Tuesday, October 10, 1995

No Doubt released Tragic Kingdom

Tragic Kingdom

No Doubt

Released: October 10, 1995

Charted: January 20, 1996

Peak: 19 US, 3 UK, 18 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 0.53 UK, 17.7 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock/ska


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Spiderwebs (Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal) [4:28] (11/19/95, 18 BA, 5 MR, 16 UK)
  2. Excuse Me Mr. (G. Stefani, Tom Dumont) [3:04] (8/21/96, 17 MR)
  3. Just a Girl (G. Stefani, Dumont) [3:28] (9/21/95, 23 US, 10 MR, 38 UK)
  4. Happy Now? (G. Stefani, Dumont, Kanal) [3:43] (1/10/97, --)
  5. Different People (Eric Stefani, G. Stefani, Kanal) [4:34]
  6. Hey You! (G. Stefani, Kanal) [3:34] (2/23/98, --)
  7. The Climb (E. Stefani) [637]
  8. Sixteen (G. Stefani, Kanal) [3:21]
  9. Sunday Morning (Kanal, G. Stefani, E. Stefani) [4:33] (5/27/97, 50 UK)
  10. Don’t Speak (E. Stefani, G. Stefani) [4:23] (4/15/96, 1 BA, 2 MR, 1 UK)
  11. You Can Do It (G. Stefani, E. Stefani, Dumont, Kanal) [4:13]
  12. World Go ‘Round (Kanal, G. Stefani) [4:09]
  13. End It on This (G. Stefani, Dumont, Kanal, E. Stefani) [3:45]
  14. Tragic Kingdom (E. Stefani) [5:31]

Total Running Time: 59:24

The Players:

  • Gwen Stefani (vocals)
  • Tom Dumont (guitar)
  • Tony Kanal (bass)
  • Eric Stefani (keyboards, piano)
  • Adrian Young (drums, percussion)


3.843 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


“Brought Southern California’s ska scene to a national stage while elevating the band to star status.” – Courtney Kemp, Amazon.com


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

No Doubt released its self-titled debut in 1992, a year after they’d signed to Interscope. Their pop sound contrasted with the grunge music of the day and, according to the program director of California radio station KROQ, “It would take an act of God for this band to get on the radio.” WK A second album, The Beacon Street Collection, was recorded independently and sold 100,000 copies. WK

No Doubt’s third album and major-label debut, Tragic Kingdom, was released in October 1995, but didn’t chart until January 1996. Then it took until December 1996 before it hit the top of the charts. The album “brought Southern California’s ska scene to a national stage while elevating the band to star status” AZ with its mix of ““‘90s punk, third-wave ska, and pop sensibility.” AMG “Singer Gwen Stefani’s looks made the group MTV shoo-ins” AZEntertainment Weekly’s David Browne went so far as to attribute the album’s sales to her “leggy, bleached-blond calling card” while concluding that “sex still sells.” WK However, “her soaring voice is the real star, as evidenced by such songs as Happy Now? – a classic you’ll-regret-you-dumped-me anthem that recalls Blondie – and the bouncy Sunday Morning.” AZ

The band worked with producer Matthew Wilder, who’d had a top 5 pop hit with “Break My Stride” in 1983. It made for a “a clever mainstream co-opting of new wave quirkiness, and, as such, an ideal pairing.” AMG “Wilder kept his production lean and accessible, accentuating No Doubt’s appealing mix of new wave melodicism, post-grunge rock, and West Coast sunshine. Even though the band isn’t always able to fuse its edgy energy with pop melodies, the combination worked far better than anyone could have hoped.” AMG “Despite recurring themes of pain and regret, Tragic Kingdom manages to somehow feel sunny throughout.” AZ “When everything does click, the record is pure fun, even if some of the album makes you wish they could sustain that energy throughout the record.” AMG

