is an American Third Wave Ska
and New Wave Music
-influenced Alternative Rock
band founded in 1986. Yep, that
long. The band consisted of Gwen Stefani (vocals)
, Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums) and Tony Kanal (bass)
. While their first two albums didn't sell well, Tragic Kingdom
revived ska for The Nineties
. The band has won two Grammys and has sold albums worldwide.
The band started out of Anaheim, California, and became a hit with the release of the singles "Just A Girl" and "Don't Speak" and the release of the Tragic Kingdom
album, which was highly influenced by the relationship between Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal. After 2004 the band took a hiatus for Gwen to work on her solo career. They returned with a 2009 summer tour, and released a new album in 2012.
Gwen Stefani may be be a vampire
- No Doubt (1992)
- The Beacon Street Collection (1995)
- Tragic Kingdom (1995)
- Return of Saturn (2000)
- Rock Steady (2001)
- Push and Shove (2012)
- Anti-Love Song: "Hey You" cynically compares a soon-to-be Happily Married couple to faceless Ken and Barbie dolls.
- Bad Girl Song
- Breakup Song: "Don't Speak", "Ex-Girlfriend".
- Closed Door Rapport: "Sunday Morning" was inspired by one of these between Gwen and Tony in real life, according to the liner notes from their Greatest Hits album.
- The Cover Changes The Gender: "It's My Life," originally by Talk Talk.
- Epic Rocking: "The Climb". More recently, "Settle Down".
- Fading into the Next Song: "Sixteen" into "Sunday Morning" on Tragic Kingdom.
- Fangirl: Gwen says she used to be such a big Madness fangirl that she cried when she heard that Suggs was married. She's definitely a fangirl of 2 Tone in general.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Gwen and her "super-kawaii!" later on.
- "I Am" Song: "Just A Girl" tells what Gwen is but would rather not be.
- Iconic Outfit: Gwen's platinum blonde swirl, red lips, and boy tank top.
- Image Song: See "I Am Song"
- Intercourse with You: "Underneath It All".
- Hidden Track: Return of Saturn has "Too Late Instrumental", hidden after either "Dark Blue" (on the normal edition of the album) or "Big Distraction" (the bonus track on the European and Australian editions).
- Last Note Nightmare: The title track on Tragic Kingdom speeds up at the end, until it gets too chaotic for the band to keep up, and the song completely falls apart.
- Lead Bassist: Tony Kanal, primarily due to him being one of the band's main songwriters.
- Mood Dissonance: "Ex-Girlfriend" has a very upbeat vibe in the music, but the lyrics are another story...
- Mood Whiplash: A frequent side effect of the band's Genre Roulette tendencies. A notable example is "You Can Do It", an incredibly upbeat, disco-inspired dance track that shows up on Tragic Kingdom right after their most famous breakup song, "Don't Speak".
- Ms. Fanservice: Gwen, it helps that she doesn't seem to age.
- My Sister Is Off Limits: This is a Real Life example. Gwen Stefani's brother Eric started the band, and she kept Tony and her relationship secret from his.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Many of their songs mash up elements from different genres, but "Ex-Girlfriend" is especially notable for its jarring shifts between its hard-driving rock and its rap verses, with a bit of Latin guitar thrown in for good measure.
- New Sound Album
- The Nineties
- The Pete Best: Anyone other than the four, most notably Eric Stefani (their former keyboard player and primary songwriter) and most tragically John Spence (their original frontman, who committed suicide). Gwen Stefani is, in fact, the last original member left.
- Eric was suffering from depression and had begun to disengage himself from the band as early as September 1994, and while he sat through the Tragic Kingdom sessions, he left the band after they finished recording the album. Despite this, Gwen insisted that Eric be included in the album's cover. He's the one in the far distance, looking away from the camera.
- Pun-Based Title: Tragic Kingdom. Considering the band's from Anaheim, and Anaheim is the location of the first Disneyland theme park...
- Reclusive Artist: One of Tom Dumont's explanations for why Eric Stefani left the band:
Eric, our keyboard player, used to write most of our songs. He was the main creative force in the band for many years. And at a certain point after that first album came out, he had this personal thing, like he didn't like touring, he didn't like all that stuff. He just liked to sit down and write songs. That's him. He's the artistic side, the total Mr. Creative.
- Shout-Out: "Hella Good" showed people playing Jet Set Radio Future.
- the "Ex Girlfriend" music video is inspired by Kite starting at 2:12.
- Their new song "Settle Down" featurings a scene in the beginning in which Tony Kanal grabs an orange and savors it. This calls back to the video for "Don't Speak", which starts with him pulling a rotten orange from a tree and ends with him putting it back.
- Listen carefully to the random horn soloing at the end of "Tragic Kingdom". One of them riffs on the Star Wars theme.
- Sibling Team: While Eric Stefani was in the band.
- Special Guest: Bradley Nowell on "Total Hate 95".
- Mike Garson plays the piano on the hidden instrumental version of "Too Late", from Return of Saturn.
- Ska: Definitely the most successful of the third wave revival bands.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Spiderwebs" is about Gwen's attempts to avoid one of these.
- Stay in the Kitchen: "Just A Girl" was written to show Gwen's frustration with this stereotype.
- Take That: "Tragic Kingdom" is a pretty massive one aimed at Disney.
- Those Two Guys: Horn players/keyboardists Stephen Bradley and Gabrial MacNair.
- A Wild Rapper Appears: "Hey Baby", "Underneath It All" and "Push and Shove" feature the reggae equivalent of this trope, with guest appearances by Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, and Busy Signal & Major Lazer, respectively.