Song Saturday: “Platinum Blonde Life”

For this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, we’re looking back at No Doubt’s “Platinum Blonde Life” from 2001’s Rock Steady.

Produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek and Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, “Platinum Blonde Life” was heavily influenced by new-wave and is one of the most rocking tracks on the album. The band hooked up with Ocasek after returning home from Jamaica in June 2001. It’s reported that Gwen really enjoyed working with Ocasek and wished that the the band had spent more time with him (“Don’t Let Me Down” also came out of the sessions with Ocasek). A source says that after the song was written, Tony had apologized to Ocasek for “Platinum Blonde Life” sounding “more like the Cars than the Cars.” He responded by saying he didn’t feel that way and hadn’t noticed the similarity. A demo had surfaced prior to the album’s release that had “Platinum Blonde Life” at a slightly faster pace.

In the lyrics, Gwen sadly recalls the loss of her dog (“where did my lamb go?”) and how she just wants to be left alone.

No Doubt embraced the track and alternated it out nightly with “Don’t Let Me Down” on the Rock Steady club and world tours in 2002. The energy the band put into the performance always made it a highlight of the set. No Doubt has yet to revisit the song since their special show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom in February 2003.

Lyrics

I’m closing all the curtains
So don’t you even bother
And they’re calling out murder
But I’m underneath the covers

And who’s fooling who with this mood like a train?
Watch me roll over, get out of my way

There is a knock on my door, but im not gonna open it
Im gonna close my eyes, and maybe it will go away

I want a platinum blonde life
So I keep bleaching out the color
I try to do what I oughta
but never drink enough water

And where did my lamb go?
I wish she could stay
I feel as empty as a widow
I’m gonna sleep it all away

There is a knock on my door, but im not gonna open it
Im gonna close my eyes, and maybe it will go away

I’m gonna sleep all through the day
I’m gonna sleep my life away
I’m gonna sleep all through the day
I’m gonna sleep myself away
I’m gonna close my eyes and maybe it’ll go away

There is a knock on my door, but im not gonna open it
Im gonna close my eyes, and maybe it will go away

I’m gonna close my eyes and maybe it will go away

14 thoughts on “Song Saturday: “Platinum Blonde Life”

  1. Yeah that “demo” sounds pitched. Anyways, great track! I wish ND/Gwen would consider working with Ric Ocasek again.

  2. Totally agree! Those tracks with Ric Ocasek were the best! For me the second best producer was Nellee Hooper.
    I think PBL is one of No Doubts greatest tracks ever. I remember how excited I was the first time I heard it! 🙂 Wish Gwen would sing the high part of the chorus live though.

  3. It’s odd that they ignore RS non-singles considering it was their 2nd most popular album (sales wise).

    I would also like ND to work with Ocasek again.

  4. I would also LOVE for gwen/nd to work with Rick again!! 80’s/new wave is so much of who ND are so they pull off the sound so well. ‘dont let me down’ is my fav of the two songs with Rick though

  5. So weird that they didn’t work with him again when they recorded P&S… They always said that they wanted to go for an 80s sound, so why not work with actual 80s artists/producers?

  6. I remember that many fans (and also some critics) reacted negatively to RS back in the days and one thing they always said was that ND went “mainstream” with that album. It so funny to revisit this album now, because I honestly think that this is the most “alternative” album ND have ever made. This was never mainstream. The charts and radio in 2001 sounded nothing like this album. Too bad ND didn’t manage to maintain this experimental/daring spirit.

  7. I’d not call it alternative though. I’d say experimental. At the time when I got the album that’s what I thought. I remember hearing Hella Good for the 1st time and thinking how different it was from their actual sound. The only song I didn’t actually like was Making Out. I always thought it was kinda tacky specially the Oohs Oohs part that reminded me of The Vengaboys. I’m glad it was never released as single. Don’t Let Me Down should have been released.

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