♚ No Doubt Discography Rate (#45 - Step by step...) ♚ | Page 37 | 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)

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

    4 vote(s)
  1. For the first time in this rate, we're about to say goodbye to a section/album.

    So... is it "No Doubt" or "The Beacon Street Collection"?

    I want to get near you
    But you just won't let me in...



    Open the Gate

    Average score: 7.415

    Highest scores: 10 x 1 (@Disco Tears), 9 x 2 (@yeRleDanaL, @Music Is Death)
    Lowest score: 4.9 x 1 (@Untouchable Ace), 5 x 1 (@An Insider)
    My score: 7.25

    High peak: #41 (5 voters)
    Low peak: #58 (13 voters)

    The gate is closed, because "The Beacon Street Collection" becomes the first album to lose all of its songs, before we got to reach top 50. "Open the Gate" didn't make any significant movements on the leaderboard at all, but it did scratch the top 50 multiple times. In fact, it was at #49 before the final voter (@An Insider) gave it a 5 and bumped it down. I thought "Greener Pastures" was going to be the last standing track from this album (and it was up until about halfway through), but "Open the Gate" got plenty of scores between 7 and 8, securing it a higher spot.
    This also means that "Let's Get Back" is the winning track out of early No Doubt songs - finally, some justice in this rate!

    "Open the Gate", which is the opening track of "The Beacon Street Collection", is one of the very few songs that were written by all five (at the time) No Doubt members - Eric Stefani, Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont, Tom Kanal and Adrian Young. It was recorded over a weekend in February 1995 - the same sessions that produced "Stricken" and "Greener Pastures". Gwen says that the song was influenced by Nirvana - which isn't that odd when you think about it, given that No Doubt had played Nirvana's "Sliver" live back in 1994, and she explains the influence: "Open the gate! You know, really trying to... it's funny because sometimes you can be influenced by something, and you won't be able to tell because you can't copy someone. You are you, so..." She had a point, since No Doubt evidently had their own stamp since the early days. "Open the Gate" also got featured on some random promo EP called "Live in Los Angeles" (featuring a ghastly artwork) recorded in December 1995 and released in early 1996 on a CD, so one wonders if maybe the record company was looking to get some radio airplay for it after the release of Tragic Kingdom.The song was often played live up until 1996, and then reappeared a few times during Return of Saturn Tour in 2000, though I have no audio nor video evidence about that.

    Showcasing both a departure from the band's style at that point and an example of what would become their trademark style, "Open the Gate" is a perfect opener of the album. It's explosive, straightforward, with a noticeably bigger rock influece, has a refined sound and a pretty memorable chorus. I find it the most single-friendly song for these reasons, too. Unlike pretty much all of the songs from their sophomore, it sounds like it would comfortably fit "Tragic Kingdom" album, since it has the same sense of urgency, despite having a bit more of a rough edge when it comes to vocals and instrumental. A burst of energy with Gwen's exceptionally presented high notes and screams really make it pop. The guitar solo along with a middle-8 is another nice addition. I also find the bass rather overlooked, because Tony does a really good job. That all being said, this track has always been among my least favourites from this album. While it's obviously a very good song, there's something inessential about it that doesn't make me want to return to it. Also, the melody during the verses is really not that interesting, though I like the little 'aahhh' backing vocals that will appear much more frequently on "Tragic Kingdom" onwards. The lyrics are simple enough, about someone opening up, and don't really have anything special about them. At least Gwen's passionate delivery in the syle of 'open the gate up or I'll get yo ass' sure does them justice, especially with that powerful outro. The song is still missing something to properly click with me, but I won't deny that it's a fairly enjoyable listen.
    I would definitely chose a different song as "The Beacon Street Collection" winner, such as robbed "By the Way" and "Greener Pastures", but rates have taught me that you obviously can't have everything. And it does make sense that "Open the Gate", because it sounds a lot more like the stuff that followed and may be the most conventional song from its parent album.

    Onto the commentary. @AshleyKerwin (7) is clearly a dedicated No Doubt fan: "Things start to get more rock driven from here." @berserkboi (6.5), however, fails to notice that: "Inoffensive fun, though not much of a giant sonic development from the previous album." If you meant development quality-wise, I would agree. @Remorque (8) also clocks the sonic switch: "Gwen sounds fantastic on this one and it's a lovely intro to what was to come on Tragic Kingdom, but I just don't see myself seeking this one out, like, ever again..." I agree, though that's quite a harsh end of a comment for that score ddd. Meanwhile, @Sprockrooster (7) "Here for the guitar solo mostly." and speaking of guitar, @bonnieetclyde (7) is here for it, too: "That crunching electric guitar really adds a lot to this track. Some nice vocal melodies also." I'll leave the biggest fan, @Disco Tears (10), for the end: "Another album I haven't listened to, but instantly drawn in by the sound of this. Considering I found this album in a charity shop last March in the Scottish highlands of all places, I should definitely have listened by now. If this had been on Tragic Kingdom, I could have seen it being a hit for them. Maybe." It's definitely the most apparent single choice from the album. Also, glad you made all these discoveries!