Rolling Stone’s David Fricke described the album as “ear candy with good beats, not just bludgeon-by-number guitars.” WK While Brown attributed the album’s sales to Stefani’s looks, he also conceded that the music provided “a hefty chunk of new-wave party bounce and Chili Peppers-style white-boy punk.” WK Los Angeles Times’ Mike Boehm called the band “bright, hard-hitting and kinetic” WK while The Village Voice’s Chuck Eddy said “No Doubt resurrects the exuberance new-wave guys lost when ‘80s indie labels and college radio conned them into settling for slam-pit fits and wallflower wallpaper.” WK

The album “scored several hits” AZ “led by the infectious, pseudo-new wave single Just a GirlAMG in which Stefani expressed her “exasperation with female stereotypes.” WK Browne called it “a chirpy, ska-tinged bopper.” WK

WK The second single, Spiderwebs, was written about a woman “trying to avoid the constant phone calls of a persistent man.” WK Both songs “positively ruled the airwaves, both alternative and mainstream.” AMG

Then “in 1997 No Doubt cemented their cross-generational appeal” AMG with Don’t Speak, which Browne called “an old-fangled power ballad.” WK The song was written about Stefani’s breakup with bandmate Tony Kanal. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard airplay chart for a then-record sixteen weeks. It was not eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 because it was not released as a commercial single.
At the 1997 Grammy Awards, Tragic Kingdom took home the prize for Best Rock Album while No Doubt walked away with the award for Best New Artist.

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First posted 10/10/2011; last updated 9/30/2023.

Friday, October 6, 1995

Tears for Fears' Raoul and the Kings of Spain released

Raoul and the Kings of Spain

Tears for Fears

Released: October 6, 1995

Peak: 79 US, 41 UK, 62 CN

Sales (in millions): 0.5 world

Genre: new wave


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Raoul and the Kings of Spain [5:15] (9/25/95, 31 UK)
  2. Falling Down [4:55] (2/96, --)
  3. Secrets [4:41]
  4. God’s Mistake [3:47] (10/21/95, 61 UK, 48 CN)
  5. Sketches of Pain [4:20]
  6. Los Reyes Catolicos [1:44]
  7. Sorry [4:48]
  8. Humdrum and Humble [4:10]
  9. I Choose You [3:25]
  10. Don’t Drink the Water [4:51]
  11. Me and My Big Ideas (with Oleta Adams) [4:32]
  12. Los Reyes Catolicos (Reprise) [3:43]
All songs by Griffiths/ Orzabal.

Total Running Time: 50:18

The Players:

  • Roland Orzabal (vcoals, guitar keyboards)
  • Alan Griffiths (guitar, keyboards)
  • Jebin Bruni (Hammond organ)
  • Gail Ann Dorsey (bass)
  • Brian MacLeod (drums)
  • Jeffrey Trott (guitar)
  • Mark O’Donoughue (backing vocals)


3.354 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

Quotable: “A CD that gets better with each listen.” – Steve Marshall, The Night Owl

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Roland Orzabal has been immersing himself in near-Freudian analysis of familial relationships for over ten years. His band’s harrowing debut, The Hurting, caught people’s attention, but it was the poppier, less personal Songs from the Big Chair and the orchestrated, Beatlesque Seeds of Love that placed Tears For Fears firmly in the spotlight. Now, without Curt Smith [for the second time around], Orzabal continues on his journey to understanding the human condition. Raoul and the Kings of Spain is perched on the branches of familial dissatisfaction.” HE

This “is the second release since the well-publicized split with original member, Curt Smith” NO and it sometimes “finds Roland Orzabal treading water (and self-consciously deep water at that).” AMG “Long removed from the simple, melodic melancholy of the band’s early work and abandoning the mid-period Beatles-influenced pop, Raoul and the Kings of Spain often borders on progressive rock.” AMG

“Several of the tracks were written and performed live on the band’s last tour. Orzabal said Raoul was ‘a very easy album to make’ and that they were able to lay down tracks ‘after just three or four takes.’” NO Alan Griffiths and Tim Palmer return as co-producers.

