Song Saturday: “Looking Hot”

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For this week’s edition of Song Saturday, we’re featuring the band’s latest and possibly one of their most underrated singles, “Looking Hot”.

The band shared they started working on the song, originally titled “Back In Love”, in late November of 2011. Work continued on “Looking Hot” until February 2012, and it’s been noted that the song first originated as a reggae track then transformed into a “different dance song”. Tom had shared that he was car testing “Looking Hot” in July of 2012 meaning it was close to it’s final version by then. No Doubt actively shared little bits while recording Push and Shove and informed fans of new sounds they had been experimenting with, including Taurus pedals and the melodica.

Mark ‘Spike’ Stent produced and mixed the song alongside Anthony Gorry and Jonas Quant. The song was recorded in four different studios including ingsbury Studios, (in Los Feliz), MixSuite LA, (in Santa Monica), The Sideshack, (in Long Beach), and Kingston Sound, (in Los Angeles). In interviews to promote the album, Gwen also commented saying that “Looking Hot” almost didn’t make the album calling it a “weird transitioning song”.

No Doubt recorded a special acoustic version of the song and included it on the special deluxe edition of Push and Shove.

After rumors of “Push and Shove” being the second single, “Looking Hot” was decided and officially added to US radio on November 6, 2012 and was released as a single in Germany on November 9, 2012. “Looking Hot” was the top song added to Top 40 radio and was additionally promoted with a Windows 8 $10 million dollar ad campaign. Universal Germany released the official artwork for the single and tracklisting which included the album version, Stephen Hilton remix and the Jonas Quant remix of “Settle Down”. “Looking Hot” peaked at #397 in the UK. The song placed at number 44 in PopJustice’s Top 45 singles for the year 2012 but is noted as No Doubt’s least successful single, possibly due to controversy surrounding the video.

The video for “Looking Hot” was filmed over two days in a Universal backlot (more specfically, Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch Studios) on October 5-6, 2012. Official Twitter photos revealed a presumable “old West” look to the video including desert, horses and more.

The “Looking Hot” music video world premiered on Vevo at 1:00 PM PST on November 2, 2012 but was taken down the following day due to it’s possible controversial “cowboys and Indians” theme. The video was online for less than 24 hours due to No Doubt pulling it down and releasing an official statement:

As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people. This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness. We sincerely apologize to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video. Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are. (NoDoubt.com)

No Doubt released an official lyric video awhile afterwards featuring photos that fans had submitted.

Fans pulled together to help promote the single on radio including multiple online campaigns and attempts at getting the song trending on Twitter. A remix EP was released on iTunes shortly after including multiple remixes of the song.

After a handful of performances in America and Europe, No Doubt included “Looking Hot” into it’s seven night run in Los Angeles in late 2012.


“Looking Hot” Live in Las Vegas (9/21/2012)


“Looking Hot” Virgin Radio In-Studio Acoustic Version (9/24/2012)


“Looking Hot” Live on Ellen (Enhanced Audio) (9/25/2012)


“Looking Hot” Live on the X Factor UK (11/4/2012)


“Looking Hot” Live in Germany (11/9/2012)


“Looking Hot” Live on the American Music Awards (11/18/2012)


“Looking Hot” Live in Los Angeles (11/28/2012)

And as a bonus, check out the band’s killer unreleased Bass Over Babylon remix of “Looking Hot” that gives the song an entirely new sound that takes it into reggae territory. As mentioned above, No Doubt released an official lyric video for the song.

Lyrics

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Looking Hot
(G. Stefani, T. Kanal, T. Dumont)

Go ahead and look at me
‘Cause that’s what I want
Take a good look, won’t you please?
‘Cause that’s what I want

I know you wanna stare
You can’t help it and I don’t care
So look at me
‘Cause that’s what I want

Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Go ahead and stare
And take a picture please, if you need
And I think that says it all

I’m chasing it, I don’t know why
I think about it a lot
Better hurry, running out of time
I think about it a lot

I can’t tell anymore
I don’t know what I’m looking for
You know what I mean
I think about it a lot

Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Go ahead and stare
And take a picture please, if you need
And I think that says it all

Running on empty
But I have had plenty
You’re complimentary
But I’m just pretending
Uniform
Hide behind there, this is my diversion
Go ahead and stare, I’m a ragamuffin

Don’t feel it so fake it
I bait it you take it
One eye in the mirror
Put on my veneer
Could have sworn
It’s a sure shot, are you onto my con?
Go ahead and stare, I’m a ragamuffin

Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Do you think I’m looking hot?
Do you think this hits the spot?
How is this looking on me, looking on me?
Go ahead and stare
And take a picture please, if you need
And I think that says it all

