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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2004
Although I've never been a hardcore No Doubt fan, this release has surprised me because it has not left my CD player since I bought it. Since I am a huge buyer of CD's this says a lot about how I feel about this release.
It is a shame that this group has not received the critical acclaim that it deserves versus much lesser bands. My guess is that although their releases have been consistently good, they are a singles-driven band and there is a critical bias against music that does not take itself too seriously, especially when fronted by an extremely TALENTED singer/songwriter/perfomer who happened to be a very cute girl who has now grown into a gorgeous and confident one. Gwen rocks.
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.
This is truly a stellar collection that entertains from beggining to end. My favorites are........ ALL. I am still amazed that this collection is as good as it is as maybe I am a little guilty of not giving it it's much deserved due.
I highly recommend this for anyone who likes lively and beyond catchy (almost illegally so) songs made by a band that is at the top of it's game. Also, I am glad that this is one of those lower priced releases that the music industry promissed. This along with Counting Crows and Sheryl Crow have been priced at reasonably and I hope that they all sell because they are all good and will prove once in for all that good music at a good price leads to a win/win.
I wanted to write this review ASAP for those who might be on the fence as Amazon.com reviewers as a whole are the best and have helped me make some amazing discoveries. Thanks!!! Even differences of opinion are great if they are well writen as they can help people find out exactly why you loved, hated, or were indifferent to a product. In a nutshell, if you are on the fence, jump it and go buy the year's most enjoyable and impossibly contagious greatest hits collection.
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VINE VOICEon 4 January 2004
No Doubt are one of the most unique and fantastic acts in the world just now. Most people probably remember them as "starting out" in their Tragic Kingdom days, in fact they formed in 1986. This perfect package of all their hits from their first appearance in the charts till the present day shows exactly why they've lasted so long.
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!
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on 12 February 2004
I bought the album as soon as it was released and loved it. The Cd wasn't removed from my player for a good couple of weeks! even my tap classes had to put up with non-stop no doubt, and it even came in handy for my dance assignment... anyway :p The album has most of no doubt's best tracks, and also their new single which is the only cover song theyve released 'It's my Life' which is fab! If you're going to buy one no doubt album, this one pretty much sums up their incredible career.
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on 11 March 2004
This CD not only showcases all of No Doubt's singles over the past 11 years but also acts as a definitive retrospective into one of the greatest bands ever to come out of America.
Although not in any chronological order, the album is mixed enough to mask the weaker tracks with some toe-tapping, energetic or totally melancholy classics. The CD gleefully kicks off it's shoes with "I'm Just a Girl" - a completely original and punk infested, women power of a song. It seems to continually build up and build up (with the help of distorted guitar chords) until it explodes into an infectious chorus. Gwen Steffani preaches about the burden of being a girl - she shouldn't have to work too hard, yet should not be cut off for the same reason. A cover of Talk Talk's number 3 hit from the 80's follows. "It's My Life" contains enough of the original attempt to keep the older fans stroking their mullet but has been "funked" up in a way only No Doubt can do. An eclectic mix of electronic and guitar and drums compliment Gwen's voice spectacularly.
"Hey Baby" took No Doubt on a totally new direction and became a summertime classic that you can't help but dance to. It's trendy, fun, clever and above all, entirely addictive! "Bathwater" accompanied a re-release of their "It's My Life" in March 2003 and is entirely dissimilar to it. At its heart it contains an entirely different style of music. It's reggae/rock mixture with some scatting by the Gwen herself makes up a fantastic track about accepting your other halves flaws.
A building drum roll and bass start of "Sunday Morning" - a very lethargic and woozy feeling track. It has a great chorus but No Doubt do not shine here. This is more than compensated by the mega-energetic and down right brilliant "Hella Good" - a rocked-up disco genius of a track that grabs you and infests your head with its blaring distortion and hypnotic funk. A song that has everyone jumping around like mad! And then we are brought right back down with the chill out track "New", until the part where Gwen starts shouting in our ears. In fact, it's not chill out at all - it another one of those head banging classics. The gloriously infectious chorus shatters its deceptively calm start.
"Underneath It All" is perhaps one of the greatest reggae love songs of all time. Gwen puts a smile on the listeners' face with ease as she sweetly sings about how lucky she is with her lover. This track did particularly well in America where No Doubts diverse style of music is adored by millions. In Britain however, many have not warmed to them - which is a shame really because tracks like this show No Doubt to be one of the greatest band in creation. Unashamed of its punk roots, "Excuse Me Mister" glides along its fast and appealing music score. Again, not the best No Doubt song, but by no means a bad apple. With "Running" No Doubt have achieved something very rare - with the most simplistic idea, they have created a masterpiece. Its childlike "blippy" start is starkly contrasted with its beautiful lyrics. Various instruments come into the track as it bounces along and then a musical feast is unveiled. A syrupy and sugar coated love song that is just sheer brilliance!
