No Doubt is a rock band from Anaheim, California, United States, founded in 1986. The ska-rock sound of its first album 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, later broken by the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris".
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 and Neptune Pharrell, 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.
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 metal influence to its sound. Adrian Young replaced Chris Webb as the drummer the following year.
Impressed by the presence of stage diving at ska concerts and Gwen's 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 released in 1992 and featured no singles, although a video was done for "Trapped in a Box". The album's distinctly pop sound sharply contrasted with the grunge movement, and the album was a commercial failure, selling only 30,000 copies. The band embarked on a national tour in support of the album, though Interscope had lost faith in the band and refused to support the tour. The band failed to bring the audiences that it had attracted in Orange County, and it often found that No Doubt was not available in the cities where it was playing. Eric began to withdraw from the band, sometimes choosing to disappear from the band or stay in 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 or rehearsing. He left No Doubt in 1994 to pursue an animation career on 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.
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.
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 all commercially-released singles from the band, was released in November 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.
Lead singer Gwen Stefani began work on her 80s inspired New Wave, 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. Their music is downloadable for free on the group's web site, and they 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.
Manager Jim Guerinot said the yet-untitled album is being produced by Mark "Spike" Stent, who helped produce and mix Rock Steady. The album is penciled in for the first half of 2009. Between Stefani's babies and recording, No Doubt is not expected to do any touring 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.
It has been announced that a downloadable "Best of No Doubt" album specially compiled for the Rock Band video game series on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 will be available in the coming months. All members of No Doubt except for Stefani are appearing as Scott Weiland's backing band on the upcoming album Happy In Galoshes.
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