20 Replies to “Song Saturday: “Looking Hot””

  1. This was a flop DUE TO THE VIDEO. I am still angry about the fact the video got pulled, the video started to get mass views like all of the ‘hits’ do these days… it was heading the right way!!! After the X Factor performance in the UK that could’ve been such a boost and this would’ve gone up in UK charts but then the video just got pulled… it could’ve been aired on the tv and made a big deal of but instead it was just removed! This would’ve been the moment for them to get back up in the charts and due to controversy the whole ‘era’ sort of got passed by…

  2. Well, they had bad judgement with the concept of that video. I knew as soon as I saw it that a lot of people would have a problem with it. I didn’t expect it to get pulled though. Someone in their management team should have advised them better and all of that could have been avoided and maybe the song would have had moderate success.

  3. Not to beat a dead horse, but I’m kinda tired of the discussion on the success vs failure of the song on the charts. So I’m not even going there. That said, Looking Hot has become one of my favourite songs and I’d include it on an Essential No Doubt album without hesitation.

    1. @NDLover – I agree, I don’t think chart success should be an indication of how good a song is. There is tons of utter sh*t that is on Top 40 (Top 40 sounds so outdated, too). It seems that a combination of Youtube video hits and sales for shows should be a better indicator of success. But I have no idea how the music industry works, so I could be totally off base.

  4. It’s crazy how messy this era was. The band never seemed that confident in the song either, and Gwen calling it “a weird transitioning song” probably means that it shouldn’t have made the final cut. I think the cover art was horrible too. Everything on some level was mismanaged.

    I saw a tweet from Tom about getting a new guitar and how excited he is to play it onstage with No Doubt. Maybe there is some hope for some new material after all.

  5. You may not like it, but yeah, the charts do matter. Especially to someone like Gwen who loves hits. A hit single (or even another moderate hit) might have led to a 3rd single and it might have fueled them choose a tour instead of going back into the studio. We will never know.

  6. I wish the Bass Over Babylon remix was the original version. It’s far superior imho. Crazy how a song that almost didn’t even make the album became a single eventually at such a critical point of that era. Well done Interscope. I am always impressed how open Gwen talks about certain songs though and how self-critical she is. “Weird transitioning song” really is the perfect description for LH.

  7. Ok, just to make it clear, that “weird transitional song” is being quoted a bit out of context. Read the whole thing here:
    “The next single we’re going to do is called ‘Looking Hot,’ and I love that song!” Gwen Stefani told MTV News. “[It] was one of those songs that was almost thrown away; it was an end of a song that turned into a chorus that ended up being [a song] … it was one of those weird transitional songs.” And from those humble beginnings, the song has gone on to be one of their favorites on the album.

    http://m.mtv.com/news/article.rbml?id=1694239

    And the band was in fact very excited about performing the song back in October go 2012 saying it was a really fun song http://youtu.be/6zrKc8wq8Jo?t=4m13s

    1. To clarify on my part, I didn’t mean to make the comment come across as negative. No Doubt always seemed hyped about the song and I’d be interested to know why it originally wasn’t going to make the album.

      1. I don’t think it sounded negative. I only added the links because I thought that some people were misinterpreting this quote. 🙂

  8. as a matter of fact, i dont know the meaning of Weird transitioning song or what she meant, in my opinion they liked the song enough. to make it a single.

  9. Music video being pulled or not this song was given SO MUCH MAJOR promotion, (American Music Awards, X-Factor, Jay Leno w/BARACK OBAMA!, a televised commercial etc). With all that promo if the song was good it woulda been a hit. Bottom line is the song wasn’t good, the public would respond to a song with out a video. Coming from a religiously ND supporter for all things No Doubt for over 17 years, this song was embarrassing before it even became a single. A mother in her 40’s to be singing those lyrics was silly, especially coming from a woman who has aged with such elegance and class.

  10. What did the song in was prety simple: a combination of bad live performances and the video controversy. That live acoustic performance is perfection – Gwen’s vocals are on point, the band sounds good, everyone seems energized.

    Compare that early performance to her dead-eyed one on the AMAs, or her heavy-breathing and flat notes on X Factor. A good live performance can help a song, a bad live performance won’t. And “Looking Hot” had a few of them.

    Then there’s the video controversy. Lord, whoever gave the green light on that concept was not thinking clearly. It was obviously a bad idea, and they had to have known scores of people were going to get offended by it. At least they took it down. The video should have kept the Old West theme but done something like Destry Rides Again with it. Gwen as the Marlene Dietrich saloon singer, and the boys as the rowdy “Boys in the Backroom.” It would have been cute, something different, a lot of fun, non-controversial.

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