How exciting! The Orange County Register released it’s top 50 albums of the 2000s and No Doubt’s Rock Steady came in at #1! The paper has had it’s time with the band, but No Doubt deservingly take the #1 spot nicely. We also enjoy the fact that they also give props and give high praise of Return of Saturn, which we think has been grossly over looked in the past by many. Gwen also made the list coming in at #25 with Love.Angel.Music.Baby., where they make a mention how great the album was, but set her on course for a long departure from the band. Nice point taken.
1. No Doubt, Rock Steady (2001)
Yes, a case can just as easily be made for Return of Saturn (2000), which is every bit as enjoyable, fared better on the charts and almost sold as many copies. But in hindsight it plays like a sequel to Tragic Kingdom, a wrapping-up of loose ends (see â€œSimple Kind of Life,â€ still their best song) as Gwen Stefani looked toward her future â€¦ while the boys in her band (especially Tony Kanal) quickly outgrew ska and diversified their palette. By the time of Rock Steady a little more than a year later, they were a different, more worldly wise band altogether â€“- groove-driven, marketing-savvy, club-happy. Decamping to Jamaica and London to gather new mojo, they returned with an inspired dance-pop record whose global impact was immense, both commercially and creatively. It gave them their first Grammy win, for â€œHey Baby.â€ It set Gwen on a collision course toward a mega solo career. And nearly a decade later, they still have no idea how to follow it up. But I prize it for one thing above all: arriving exactly three months after 9/11, it helped a nation (or me, anyway) shake off depression and learn to smile at a goofy pop song again.
25. Gwen Stefani, Love.Angel.Music.Baby (2004)
Her second solo set, The Sweet Escape, is still a pile of junk castoffs. Her first, however, is still a terrific â€™80s-inspired confection, a giddy rush of electro-pop joy no matter how sick of â€œHollaback Girlâ€ you might be. Strangely enough, despite all of No Doubtâ€™s massive popularity, itâ€™s this album (and its complementary clothing line and lengthy sold-out tour) that really solidified Gwenâ€™s position as the most famous and popular music star to ever emerge from Orange County. (Yes, that includes you and you, Dick Dale and Bill Medley). It also generated six Grammy nominations, enabling her to become the first O.C. artist to ever score nods for both album and record of the year. (Granted, she lost.) Simply put, a monster juggernaut of a record whose inclusion here cannot be denied â€¦ but itâ€™s docked a few notches for setting her on a crash-course with mega-celebrity that kept her away from her main band for far too long.