Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Maki, Mar 14, 2021.
Now which one of these iconic classics was it that got unjustly tanked
You'll have to wait and see as I'm sure @Maki doesn't want me to spoil it.
Okay, it's time.
It's even worse...
Every little thing about her face fills him up...
By the Way
Average score: 7.215
Highest score: 10 x 4 (@Maki, @Disco Tears, @SlowGinFizzzz, @AshleyKerwin)
Lowest score: 4 x 1 (@Sprockrooster)
My score: 10
High peak: #48 (5 voters)
Low peak: #76 (7-8 voters)
One of the eliminations that got me tempted to rig the results. SIXTY-FOUR? Really, what in the Gwen Shelton happened here??? It's beyond me that this didn't even reach the upper half of the leaderboard. "By the Way" becomes the most devastating elimination so far and I'm already losing my third 10. Okay, top 3 of "The Beacon Street Collection" and top 5 of pre-Tragic Kingdom songs sounds great. It's also worth noting that this is the song that achieved the most 10's out of all pre-Tragic Kingdom tracks and we actually won't see a song getting that amount of perfect scores until top 50 (and nearly top 40). Unfortunately, the song slipped off the top 50 after five voters and never managed to get near to that spot. Deep sadness.
With music written by Tom Dumont and lyrics written by Gwen Stefani either in late 1992 or early 1993, "By The Way" has a relatively interesting background story to it. Namely, Gwen wrote it about a girl Tom was in love with, and who was allegedly an exchange student. Sadly, the girls had to move and eventually go back to her home country and with social media not being a thing at the time, Tom would end up abandoned, never see her again nor find out what heppened to her. We all know (and love) No Doubt's songs where she mostly sings about herself and love life, but this is a major exception, so that alone sets it apart from most of their songs. "By the Way" first started appearing on No Doubt's shows in 1993, sometimes as a faster and possibly earlier version, but that didn't last long. The band later surprised many old school fans by playing an acoustic rendition of the song in Barcelona during Tragic Kingdom World Tour in 1997, which was later released on the UK CD single of "Sunday Morning". The song was played for three nights only - in Barcelona, Milan and one more city. Gwen absolutely nails the vocals on these performances and I consider it a must-listen. And No Doubt obviously deserves respect for bringing back this gem, even if it was very brief. But still, the lack of taste displayed in this rate is appalling.
A crazy, independent, Spanish speaking,
arty flirty red wine drinking, sexy tomboy
with a natural way of thinking carefree
Let me start by saying that I consider "By The Way" to be one of the most spectacular songs in the No Doubt catalog. On an album that can sometimes feel a little strange in terms of how bundled and messy some of the ideas get, this is one that feels executed perfectly. Fueled by Tom's Spanish guitar and Eric's tasteful piano runs, topped off with one of the most melodic bass lines ever played by Tony and a brilliant vocal delivery by Gwen, this track definitely stands as a masterpiece among their very strong discography. Furthermore, I strongly believe this song is indicative that they were capable of writing the groundbreaking opus that is "Don't Speak". And the reason shouldn't be too unclear. Each member gives some of their best performances and each element of the song completes the experience. The absolutely gorgeous melody had me stunned from the very first listen and the way Gwen's harmonies are layed is just... yes, melt me into a puddle. Latin-flavoured soundscape while talking about a Spanish speaking person, it just adds more appeal to it. The instrumental is flawless, with all pieces falling into their place and, as already mentioned, the melody is absolute perfection, in each end every segment - additionally, it evokes melancholy that's present in the lyrics (something they would frequently do on "Return of Saturn"). And while the lyrics may not be presented in the most eloquent way, the theme can be pretty relatable to some of us, especially during these times of frequent separation. Heck, it even captures that feel when you fall in love with/have a crush on a stranger at vacation that you often don't even get to meet and then miss them for a certain period of time. Eh, word 'vacation' does sound quite funny nowadays, doesn't it? Anyway, it's mightily impressive how Gwen portrays the longing even if the song is written in a third person narrative. The story is rather simple, yet incredibly charming in all of its detailed storytelling glory. Really paints a picture of Tom's forever lost love and sells it marvelously. Truly a standout by all means.
In a perfect world, "By the Way" would reach top 10 and at the very least be the best performing pre-Tragic Kingdom song, but obviously the results can't match my own fantasies. Could this actually be the most underrated song in the rate? Even though there will be a lot of crimes committed in the future, I'm inclined to say that "By the Way" is most likely the song that got the worst treatment.