“Originally slated for release in July, Tears For Fears leader Roland Orzabal took advantage of an option in his contract with Mercury and moved…Raoul and the Kings of Spain to Epic/Sony Music. The label change prompted the addition of two new songs – ‘Humdrum and Humble’ and ‘I Choose You,’” NO making for a different album than the “already issued advance promotional copies of the album with…‘Queen of Compromise.’” NO Roland said of the change: “I lived with the album for many months and although I have nothing against the track ‘QOC,’ I felt that the running order meant that the end wasn’t as dynamic as the beginning. Inserting the two new tracks has made me extremely happy with the end product.” MF

The title track, which was the first single and album opener, “asks, ‘Did you know all mothers are from heaven/Did you know all fathers are from hell,’ and the sense of generations growing old, asking the same questions pours off the album. Orzabal’s overwhelmed monologues – particularly, one of a man who can’t read the news anymore (‘What’s the matter with your life?/Did the man come and shoot your wife/Just like you paid him’) – are frighteningly familiar to our over-saturated post-modern existence.” HE

“From Falling Down…to the raucous Don’t Drink the Water, this is a CD that gets better with each listen.” NO With “the lilting hesitance of the piano,” HE the former “sounds remarkably like ‘What Goes Up’ from The Alan Parsons Project’s Pyramid album.” NO

“There’s some genuinely pretty, if unexciting, music like the piano-driven ballad Secrets, with it’s soaring guitar line” AMG but there’s also “plenty to keep the listener’s interest.” NO “The gentle b>Sketches of Pain,” AMG “the title being a twist on Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain…with its flourishes of flamenco guitar, is one of the many highlights.” NO

“Throughout, Orzabal’s dynamic musical phrasing [such as with] slashing guitar on Sorry…brings Raoul and the Kings of Spain to a head.” HE

“Another high point…is the return of Oleta Adams, who contributes vocals on Me and My Big Ideas. Originally discovered by Orzabal in a Kansas City nightclub during the recording of The Seeds of Love, Adams’ soulful vocals were sorely missing from the band’s last album, Elemental…She adds an incredible warmth to the band’s music.” NO

Raoul and the Kings of Spain is a fine effort, one of the best from the band. If this CD is any indication of things to come, we can look forward to a long and fruitful musical career from Orzabal and Tears For FearsNO

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First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 2/22/2022.

Monday, October 2, 1995

Oasis released (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?


Released: October 2, 1995

First Charted: October 14, 1995

Peak: 4 US, 110 UK, 12 CN, 15 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 5.1 UK, 22.4 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: Britpop


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Hello [3:21] [Noel Gallagher, Gary Glitter, Mike Leander]
  2. Roll with It [3:59] (8/14/1995, #2 UK)
  3. Wonderwall [4:18] (10/30/1995, #8 US, #2 UK, #9 AR, #1 MR, #33 AC)
  4. Don’t Look Back in Anger [4:48] (2/19/1996, #41a US, #1 UK, #10 MR)
  5. Hey Now! [5:41]
  6. Untitled (aka “The Swamp Song – Excerpt 1”) [0:44]
  7. Some Might Say [5:29] (5/6/95, #1 UK)
  8. Cast No Shadow [4:51]
  9. She’s Electric [3:40]
  10. Morning Glory [5:03] (9/18/1995, #24 AR)
  11. Untitled (aka “The Swamp Song – Excerpt 2”) [0:39]
  12. Champagne Supernova [7:27] (2/24/96, #20a US, #8 AR, #1 MR)

All songs by Noel Gallagher unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 50:06

The Players:

  • Liam Gallagher (vocals)
  • Noel Gallagher (guitar, backing vocals, etc.)
  • Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs (rhythm guitar, keyboards)
  • Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan (bass)
  • Alan White (drums, percussion)


4.197 out of 5.00 (average of 33 ratings)


