No Doubt – The Beacon Street Collection

ARTIST: No Doubt 

TITLE: The Beacon Street Collection

YEAR RELEASED: 1995

CHART ACTION:  None

SINGLES: Squeal, Doghouse

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you were a superfan.

LINEUP: Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, Adrian Young. Eric Stefani wrote a lot of the record and was on it off and on. Brad Nowell of Sublime chipped in, and a horn section was around too.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Feeling screwed and stifled by Interscope, No Doubt recorded this on their own and sold it at shows and at local record stores. It was snapped up by fans, and it caused Interscope to change their attitude on the band.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With their first album stiffing, and grunge being the flavor of the month, Interscope Records rejected a lot of stuff from their second album and forced them to record with old pro Matthew Wilder (of “Break My Stride” fame). Frustrated, Eric Stefani, the main songwriter and creative czar, left the band, but not before recording a couple of singles with them and writing the bulk of this album.

What is this and how did it come out? It was a middle finger to Interscope, who did everything they could to bury the band, it seemed. Many of the tracks were recorded in a garage that was converted to a studio over a long weekend. It was sold at shows, and at local record stores.

The music is an evolution from their first album, and has a more coherent style. The songs were influenced by the punk movement as well as ska, and there seem to be no genre hops out of nowhere. It’s safe to say this set the table for their huge success, even if the songs weren’t hits.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album sold out quickly, which opened Interscope’s eyes and allowed them to finish their next record. Which was historic.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B+: It’s got a charm to it. It definitely is an evolution. There’s not a sure-fire hit but it’s quality stuff.

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