Oh gosh, and the commentary it received makes it all even worse... Let's get rid of the bullshit. The lowest scorer @Sprockrooster (4) has the audacity to call this song "yawn-inducing" and give it his joint lowest score in the entire rate (yes, even lower than "A Little Something Refreshing" and "My Room Is Still Clean"). Electric chair. you know I love you my backup host x
@Remorque (6.75) is much more lenient but remains unconvinced: "I love the intro on the piano, but then the song kinda wants to be something The Killers would go on to do, but better." The members of that band were most likely struggling with their math class when this masterpiece was written and that's all I'll say. Finally, @berserkboi (5.5) proclaims the obvious: "Not really feeling this album so far I am afraid!" and I think he is certainly someone who should re-visit this wonderful song. And so should most of you. Well, that's not the note I want to finish on at all. That's why I beg you all to send more commentary, please!
"By the way, she's far away..."
Faster rendition from 1993:
Next up: It's about to get worse (for some, at least).
That's...a lot of love about that particular song of all songs. Got to love the passion at least.
Yeah, sorry for your loss @Maki, but I'm glad it was that and not one of my faves dd
I am shocked, heartbroken, devastated and most of all DISGUSTED.
A tiny interlude to let you know that summer bop "Underneath It All" was released as a single exactly 19 years ago on this day.
The next song to leave ended up at its lowest spot and it's somewhat monumental. Place your bets.
Well, there are no guesses, but the elimination is here.
Yikes... now I'm scared about what's going to happen next.
Like I've said, we're not done with the mess.
Would you say they find me unstable
'Cause they see me act a little bit different...
Average score: 7.228
Highest score: 10 x 3 (@Disco Tears, @Sprockrooster, @SlowGinFizzzz)
Lowest score: 3 x 1 (@GimmeWork)
My score: 9.5
High peak: #30 (10 voters)
Low peak: #63 (27 voters)
One baffling elimination after another. "Greener Pastures" departs, which means that "The Beacon Street Collection" becomes the first album to be down to only one song and its winning track is "Open the Gate". A bit random in my opinion, but what can you do. After settling as the highest ranked song from its parent album, especially in during the first half of the voting period, it dropped below top 50 and the final third of voters further kicked it down to its low peak position. The lack of taste is alarming and we need to make it stop.
"Greener Pastures" was written by Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal and eventually included on "The Beacon Street Collection" as its 5th track. Sadly, there's no background info on this track, which is a pity. ut I can say that the song is not only is among my personal favorites, but it also won a fansite poll asking which track would have been the dream single from "The Beacon Street Collection", with "By the Way" being close second. Talent always wins... at least somewhere. Oddly enough, No Doubt initially barely performed the track after their sophomore album’s release, as it was only played live in 1995 and became ignored in the following year until it was resurrected for several shows on the overseas leg of the Tragic Kingdom World Tour in early 1997. Again, a similar fate as "By the Way" - kudos to them. Needless to say, the aforementioned live version with brass instrument arrangement is fabulous.
You're always tellin' me to go out more
Go ahead, get out and see the world
But then I think, why should I?
I'd rather stay home and cry
What a verse to open a song with. "Greener Pastures" truly is one of the darkest songs in No Doubt's discography, both lyrically and sonically. Serving "don't touch me I'm sensitive" narrative in the most articulate and effective way possible. Really, it showcases how wonderful their songwriting can be prior to the release of their colossal album(s). And as someone who's radically introverted and has (self-diagnosed) social anxiety, it's pretty darn relatable, too. Take a few lines for example ("And when I'm in my room alone I feel good / Because I don't have to deal with you or the outside world"). Story of my life. When interacting with people on a more frequent basis is the equivalent of dipping into a pocket of hell and fear of being portrayed as a freak for not fitting into certain molds has followed me for quite a long time, it shouldn't be surprising that a good chunk of this song hits me in the feels. I'm sure at least some of you can relate to these issues to a certain extent, especially in the recent times of lockdowns. Now, it seems counterintuitive that our extroverted girl Gwen is the one singing about something so sombre that it even hints at potential depression, but without any background of this track, it's hard to pinpoint what's the inspiration and sentiment behind it. It's clear that she's always been dealing with insecurities and doubts, which would bloom around the time of "Return of Saturn", which in return makes this song even more genius for being written/recorded so early on. And as the lyrics mention, she knows that better days are ahead of her, so it becomes apparent that not all hope is lost. The middle-8 further suggests the hopefulness of the song. We are all trying to pave our way to success, and should believe that we'll eventually get over all these problems on that inevitably rocky road.
