Happy Birthday, Gwen Stefani. Ranking all six No Doubt albums

Celebrating the singer whose influence has had a lasting impact on so many different sounds. What would pop, dance, ska, punk or alternative be without No Doubt? Not included is the band’s 2003 greatest hits album (although their cover of “It’s My Life” is probably my all-time favorite No Doubt song)

#6- Push & Shove (2012)

2012 is a tragically underrated year in music. Too many great songs from that year have been forgotten. One of them is No Doubt’s summery reunion single ‘Settle Down’. The rest of the album, however, is not their strongest material.

#5- The Beacon Street Collection (1994)

Originally only available at live shows, this album features No Doubt at their grittiest. Some radio programmers took one listen and thought this band could never be on the radio. Oops!

#4- No Doubt (1992)

Straight up old school, Southern California ska punk. The slick album production is perhaps the only hint at the band’s more pop-sensible future. It’s the early days of Warped Tour in a nutshell.

#3- Return Of Saturn (2000)

This turn-of-the-millennium albums saw the band attempting to follow up the massive success of ‘Tragic Kingdom’. For the first time, we see the band truly straddling the line between mainstream pop and the ska punk that made them famous. Did they straddle too much? No way. Just listen to the first thirty seconds of ‘Ex Girlfriend’. Fans= happy.

#2- Rock Steady (2001)

There will be some fans upset that I put this album this high. Too poppy, they say. No Doubt sold out, they cry. Sure, it’s their poppiest album, but they just did it so well. I can’t picture the early 2000s without ‘Hey Baby’, ‘Hella Good’ and of course, their wonderfully reggae-infused single ‘Underneath It All’. We start to see early hints of the solo Gwen music to come.

#1- Tragic Kingdom (1995)

Was it ever any (No) doubt? The album that rocketed the band to overnight fame nearly thirty years ago still sounds as fresh and urgent as it did back then. Great front-to-back, it’s packed with classics like ‘Spiderwebs’, ‘Just A Girl’ and ‘Sunday Morning’. And of course, Gwen Stefani’s achingly personal ballad ‘Don’t Speak’ chronicling her breakup with bassist Tony Kanal. Essential.

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