No Doubt have another milestone to add to the books — we want to wish the band a very happy 10th anniversary to their Return of Saturn, which was released on April 11, 2000. This album will always hold special places in people’s hearts, mine in particular. This was the era that I decided to launch BSO, saw No Doubt live for the first time, and made many ND buddies that I still cherish to this day. The album seemed like such a huge change in the band — bringing new sounds, emotions, new look — did anyone else rock the pink hair in 2000? I know I did! We would like to look back at this amazing LP that many fans call their favorite album. What does Return of Saturn mean to you? What are some of your favorite tracks?
Wikipedia — Return of Saturn is the fourth studio album by the American rock band No Doubt, released on Interscope Records on April 11, 2000. After touring for two and a half years to promote their breakthrough third studio album Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt wrote several dozen songs for its follow-up and eventually settled on working with producer Glen Ballard. Creating the album became a tumultuous process lasting two years, during which there was dissension amongst band members and between the band and its label. The album was completed after the band returned to the studio and recorded what became two of the album’s singles.
Upon release, Return of Saturn received mixed reviews from music critics. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 but was unable to measure up to the sales of Tragic Kingdom. The album produced four singles, only one of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. At the 43rd Grammy Awards, Return of Saturn was nominated for Best Rock Album.
The album’s working title was originally announced as Magic’s in the Makeup in May 1998 and later as Saturn Returns in November 1999. Lead singer Gwen Stefani was confused by her feelings of depression and interest in Sylvia Plath while recording the album. Her boyfriend Gavin Rossdale told her that she was going through her Saturn return. Saturn’s orbit takes 29.4 Earth years and, in astrology, the time when Saturn returns to its position during a person’s birth is believed to be a period of self-evaluation. Stefani was born October 3, 1969, and many of the songs were written during her Saturn return.
The album received positive from music critics. Entertainment Weekly characterized the album as filled with “smoother, layered mid-tempo ballads as creamily textured as extra-thick napoleon pastries” but stated that Stefani’s lyrics were too much of a throwback to the alternative rock scene of the early 1990s and contrasted with the boom of teen pop. Robert Christgau, writing for The Village Voice, described the emotions Stefani expressed as shallow, and the NME stated that her preoccupation with Rossdale was distracting and weakened the intense, Madonna-like character she had established on Tragic Kingdom. Allmusic, however, gave it four and a half stars, calling it “a terrific, layered record that exceeds any expectations set by Tragic Kingdom”. Barry Walters of Rolling Stone referred to it as “a superstar follow-up that not only betters its predecessor but also radically departs from it.” The publication included the album in its list of the top fifty albums of the year, describing it as “a record that charges ahead like gangbusters while biting its nails.” Slant Magazine commented that although the album did not have any successful singles, Return of Saturn was “a solid album and proof of a healthy, genre-breaking future for No Doubt.”