The sonic aspect of this track is nothing short of amazing - it starts off ferociously with a heavy bassline, and the guitar riff that opens the song and reappears a few more times is fantastic. The instrumentation as a whole is masterfully done and the melody, especially in the verses, perfectly encompasses the haunting and angsty nature of the lyrics. One can even go as far as to say that this type of moodiness is on par with most of the "Return of Saturn". Even Gwen's vocals seemingly shift from desperation and anger in the verses to a more hopeful tone in the chorus, and when she sings the final chorus/outro, you really believe that she is indeed on her way to greener pastures. Genius songcraft right there. The only reason I didn't give this song a 10 is because the chorus could've been a tiny bit stronger melodically, and that's mostly because the song was a grower on me, but in retrospect I wish I gave it full marks based on the impeccable lyrical content alone. That would've made it reach #61, so it would probably result in me being even more bitter about it not getting a top 60 placement. Either way, this is a trash choice for an elimination at this point.
The same trio from "By the Way" commentary joins us, this time with a much more acceptable commentary. This especially holds true for @Sprockrooster (10), who loses a high score and has nothing but praise for this track: "Not only the best track from the album, but also among the best from them in their 90’s decade so an amazing fit as b-side to Don’t Speak. The dark and haunting vibe creates a depressing soundscape that compliment each other well with the lyrics. A career highlight." Oh, how I wish you said that for the previous song... In the meantime, @Remorque (6.5) questions: "Is this their first ever ballad? Should have been trimmed down by a good minute and a half, but hey ho..." Maybe if you count this a ballad, then "Sometimes" could be their first. Nope, actually the first No Doubt ballad is "Dear John". And scream at yet another complaint about "The Beacon Street Collection" track going for too long.
You just know this song must be really good when Beacon Street hater @berserkboi (6.5) doesn't despise it, and actually compliments it: "One of the standouts on this pretty average album so far!" While I'm glad it's widely considered as such, it deserved a top 20 placement.
"I guess I'll get over it..."
easily applicable to these tragic eliminations
Next up: Song released after 2000 and it's quite a divisive one.
Poor Stand and Deliver.
Your top 3 of pre-TK songs is:
Let's Get Back
Trapped in a Box
Open the Gate
My average score for these is 8.083, which is not too shabby, but it definitely could've been a better selection ("Sad for Me", "Sometimes", "By the Way", "Greener Pastures" etc. say hi)
Will any of the songs even surivive the next 10 eliminations? Will any of them pull off a surprising finish? Which one of these will last the longest? Which album will be the first to leave?
Any other predictions and guesses are more than welcome.
Well, Open The Gate better be eliminated before the other two, which I hope make the top 50 at the very least. And The Beacon Street Collection being the first album eliminated would definitely be correct.
Sometimes, By The Way, and Greener Pastures all out before we even reach the top 50 WHILE THERE'S STILL OTHER SONGS FROM NO DOUBT AND BEACON STREET LEFT... Y'all are evil! Especially Greener Pastures is a weird case because I've always seen it as a massive fan favourite. I guess there's not all that many oldschool No Doubters on here?
I agree that these three songs ended up immensely underrated, as each of them represented a massive growth for the band at the time, and I would even say they undeservingly suffered due to appearing among No Doubt's early songs.
Speaking of which, there was a moment where I thought of splitting the rate into two parts (i.e. before and after the release of "Tragic Kingdom"), but that was just a split second and later I debated whether to make them optional or not. Maybe I made a mistake there. I mean, exactly 90% of the pre-TK songs were eliminated before top 60. Therefore, it makes me think there's very few oldschool No Doubt fans in this rate.
And I can reveal that the next two eliminations are not songs from their first two albums.
I think it was probably for the best to do it this way. If it was split in two parts I just don't think a lot of people would be interested in part one, and it was fun going over their whole discography like this too.
Yeah, I ditched the 'two parts' idea right away, and deciding to make all songs obligatory resulted in some of you making great discoveries, despite the songs ending up in flop positions.
Speaking of flopping, I forgot to mention that the next song to get eliminated was in the bottom 5 at a certain point.
I'd take Open the Gate over the two remaining debut songs.
Sorry, thought the next write-up would be finished, but looks like I'll be asleep before that happens. You'll have to wait a bit and, ideally, make us get to the next page. Am I asking for too much?
I get the impression "Am I asking for too much?" is a hint about the next elimination.
Let's save the next elimination's writeup from being Trapped in a Box and get it out there.
Well... there may be a hint in that post. You'll have to wait and see.
As a bump, I want to disclose that I actually dreamt of No Doubt last night. It was very brief, but I recall that Tom and Tony (or Adrian) were in separate rooms in front of what seemed to be a computer with recording equipment and I was invading them simultaneously and eventually Tom and Tony got into the same room. I vaguely recall them saying/alluding that Gwen was somewhere nearby, but I didn't see her. Oddly enough, we didn't speak a word. I really, really wanted to ask them to play me some of their unreleased demos, but I was too shy to do so, and they just kept minding their own business, as if I wasn't in the room. It was a bit surreal. But that's how dreams tend to be, I guess.
Separate names with a comma.