“Quintessential Britpop masterpiece” – Dan Hyman, Rolling Stone


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The rise of Oasis on the British scene was part nostalgia, part tabloid, and – as is usually the case with album’s that take on iconic status – part timing. They are accused of ripping off the Beatles. The Gallagher brothers (singer Liam and guitarist Noel) were called “tossers, wankers” TL because they “spent the ‘90s getting arrested, yelling at each other and warring with Blur’s Damon Albarn over the very important matter of which band was Britain’s best.” TL

Detractors argue that it wasn’t talent that made the band big, but their luck in being at the right place at the right time. Regarding the album’s lyrics, Q magazine said, “They say nothing much about anything.” IN Melody Maker called them “a limited band” who sounded “labored and lazy.” IN FasterLouder’s Max Easton says (What’s the Story) Morning Glory’s “lasting place in ‘90s folklore is less about the quality of the album and more about the celebrity status and faux imagery attached to it.” WK It is an album “full of anthems for the sake of anthems” and that “they’re all variations on only a couple of good ideas.” WK

This is all part of the story behind what ranks as one of the most celebrated albums of all time.

The Pinnacle of Britpop

In the late ‘80s, the UK experienced a “retro-rock renaissance” PF with more guitar-driven bands like the Stone Roses and the La’s. The “Britpop movement” also fit nicely into the American transition from more indie-oriented college rock to the wider audience of ‘90s alternative. Oasis arrived in 1994 with Definitely Maybe, a mix of “‘60s psychedelia, ‘70s glam and punk, Madchester groove” PF that became the UK’s fastest-selling debut ever. SG By the time of sophomore effort, Morning Glory, Oasis had become the major player of the Britpop movement. Despite all the expectations, the album has come to be regarded as the “quintessential Britpop masterpiece.” RS

It was a “significant record in the timeline of British indie music,” WK selling a record-breaking 347,000 copies in its debut sales week. WK The day after the album’s release, central London HMV stores were selling copies at a rate of two albums per minute, WK making it the second fastest-selling album in British history, only behind Michael Jackson’s Bad. IN The album was in the top three on the UK charts for “an astonishing seven months.” WK It went on to become the UK’s best-selling album of the 1990s WK and the third best-selling album in British history WK (behind the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Queen’s Greatest Hits). RS On a global scale, it “propelled Oasis from being a crossover indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon.” WK

Beatles Ripoffs?

Oasis have been plagued by accusations of “ripping off The Beatles (ok, excellent stealing).” ZS They may be “guilty of some borrowing, or even plagiarism, but [Noel] uses the familiar riffs as building blocks. This is where his genius lies: He’s a thief and doesn’t have many original thoughts, but as a pop/rock melodicist he’s pretty much without peer.” AMG “The nagging familiarity of the material and the group’s stroppy self-confidence made criticism redundant.” PR

“Oasis are hardly innovators” AMG but “this powerhouse sophomore album rocks, end of story.” ZS “They have a majestic grandeur in their sound that makes ballads…or rockers…positively transcendent.” AMG Their “songs are flat-out infectious with melodies that capture their passion, sneering arrogance and good chops.” ZS Liam’s “voice is a no-frills vessel for carrying a tune;” TL he shows a knack for “turn[ing] each song into a sing-a-long.” TL Oasis “came as close as anyone to combining the tunefulness of the Beatles with the attitude of the Stones.” TL

Sibling Rivalry

While the band is musically compared to the Beatles, the relationship of brothers Liam and Noel is more akin to the sibling rivalry of Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks. The “paparazzi-level famous” RS nature of their “bickering and in-fighting would grab most of the subsequent headlines foreshadowed the group’s eventual demise.” RS Less than six months after the album’s release, Liam told The Sunday Times “I’ve been up for leaving for the last couple of months… I reckon I can write better music, a lot better, about 100 times better, than what [Noel] can.” RS

Scroll down to comments about the song “Don’t Look Back in Anger” for a more detailed account of one of the brother’s infamous battles.

