Welcome to Forgotten Videos. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or vice-versa. … We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.
"Just A Girl"
Born a rough-and-tumble musical hybrid in Anaheim, Calif., No Doubt would eventually scale the mountain of big time success. As a result, contrary to the sentiment of the song title, lead singer Gwen Stefani became anything but "Just A Girl."
In hindsight, "Just A Girl" captures the enthusiasm, innocence and energy of a band on the verge of making a splash. Though buffed with an infectious, punchy musical shine, the song's subject matter actually deals with the weighty subject matter of female stereotypes, which is twisted in the video directed by Mark Kohr.
Just another day at band practice in the O.C. turns into a barrier-breaking bathroom scene for the ages. Band members Adrian Young (drums), Tom Dumont (guitar) and Tony Kanal (bass) set up shop in the archetypal filthy men's room, complete with grimy walls, unrolled toilet paper, busted urinals, and other insanitary landmines. Meanwhile, Stefani sings in the next-door ladies room, which is bright, tidy and decorative and rounded out by the presence of two elderly attendants. As the action builds on either side — males using urinals and females curling their eyelashes — bedlam ensues in the form of a coed party that culminates in a dance session with No Doubt in the ladies room.
No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom, was certainly not just another album. It turns out the band's potent brew of punk, ska, rock, pop, and new wave elements fit in perfectly in 1995, as the music industry transitioned from the grunge of the early '90s to the pop explosion of the late '90s. Catapulted by hits such as "Just A Girl," "Spiderwebs" and the No. 1 GRAMMY-nominated smash "Don't Speak," Tragic Kingdom reigned at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
As the band's profile exploded, Stefani emerged as both a hero and fashion trendsetter to fans and aspiring female artists alike. The bindi, the jeweled forehead dot Stefani favored during this period, became a must-have fashion accessory for SoCal gals on every side of Interstate 5. (Though now a wife to rocker Gavin Rossdale and a mother of two, Stefani appropriately runs her own clothing line, the "flirty rocker"-infused L.A.M.B.)
In 1996 No Doubt earned their first career GRAMMY nominations, Best Rock Album for Tragic Kingdom and Best New Artist. The band would break through with GRAMMY wins for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Hey Baby" and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for "Underneath It All" in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Stefani also earned a GRAMMY for her collaboration with Eve, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," in 2001.
Though Tragic Kingdom stands as No Doubt's lone chart-topping album to date, Stefani & Co. seem poised to recapture past glory. March 14, 2012, marked the 25th anniversary of the band's first official concert at the now-defunct Fender's Grand Ballroom in Long Beach, Calif. "Happy Anniversary to my band!" tweeted Kanal. Currently, No Doubt is in the studio finalizing their first studio album since 2001's Rock Steady. But this won't be just a stereotypical comeback album. According to a band statement last September, the album "means everything to us and our only priority right now is to make sure that it's the best album we can possibly make."
Would you have set foot in that men's room? Leave us a comment.
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