-side. It's an interesting little ditty, though not the one I seek often. As for the lyrics, now that's where it gets really interesting. A little birdie told me that Gwen wrote this song about Gavin and the use of illegal substances. With that in mind, the references just keep revealing themselves. The song title alone alludes to that, and some of the lines (ddd) are self-explanatory: "This presentation of my ploy / Is to change my cellophane boy" as well as "And I want to have kids, but their father's up inside the clouds" (also a clever counterpart to "Simple Kind of Life" concept). But some of the lyrics such as: "And I can't get close, 'cause the plastic wrap" provide a more literal interpretation. It's evident that she wants him to change for the better. And I couldn't figure out why she says: "It's not the 70's" until this very afternoon. Who knew Gwen was so shady in a witty way?
    Still, the kooky nature of the song alone isn't enough for a high score. It did end up higher than I thought it would, but it's definitely not too overrated.

    Among the commentary, we have @berserkboi (7), who teases his thoughts about the song preceding this one in the song list: "A bit better than above!" Knowing which song it is, you're dead wrong. @bonnieetclyde (8.5) goes even further and thinks that this song: "Should have made the main album!" I wholeheartedly disagree, but at least it got released. I wonder if @Sprockrooster (8) agrees with that, since he says: "The instrumental middle-8 with Gwen’s incoming vocals does the heavy lifting for this track." Not really what does it for me, but I appreciate the input.

    "And I want your habit to be me
    Your harbor and your refugee..."

    Next up: Oof, it's a biggie.

  13. Not a B-Side being better than all most of the debut album nn.
  14. The first two (?) verses are immaculate, whereas after that there've been some... choices, which is why I couldn't justify giving more than a 9, but overall I still quite enjoy it, and I think it's really well-written. I've always loved Gwen's writing style, but the Return Of Saturn sessions are just something else. I would've preferred another few songs to leave before Cellophane Boy, but I guess the placement isn't too bad.
    Untouchable Ace, Maki and berserkboi like this.
  15. *looks at the leaderboard*
    You just wait and see what has yet to happen!

    Actually, Gwen has never had any vocal training whatsoever, except from some help provided by Brad Nowell from Sublime around 1994 - yes, that is between their first two albums, but she can easily bring back the affectations, as seen in the later live performances of "Trapped in a Box".

    Ditto. That album probably has the best songwriting of all time.
    Speaking of which, "Return of Saturn" fans should be relieved, because the next few eliminations won't be from that album/era.
  16. What a out her soft singing voice like on parts of 'It's My Life' and some solo songs?
    Was any producer involved in her performance during recording?
    berserkboi and Maki like this.
  17. ‘Let’s Get Back’ outlasting ‘Trapped In A Box’ is just… bizarre.

    Also the LA version of ‘Everything In Time’ is clearly the superior one so let me wrap my head around that one as well. I just find the London one a bit cheesy.
    Maki and Untouchable Ace like this.
  18. I have a lot of catching up to do, but I agree with what said above that what sold Cellophane Boy for me was the instrumental in the middle eight. I think I actually like it even more with that lyrical interpretation.
    Maki likes this.
  19. Unfortunately, I wasn't there during the recording process, hehe. Maybe it's just maturity and talent.

    It may be bizarre, but it's certainly correct!
    soratami and Untouchable Ace like this.

  20. BUMP

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