By Bryant Gilmore
No Doubt dropped their first new single and video in almost 10 years today (July 16), and we can hardly settle down here in the MTV Newsroom. To prepare ourselves for their glorious return with “Settle Down,” we decided to compile an essential playlist of the five No Doubt songs that should get everyone super excited for their comeback.
That opening guitar riff is unmistakable. You never skip it on your iPod; you turn it up and scream alongside Gwen as she lays out her heartbreak. Inspired by her break-up from Tony Kanal, “Don’t Speak” was a monster hit, spending months at the top of the charts. Its video was simple yet epic as it told a behind-the-scenes story of the boys in the band’s dissatisfaction at the time with Gwen getting all of the attention. “Speak” has grown into a go-to song when that special someone shatters your heart into a million pieces. Just remember, it’s going to be OK. Things worked out for Gwen and Tony, and they will for you, too.
Another tune inspired by Gwen and Tony’s break-up, this song hits like a full frontal assault of awesome-ness. The drums pound, the horns blow and the guitars chug along as Gwen ferociously dismisses a guy who comes crawling back after daring to break her heart in the first place. But as we see in the video, there’s no problem too big that can’t be solved with an epic back-yard food fight.
“Just a Girl”
Look out, America, Gwen and the boys are tired of your unfair treatment of women and they’re not going to take it anymore. The first single from their big breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom shot up the charts and put the band at the forefront of the ska revival at the mid-90s. The song was also featured in the in girl-powered flicks “Clueless” and “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion.”
“Simple Kind of Life”
This ballad from the band’s 2000 album Return Of Saturn finds Gwen wanting a life on simpler terms. The song was one of two tracks on the album that Stefani composed solely. On a side note, we applaud the video and Gwen’s pink hair, but we are appalled at its treatment of perfectly good wedding cake.
“Underneath It All” feat. Lady Saw
Sure, “Hey Baby” and “Hella Good” made us get up and dance, but on this sweet, reggae-tinged jam, Gwen finds herself content and at peace with a man who is, perhaps despite appearances, “really lovely.” This valentine to Stefani’s husband, Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, was the third single off their album, Rock Steady, hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002 and won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group.