Morning Glory vs. Definitely Maybe

Noel said “the first album is about dreaming of being a pop star in a band. The second album is about actually being a pop star in a band,” RS or as All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine says, “what happens after the dreams come true.” AMG Morning Glory had “all the same intense immediacy,” SG “the same swagger, the same self-mythologizing in process, the same take-no-prisoners songwriting,” SG but “more expansiveness and…arguably more longevity.” SG It “feels like the Britpop release that was truly as massive as the movement itself in England.” SG With “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” becoming chart-topping modern rock hits in the U.S., the band also achieved “the kind of in-the-air ubiquity that makes them undying staples at coffee-shop gigs or in dorm hallways.” SG

While it is “a more pop-friendly effort than its predecessor” RS, the second album is also “relatively introspective…filled with big, gorgeous ballads instead of ripping rockers.” AMG The tone is “decidedly darker and more reflective” PF with sentiments like “the foreboding ‘it’s never gonna be the same’ prophecy of opening salvo Hello.” PF “Unlike Definitely Maybe, the production on Morning Glory is varied enough to handle the range in emotions; instead of drowning everything with amplifiers turned up to 12, there are strings, keyboards, and harmonicas. This expanded production helps give Noel Gallagher’s sweeping melodies an emotional resonance.” AMG

Noel’s songwriting now had “an expanded palette – more lush, more intricate, even vulnerable in places.” SG Steve Sutherland, the former chief editor of New Musical Express, said Noel “began to take seriously the notion of being the voice of a generation.” WK Meanwhile, “Liam’s sneer had already bloomed into a far-more-assured rock howl. He always had a hell of a voice and was always a consummate frontman, but this is probably the moment where he was at his best as an actual rock singer.” SG

”Some Might Say”

The “defiant” AMG “Some Might Say” was the lead single from the album, hitting #1 in the UK. Released in April, the song preceded the album by six months. While David Stubbs of Melody Maker was critical of the album as a whole, he called “Some Might Say” “the best single of the year.” WK The song “has the sound of an older brother, the one who grew up and learned to bottle up his sense of swagger and actually take a stroll through the outside world.” SG

”Roll with It”

The album’s second single, “Roll with It,” also preceded the album, coming out six weeks before Morning Glory, a rather “unorthodox method for the time, contrasting the standard industry procedure of releasing the lead single three weeks before its parent album.” WK

More important, however, was the song’s place in the “media-fueled and (partially) media-created” SG “Battle of Britpop” – “the greatest pop rivalry since the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.” WK In the “UK chart equivalent of an after-school fistfight,” PF Blur moved up the release of their single “Country House” to directly compete with “Roll with It” instead of getting “lost in the latter’s wake.” SG The two bands symbolized the “battle between the middle class of the south and the working class of the north” WK with Blur serving as “the London art-school yin to Oasis’ Mancunian street-tough yang.” PF.” Blur won, debuting at #1 with 274,000 copies compared to 216,000 copies and a #2 debut for Oasis.

Blur won the battle but lost the war. In retrospect, “the decision to go with Morning Glory’s weakest song was..Oasis’ cockiest gesture yet: They were willing to take the first strike…because they knew it was only a matter of time before they’d be delivering the knockout blow.” PF Indeed, that proved to be the case. While Blur’s album, The Great Escape, “garnered critical praise that grew more conflicted in ensuing years” SG while Morning Glory sold twice as many copies over the next two years PF and, despite mixed reviews initially, “became emblematic of the time,” SG serving as “the unofficial soundtrack to England’s imminent changing of the guard.” PF


The “sympathetic” AMG “Wonderwall,” is the band’s “simplest, most universal anthem.” PF It has “a beautiful sense of sentimentality that bespeaks the despondency of a generation.” WK Noel wrote it for his then-girlfriend, Meg Matthews, who he later married and then divorced. The title was taken from the soundtrack “from an obscure film scored by George Harrison.” TL Meg explained that it was a symbol of how she was Noel’s “wall of strength. His solidity.” RS

Although it was the fourth single from the album, it gave the band it’s greatest exposure. It topped the Australian chars and was by far the band’s greatest success in the U.S., hitting the top 10 on the pop charts and #1 on the modern rock chart. It remains the band’s only top 40 U.S. hit and is one of two songs to rank in Dave’s Music Database’s top 1000 songs (the other is “Live Forever” from the band’s debut album).