    "Open the gate up
    Or I'm gonna knock the damn door down!"

    (Gwen sounds so cute even when swearing before the song starts)

    Next up: A song that's technically from two different decades.

  2. Wow, I wasn't even among the most harsh! Now I definitely don't feel any guilt.

    Personally from the debut, I would've had "Get on the Ball" as #1, but I'm not surprised at the outcome there or with "Open the Gate".
    Untouchable Ace and Maki like this.
  3. The evil is defeated etc. Now let's do the same with the debut.
    Untouchable Ace, Maki and GimmeWork like this.

  4. Forgot to post it earlier - here's the leaderboard trajectory of songs from "The Beacon Street Collection":
    (inspired by @Sprockrooster doing a very similar thing in his Anastacia rate)


    "My Room Is Still Clean" was doomed. It's interesting to see that "Greener Pastures" had a chance of doing pretty well. And you can obviously tell why I count the high/low peak positions of songs after 5 voters.

    There won't be an elimination tomorrow, but instead "The Beacon Street Collection" album write-up.

  5. I love this!! It also shows You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks being an early album front runner is quite iconic.
    Maki likes this.
  6. I think that's "By the Way" you're talking about, because the first two voters gave it a 10. Unfortunately, "You Can't Teach an Ol' Dog New Tricks" remained in the bottom 10 nearly the entire time.
    Looking back, I should've changed the colors for some of these songs.
    soratami and Sprockrooster like this.
  7. A graph.
    All I see is coronavirus stats.
  8. Ah, why do I have to experience the pain of losing Greener Pastures and By The Way so soon AND BACK TO BACK yet again?
    *cries in early 90s Gwen Stefani vocals*
    berserkboi and Maki like this.

  9. [​IMG]
    *makes a big entrance*

    Don't worry, I'm alive and well unlike this rate during the past week.
    Apologies for this delay. I had some more or less unexpected work to do recently (including song contest deadlines, inevitable housework, birthday etc.), which limited my time for dedication to this rate. And the exam season is just around the corner... ugh. I promise we'll be back. Maybe not tonight, but very soon. Definitely not Sugababes or Xtina rate 'soon'.

    "The Beacon Street Collection" is still due a write-up, but maybe I'll do an elimination first, we'll see. If I really need help, I'll ask some of you to jump in. Thanks for your patience!
  10. #soon? I hope the exams are going alright!

  11. [​IMG]

    We're back. Elimination tonight. Place your bets.
  12. You've been delaying it because it's going to be a Return of Saturn cull. *runs*
    soratami, berserkboi and Maki like this.
  13. Well, we should wait and see about that, but I will confirm that the song we're losing next is one of my faves, so I hate it either way.
    Here's a hint from the last elimination:

  14. Alrighty, after one month *gasp* we're back with another elimination. Thank you for your patience - can't believe it's already been that long... still, Gwen has yet to release another single, so I guess it's not that bad. Speaking of her, this next cut is pretty much a Gwen Stefani song.

    Then again, I kinda wish we didn't return after seeing the next few cuts. But it's been long enough. Let's see which favourite track of mine you decided to get rid of way before its time...

    Never ever, ever gonna be the same
    Never gonna be the same...




    Average score: 7.417

    Highest score: 10 x 2 (@Maki, @tylerc904)
    Lowest score: 5 x 2 (@Sprockrooster, @Angeleyes)
    My score: 10

    High peak: #39 (5 voters)
    Low peak: #60 (11 voters)

    And we're three songs into "Push and Shove", meaning that "Rock Steady" is now the section with the least amount of eliminated songs. As much as I'm sad about this elimination, I can't fault it too much because the song was consistently scored for the most part, so it didn't move a lot of the leaderboard, mostly being around #50. And that's interesting to see, because in terms of how you rated its parent album, it was usually either among the favourite or the least favourite "Push and Shove" tracks. Divisive yet consistent enough. Still, "Sparkle" being in the bottom three of this album is... a choice. I would've cancelled the rate if "Stand and Deliver" outlasted it.

    "Sparkle" was written by Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont and David Stewart. You mean that Dave Stewart from Eurythmics? Yes. And here's the thing: this is originally a leftover track from Gwen's "L.A.M.B." album, so it stemmed during these writing/recording sessions. She and Dave wrote it during that time. Later on, it was supposed to appear on "The Sweet Escape", as per this tracklisting on a CD that was only available to Gwen and Co. Oddly enough, in the Webisodes showcasing the album's creation and other behind the scenes stuff, Gwen mentions that she had 14 tracks ready for the album (the shown on that CD), but wanted to choose 12 and let go of two of them. She named four potential songs that are in danger of being excluded from the album: "Don't Get It Twisted", "Breakin' Up", "U Started It" and "Candyland". Somehow, "Sparkle" ended up being among the two cut songs with no clear explanation, with the other one being "Candyland". Finally, the song found its home on No Doubt's comeback album, appearing as its 9th track. Stewart revealed that the version appearing on "Push and Shove" sounds totally different than the original solo take and Tom confirms that, saying the recording has been redone "ND style". Now I'm really curious to hear Gwen's original version.
    "Sparkle" was performed live on shows promoting "Push and Shove" in late 2012, where it had an honour to be among the four songs included from that album - it was performed as part of an acoustic set, and it's a pretty cool rendition. It was also included on their setlists throughout the 2015 festival shows 'tour', as well as one random performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live show in 2013. They must love that song, given that it was performed as much as the singles from this album and how quickly they abandoned that era.

