Song Saturday: “Trapped In A Box” (Updated)

For this week’s edition of Song Saturday, we’re featuring No Doubt’s first (and only) single from their debut album, “Trapped In A Box”, released back on February 25, 1992.

The song was inspired by a poem written by Tom for school about being addicted to watching television and how it can control one’s life and way of thinking. Eric Stefani took the poem and played around with the lyrics. He came up with an arrangement with the rest of the band then contributing their own verses. “Trapped In A Box” also saw the band steering away from their signature ska sound at the time but took notable influences for the horns from Madness and Fishbone. The song’s opening guitar riff is said to have been originally played on the piano.

“Trapped In A Box” was released in late February of 1992 and failed to make an impact on the Billboard charts. The song was never physically released on it’s own as a single, but was included on No Doubt’s The Singles 1992-2003 as well as the music video DVD release.

The music video, which was filmed for roughly around $5,000, was financed by the band themselves after Interscope took a step back due to the lack of success of their debut album. No Doubt invited a bunch of their friends over and shot the video in Anaheim (at the famous Beacon Ave. home) and was directed by Mike Zykoff. “Trapped In A Box” never aired on VH1 nor MTV back when it debuted but did however make it to MuchMusic Canada. No Doubt admitted calling into The Box and requesting their video a few times but not too often cause it cost them money every time.

Fans may remember the very memorable performance of “Trapped In A Box” with Eric Stefani for VH1’s Storytellers which aired back on October 28, 2000. After departing the band in 1994, Eric joined the band live onstage once again for this special occasion and blew everyone away with a new take on the classic song.

No Doubt teased fans last with the track on the Rock Steady tour in 2002 and even included it as a bonus track on their live DVD release the following year.


Live in Riverside (1990)


“Trapped In A Box” music video (1992)


Live in Dominguez Hills (1995)


Live in Fullerton (KROQ’s Breakfast with No Doubt) (1997)


Live in Phoenix (2000)


Live on VH1 Storytellers featuring Eric Stefani (2000)


Live in Long Beach (2002)

Check out a couple of rare behind-the-scenes photos from the “Trapped In A Box” video shoot sent in by Eric Keyes.

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3 Replies to “Song Saturday: “Trapped In A Box” (Updated)”

  1. I live how Eric tells Gwen it was a good experience and she wouldn’t be there today when she said the record didn’t do well.

  2. Can anyone share the version of Trapped in a Box from VHI’s Storytellers ? The link is down from youtube and I can’t find it anywhere… and it’s so sad becaus it’s my favorite version !! :C

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