There seems to be no end to the excellence when "Spiderwebs" kicks in. My favourite track on this album is an awe-inspiring rock/punk/pop song that has Gwen echoing and cooing and a rocketing chorus that just gets better every time you hear it. It never seems to get boring with each subsequent listen and the outro fades superbly. "Simple Kind Of Life" is a rather laid back song that neither disappoints or impresses - the lyrics are good but there seems to be something missing from the music, the repetitiveness is noticeable, whereas with the other tracks it is masked behind one thing or another. The song is a little too "simple" it would seem...
Still, No Doubt makes you instantly forget about the attempt before when the first chords of "Don't Speak" start. With out a doubt, an all time classic. Its raw emotion makes it almost painful to listen to and its lyrics could bring tears to even the most unemotional people. They are so easy to relate to and this song will always be played in years to come - not many "classics" can boast that - simply outstanding. Then, just when we think the pain is over and "Don't Speak" bows out - a different kind of sorrow appears. A mixture of pianos, keyboards, bass, drums and whatever else was lying around in the studio create a track which full of life. Gwen tells us about a guy who has dumped her; despite her knowing this was always going to be the case. This energy is transferred to the Ska inspired "Trapped in a Box" - No Doubt's oldest track in this collection, which still manages to fit in neatly. Its lyrics still very much apply to today with all the commercialism floating around encouraging us to invest in things we do not need.
The first bonus track - a remix of "Hey Baby" turns the disco of the original into a dance fest that while not as good as the original is a nice little extra. "Underneath It All" is another pleasant addition with a very acoustic live version of the classic being sung beautifully by Gwen.
All in all this is an amazing opportunity to own a slice of music history that will still sound fresh over the next couple of decades. Apparently, this is only the end of chapter one from No Doubt and one can only wonder what delights they have in store for us next! Absolutely fantastic!
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on 16 November 2003
Okay, so if you haven't got all the albums of No Doubt, this is a good intro to them. You've all heard Hey Baby (Not the DJ Otzi - now everyone's heard that) and probably Just A Girl. Now discover all their singles from Underneath It All to Excuse Me Mister to New to Simple Kind Of Life. They all rock and it's a perfect intro to all their other albums. Buy it and rejoice that there's proper music out there!
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on 26 January 2004
I've not been a fan of No Doubt having only ever really heard of them since their Rock Steady album but they quickly became my favourite band ever! This album highlights all their excellent singles from the incredibly successful Don't Speak to their unsuccessful first hit, Trapped in a Box. Each song is unique with none of them sounding similar. Particular highlights are New, Hella Good and Don't Speak. Really great stuff.
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on 4 November 2005
Has all the essential No Doubt songs my favourites being:~
Spiderwebs
Trapped In A Box
Running
Just A Girl
Bathwater
A must for any No Doubt fans looking just to buy one album, this really show cases Gwen's ever enigmatic talents, like I said it's fun, I gave this four stars because I think it was sometimes too fun for my liking, and Don't Speak is the only really serious side to them portrayed on here I guess...
Still if you want to get into No Doubt, this is the one to buy...
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on 20 February 2004
Although I have always liked the singles that No Doubt have brought out in the past, I had never purchased one of their albums due to the fact I am more of an RnB man and was worried that a whole album may be a bit heavy for me.
But this greatest hits collection including all the singles and more is excellent as it has everything from mellow chill out tunes to the excellent going out anthem that is 'It's my life'.
I recomend everyone who has like No doubts single releases to buy this album as it's definatly worth adding to your collection.
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on 28 December 2003
I havent been their biggest fan but i've always liked gwen & their popular stuff so i bought this 2 see wat else they had done.I was impressed on my first playing.All the songs have a different vibe to them from reggae to rock which really works for them.Even if you'v got their albulms its a good summary of a great band's history.Also it saves you having to change cds as all the best songs are on it(i suppose??).I wont comment on the musical techniques coz im not an expert.the sleeve has lyrics and a description for every song which is helpful.
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on 10 March 2004
This is a cd i could listen to till the day i die. i thought it had a real sprit while i was listening to it, and unlike most of my cd's i buy from here, this one was special.
I think this is a real winner, even if you have never really taken a liking to the band.
I throughly recomend this CD to anyone who is stuck with some extra money. it is a great cd to listen to, being a collection of their best songs, and some nearly forgoten old time classics.
Very high on my best cd ever list.
Enjoy, like i am.
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