The band who perhaps more than any other in the 90's brought the influence of ska music back to the mainstream, No Doubt were formed in early 1987 in California's Orange County by vocalist John Spence, and brother/sister team Eric and Gwen Stefani. Bass player Tony Kanal joined soon after. Unfortunately tragedy struck the band early with the suicide of Spence in December that same year.
Deciding to honour their former singer, the band continued on, and by 1989 they'd been joined by drummer Adrian Young and guitarist Tom Dumont. The underground ska circuit warmed quickly to the band, and it wasn't long before they started to earn themselves an impressive following. Red Hot Chilli Peppers' bass-player Flea produced an early demo for the group, and eventually in 1991 they signed to Interscope Records.
The group released their self-titled debut album in 1992 to a lukewarm response, despite touring with the likes of the Chilli Peppers and Fishbone to promote the record. Returning to the studio they recorded their second set - the heavier punk-rock influenced 'Beacon Street Collection'.
However, it wasn't until their album 'Tragic Kingdom' that things really started to heat up for the band. Just prior to the release of the album in 1994, Eric Stefani left the band to pursue his cartooning interests - eventually becoming an animator for The Simpsons. With Gwen now firmly in place as the dynamic frontwoman for the group, No Doubt made a big breakthrough with the infectious pop of 'Just A Girl', and by late 1996, the group were sitting on top of the US Billboard charts with a No. 1 album.
The album's ballsy production and lyrics about lost-love - based largely on Gwen's relationship with bas guitarist Tony -struck a chord with the punters. Their chart profile was increased with the success of their ballad 'Don't Speak'. It pushed sales for 'Tragic Kingdom' to in excess of 10 million in the US alone!
Gwen Stefani became an instantly recognisable pop icon whose lovelife became regular tabloid fodder. In particular her relationship with Bush singer Gavin Rossdale, rumoured to have begun in 1997, continued to dominate pop news around the globe.
In 2000, No Doubt hit the spotlight once again with their latest sonic adventure, 'Return of Saturn'. Boasting bright pink hair, Gwen led the band in the video for the first single 'Ex-Girlfriend' - a clever rock/ska tune that many took as a backhanded reference to her rocky relationship with Rossdale.
Produced by Glen Ballard - known for his work with Alanis Morrisette - the 14 track set is a clever blend of New Wave, reggae, pop and rock. Lyrically more mature, the album is said to be inspired by Gwen's current relationship; either way the lyrics and music on offer are an example of No Doubt's abilities as a group.
The group have already issued follow-through hit singles in the form of 'Simple Kind Of Life' and the bubbly 'Bathwater', and toured Australia in November 2000 to rave reviews.
Of late Gwen seems to be popping up everywhere, clocking up a top 20 hit on the Australian charts with 'Blow Ya Mind' a collaboration with Eve. Gwen also lent her considerable talents to the 9-11 all star fundraiser 'What's Going On'.
And now Gwen and the crew are back again, with their most accomplished album yet - 'Rock Steady'. The album includes their hit singles 'Hella Good', 'Hey Baby' and 'Underneath It All' - all of which have had significant runs in the ARIA singles chart.