Just a Girl
|"Just a Girl"|
|Single by No Doubt|
|from the album Tragic Kingdom|
|Released||September 21, 1995 (United States)|
|No Doubt singles chronology|
This page is a soft redirect.}
|Just a Girl at Youtube.com|
|European single cover
European single cover
"Just a Girl" is a song by the American rock band No Doubt. The song was released in 1995 as the album's lead single and helped the band break into mainstream music, peaking at number 23 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Background and writing
After primary songwriter Eric Stefani left No Doubt in 1994, the rest of the band took on the role of songwriters for the band, which dramatically changed the band's musical style. Tragic Kingdom was the first album on which the band had written most of the material and singer Gwen Stefani had written the lyrics, and there were claims that the band had "sold out" - dropped their own style to pick up a more popular one in order to make more money. Tom Dumont explained the change of style in an interview with Backstage Online:
|“||This album was our first attempt [to write simpler music]. It was Gwen's first time really writing all the lyrics herself so to me, it went the opposite from selling out, we have done something that is even more personal. In the past, Eric was writing songs about his life and having Gwen sing them. Now we have Gwen singing and writing about her own experiences. It makes it more natural. She's a singer, she should sing about herself or sing what she wants to sing. I think that is the main reason why our musical style has changed.||”|
The song itself is written about Gwen Stefani's exasperation over female stereotypes, portraying women as weak and in need of a man to look after them. This is evident from lyrics such as "Don't you think I know / Exactly where I stand? / This world is forcing me / To hold your hand." She explained her inspiration in an interview for BAM Magazine:
|“||I wrote that because my dad got mad at me for going to Tony [Kanal, No Doubt bassist]'s house and driving home late at night. I mean, c'mon, I'm, like, going on 30 here! I wouldn't trade [being female], but I really don't think guys understand what a burden it can be sometimes.||”|
"Just a Girl" is a moderately fast song at 108 beats per minute and is written in the key of D major. Like the majority of popular music, it is set in common time. The voice of the singer, Gwen Stefani, spans nearly an octave and a half, from B3 to E5 in scientific pitch notation. The opening riff that Dumont uses was taken from an earlier effort by keyboardist Eric Stefani. The song is heavily influenced by new wave music, using synth noise from a Roland Jupiter-8, '80s keyboards and effects, and retro sounds.
The music video was directed by Mark Kohr.
The video begins with the band members loading their silver car with recording equipment in front of the Stefani household. Gwen Stefani stands in front of a damaged red car and sings. They drive away, with Tom Dumont, Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal sitting in the backseats. The band arrive at a building where Stefani enters the ladies' bathroom, carrying a boombox, and the rest of the band enters the gents', carrying speakers, instruments and electrical equipment. The ladies' bathroom is clean, brightly decorated and well furnished with flowers, fruit and two female assistants. The gents' bathroom is dark, dirty and bare-walled. The men set up and play their equipment in the gents' while Stefani sings in ladies'. Various men and women enter their respective bathrooms; the men use the urinals and the women check their make-up, before dancing with the band. Eventually, the men take to lifting each other through the ceiling to get into the other bathroom and the video ends with everyone dancing together in the ladies'.
End of year charts
- American CD single
- "Just a Girl" – 3:26
- "Different People" – 4:38
- "Just a Girl" (video)
- European CD single
- "Just a Girl" – 3:26
- "Just a Girl" (live from London, UK) – 5:39
- "Don't Speak" (live from Hamburg, Germany) – 5:28
- "Hey You" (live from Den Haag, the Netherlands) – 3:20
- German CD single
- "Just a Girl" – 3:26
- "Different People" – 4:34
- "Open the Gate" – 3:38
- JC Chasez's band Girl Radical released a cover version on iTunes in August 2013.
- Country music duo Bomshel recorded a cover version on its 2009 debut album Fight Like a Girl.
- Miranda Cosgrove sang a cover version on her 2011 Dancing Crazy Tour.
- Layne, Anni. "The Ska Parade Is Coming To Town". Rolling Stone. May 9, 1998. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
- "Interview with Tom Dumont". No Doubt official website. October 31, 1996. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
- Hermanson, Wendy (November 17, 1995). "Just a Girl". BAM (San Francisco). ISSN 0194-5793. OCLC 4855429. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
- "BPM Database for No Doubt". bpmdatabase.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Just a Girl" sheet music. Hal Leonard Corporation. 1995.
- "Just a Girl". Montoya, Paris and Lanham, Tom. 2003. The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes).
- "Chart positions of "Just a Girl"". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
- "Rock/Alternative - Volume 63, No. 15, May 27, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Chart positions of "Just a Girl"". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- "Chart positions of "Just a Girl"". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "American track listing of "Just a Girl"". No Doubt official website. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
- "International track listing of "Just a Girl"". No Doubt official website. Retrieved October 26, 2008.