”Don’t Look Back in Anger”

The album’s second #1 UK single offers a “showstopping star turn” PF for Noel as he “emerges as a more personable, sobering foil to brother Liam’s bratty swagger.” PF The song sparked a major battle between the brothers when Noel insisted on singing lead either on this song or “Wonderwall.” Initially, Noel was satisfied with Liam’s vocals on “Anger,” but tension returned when Liam strained to sing the high notes on “Champagne Supernova.” Noel then re-recorded vocals for “Anger,” which inticed Liam to corral a crowd from a local publ and crash the recording session, resulting in vicious fighting between the siblings. WK They reconciled three weeks later and spent two more weeks working on the album in what Owen Morris, the album’s producer, called “the best, easiest, least fraught, most happy creative time I’ve ever had in a recording studio.” WK

“Champagne Supernova”

British legend Paul Weller joined Oasis in the studio to provide lead guitar and backing vocals for the “epic arena rawk of ‘Champagne Supernova’,” TL as well as harmonica for the two untitled tracks. WK This song and “Wonderwall” were chart-toppers on the U.S. alternative rock chart.

Noel considered the song “his most egotistical endeavor on the album,” RS telling The Sunday Times “For Christ’s sake, how big is that title? It’s like I’m saying, ‘I am Mr. Noel Gallagher. Do you know who I am? I am the greatest. I’m like Muhammad Ali.’” RS

The line “Where were you while we were getting high?” was a casual expression the bandmates often exchanged. RS

Other Songs

This is an album “with four hit singles that attested to the strength and consistent high quality of the material.” PR However, “the real triumph of Morning Glory is measured not by the tracks that have since become karaoke classics, first-dance wedding standards, and go-to bathtub sing-alongs, but the exceptional album tracks that never got a shot at certain chart supremacy – like the jet-roard jangle of Hey Now (…the best Oasis song never to be issued as a single) and the crestfallen Cast No Shadow, dedicated to a then-mostly-unknown Richard Ashcroft of the Verve.” PF

Noel said the former was “a direct reflection of the changing dynamics and personnel of the band” RS while the latter, with its “arena-rupturing chorus,” SG is “about songwriters in general who are desperately trying to say something. I’d like to be able to write really meaningful lyrics but I always end up talking about drugs or sex. People tend to ask my advice about a lot of things. I’m good at giving it, but I’m shit at taking it. But people like Richard and Paul [Weller] will look after me; they’ll make sure I’m conscious in a chair or that I can get home.” RS

The “raging” AMG title track is marked by “a hint of regret” AMG and “layers of guitar that sound like a hurricane made up of sirens.” SG The “humorous…She’s Electric, a bawdy rewrite of ‘Digsy’s Diner,’” AMG which was an homage to the Kinks and Small Faces. IN



Resources and Related Links:

  • AMG All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
  • IN Independent
  • PF Pitchfork
  • PR Paul Roland (2001). CD Guide to Pop & Rock. B.T. Batsford LTD: London. Page 78.
  • RS Rolling Stone
  • SG Stereogum
  • TL Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums by Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light (11/13/06).
  • WK Wikipedia
  • ZS Zagat Survey (2003). Music Guide: 1,000 Top Albums of All Time. Coordinator: Pat Blashill. Music Editor: Holly George-Warren. Editors: Betsy Andrews and Randi Gollin. Zagat Survey, LLC: New York, NY. Page 175.

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 10/3/2013; last updated 9/30/2023.