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This collection succeeds by giving us the goods, a little known gem, plus an outstanding version of Talk Talk's "It's My Life". Like I have said in other greatest hit reviews, some groups benefit from non-chronological sequencing and No Doubt is one of them as their releases have been very different and the sequencing actually helps make it more cohesive.
For those who may not be too familiar with this group, No Doubt comes unabashedly from the school of new wave, which was quite the golden era of singles that were fueled by fun and did not have the angst that propelled the alternative rock explosion of the late 1980's/early 1990's.
No Doubt's influences are all over the map but above all, they were inspired by ska revival groups like Madness, but they also picked up various strands of early-MTV pop like Blondie, The Go-Go's, The Police, among others. With each release the band became more confident in terms of their songwriting, singing, and musical muscularity. While Gwen has received most of the focus, the whole band is incredible and indispensible.Read more ›
On listening to the album, you can see how diverse the band are, moving effortlessly between genres: ska, punk, pop, reggae, rock - it's all here. The singles are cut mostly from their three biggest LP's - Rock Steady, Return Of Saturn and Tragic Kingdom, with only the quirky Trapped In A Box at the end of this collection representing their debut, self-titled effort. Sadly there are no tracks from their second album, The Beacon Street Collection, however this doesn't taint the quality of the songs. Singles opens with the monster American punk smash Just A Girl, and moves through the band's display of diversity smoothly, from the stomping Hey Baby and feel-good ska of Bathwater to the whirlwind that is Excuse Me Mr. and the memorable Spiderwebs. Gwen and the guys even manage to go mellow on us with Underneath It All and moody on the huge UK number 1 Don't Speak (one of the greatest songs of all time surely.)
As well as bonus tracks and the new single It's My Life, the album sleeve is very detailed and an entertaining read in itself! A great deal for the price of a normal CD, it's a must have definitely. If you're the band's biggest fan then buy it to reminisce and if you've just discovered them, buy it as the perfect introduction. Spot on without a Doubt!
Enjoy, like i am.