    Now, while "Sparkle" has always been among my faves from this album, I was still going back and forth whether it deserves a 10 or 9.75 (a dramatic difference, I know). In the end, I had to go with my heart and not leave "Push and Shove" as the sole album without any perfect scores yes this is my highest score from this album pls don't kill me and hand it to this track. And after that life-altering decision took place, you know what? This song deserves a 10. It might not be in my absolute favourites as in top 10 songs, but it's one damn excellent tune. It immediately stands out among the poppier tracks, incorporating ska influences like no other song from the record and, alongside the title track, possibly giving a glimpse of what No Doubt really wanted from this album's sound. Whew, that trombone solo alone is such a throwback to "The Beacon Street Collection" era (maybe that's why this song isn't loved as much ddd). The production is top-notch and has such depth to it that eclipses a lot of the songs sitting around it - that bass is delightful. And the melody of the verses is perfection, and I especially love when the brass kicks in during the second one. Lovely elements are to be heard throughout the song. Admittedly, the chorus had to grow on me, but it found its place as an immensely cute hook, especially coupling it with its lyrical contest. Speaking of which, there has been buzz among fans that its lyrics speak on Gwen's relationship with brother and ex-bandmate, Eric Stefani. And with insight that the band wasn't really happy with how this album came about since they haven't worked together for quite some time and the connection was lost (they lost the spark, so to speak). With lyrics mentioning how they're never going to be the same and lines such as: "I know it's never gonna be the way it was, how can it?", "Feelings change and people can get lost" and "Do you remember how it was?" (pretty much the entire chorus), one may believe that this is a nostalgia-infused anthem about missing the days they were jamming in the now-iconic Beacon Street garage and didn't need to check on their kids between each recording session and lunch break. It's almost like a bittersweet ode to themselves and the sonic aspect reflects that. It's disheartening and adorable at the same time and I just can't help but love that ambiguous message it carries. Truly a sparkle on this album, bad pun aside.
    Far from a perfect placement for this gem, as I would choose some of the other album tracks from "Push and Shove" to leave before this one, but I guess it's not as bad as it could've been.

    The commentary is slim, which is very much expected at this point, but there's some variety in the opinions which makes up for that. Starting off with @bonnieetclyde (7.5), whose experience is the opposite compared to time, saying: "The chorus is strong, the verses less so." At least the score is acceptable, which can't be said for @Sprockrooster (5), who is testing me with these opinions: "The irony of a song with this title being a bit boring and not sparkle at all." Good thing I don't trust anyone who gave "Undone" a 10 and has the nerve to call this song boring. Meanwhile, @TomND describes the song as "stoney", which is certainly an interesting description. Finally, @berserkboi (8.5) gets it right: "This is a nice banger too!" Though I'm a bit confused by this comment, considering the track preceding it is "Undone", and that is far from a banger. Anyway, we already eliminated that one, so it's time for some "Sparkle" revisionism.

    "But you were the one with the magic
    You were the one with the sparkle..."

    Next up: Another big loss for the host and another song with two perfect scores.
    But before that, "The Beacon Street Collection" write-up.
  15. Oh wow, I would've expected a few other Push And Shove tracks to fall before this one not that I'm complaining. It's a pretty little song, but I never quite got why it seemed to be the fan-favourite track of that album, I think there's quite a few better ones. It was definitely nice of Gwen/No Doubt to release it after all, though. Something something we're still waiting for Start A War.
    Maki likes this.
  16. I know I was one of the lowest scorers, but reading that write up does make me want to listen to it with fresh ears now that I have a better understanding of its history. You're doing something right, @Maki, even if I can't go back and change my score.

    Also, Beacon Street deserved better, but I knew from the start that it wasn't going to get much love.
  17. Sparkle is in my top three tracks from Push and Shove, along with the title track and Dreaming the Sam Dream. Shocked it fared worse than the majority of the album!
    GimmeWork and Maki like this.
  18. Aw, thank you for saying that! I always get the impression that barely anyone reads these write-ups, mainly because I always get carried away and can't keep it brief but that's_just_me.mp3
    I just have a soft spot for "Sparkle", mostly due to the combo of the lyrics and Gwen's heartfelt delivery (alongside all the other excellent values of the song).
    Yeah, that album deserved better for sure. At least it didn't end up with the lowest average score. And it's about to get its own write-up in a few hours!
    This also means that the next elimination will be posted tomorrow.
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