Don't Speak: Wikis


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"Don't Speak"
Single by No Doubt
from the album Tragic Kingdom
B-side "Hey You" & "Greener Pastures"
Released April 15, 1996
Format Airplay only
Recorded 1995
Genre Soft Rock[1]
Length 4:23
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Gwen Stefani, Eric Stefani
Producer Matthew Wilder
Certification Platinum (RIANZ)
No Doubt singles chronology
"Don't Speak"
"Excuse Me Mr."

"Don't Speak" is a song by the American rock band No Doubt. It was released as the third single from the band's second album Tragic Kingdom (1995) in 1996. The song is presumed to be about the break up of Gwen Stefani's seven-year relationship with group Bassist Tony Kanal.

Despite the song's popularity, "Don't Speak" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (as rules of the times required commercial singles for charting and one was not issued for the song), but it did reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and stayed for sixteen weeks. The song also reached number one in the UK, New Zealand, Netherlands, and Australia. The single is No Doubt's most successful international single, propelling them to superstardom. "Don't Speak" is arguably No Doubt's biggest hit and was nominated for the Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal at the Grammy Awards of 1998.

The song was ranked at number 495 in Blender magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".[2]

The song is a playable track on the music video game Band Hero, and is also featured as a downloadable song in Rock Band 2.


Song information

The song was co-written by Eric Stefani and Gwen Stefani and co-produced by Matthew Wilder. "Don't Speak" went through several rewrites. A live version that exists from April 1994 shows off a bouncy tune that has the same skeleton as the released version, but not the same urgency. A demo version also appeared on a demo CD, which was presented to Interscope Records prior to the release of the Tragic Kingdom CD.[citation needed] Part of the song was performed on VH1 Storytellers on 10 August 2000. Thes song was written via multiple rewrites about the ending of the relationshop between bassist Kanal and lead vocal Stefani[1].

Chart performance

Upon release, the song immediately began to receive extensive airplay, and it became the most widely played song on American radio in 1996.[3] Not surprisingly, the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, and maintained that position for sixteen consecutive weeks, a record at the time.[4] Although the record was broken in 1998 by the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" with eighteen weeks at number one, the song remains in second place of songs on the Hot 100 Airplay with the most weeks at number one. For all its airplay though, the song was not allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 as no commercial single was released for it (which were required for charting purposes at the time). Not surprisingly, the song was also a hit on No Doubt's main radio format at the time, Modern Rock Tracks where it climbed to number two.[5][6] The song also proved to be a crossover smash, hitting number one on Adult Top 40 and even hitting a number six and number nine on Adult Contemporary and the Rhythmic Top 40 respectively.[5][6] It also was the number one hit single for the Hot 100 Airplay on the 1997 Year End chart.[7]

Internationally, the song was also very successful. In December 1996, it reached number one in The Netherlands,[8] and two months later, it debuted at number one in the United Kingdom, maintaining the top position for three weeks.[9] Australia was another major music market where the song received widespread airplay, debuting at number one and maintaining the peak position for 8 weeks. In Switzerland, "Don't Speak" debuted at number eighteen before climbing to number one (for four weeks) six weeks later. After falling from number one, it remained in the top ten for an additional seven weeks.

Music video

Before the music starts, at the beginning of the music video, there is a scene of Tony Kanal picking a rotten orange from a Christmas tree (these scenes are usually cut out when VH1 airs this video).

The majority of the music video for "Don't Speak" takes place in a garage as the band plays. (The dress that Gwen wore was used vintage dark blue with white polka dots which she claimed she bought for less than 10 dollars in a second-hand store. In many of the shots, the dress looked black. In the live scenes she wore a tight tank top with black trousers and clogs along with a mix of Indian jewelry and other retro bangles.)

Other scenes tell the story of how the media mainly focused on Gwen while the band was always in the background.[10] The second half of the video features snippets of live footage filmed during the band's performance with Dog Eat Dog and Goldfinger at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on August 21, 1996. The video also features a short footage showing Tom Dumont playing together with Foo Fighters' guitarist Pat Smear.

The video ends with Kanal replacing the orange in the tree, which is actually footage of Kanal in reverse pulling the orange off.

The music video won the award for Best Group Video and was nominated for the Video of the Year award at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

There is an alternate version of the video showing just the live performance part. Both versions of the video are included on the DVD The Videos 1992-2003.

Track listing

Australian/Japanese CD maxi single
  1. "Don't Speak" (album version) – 4:27
  2. "Don't Speak" (alternate version recorded in New Zealand, September 1996) – 4:27
  3. "Hey You" (acoustic version recorded in New Zealand, September 1996) – 3:28
  4. "Greener Pastures" (from The Beacon Street Collection album) – 5:05
British/European CD single
  1. "Don't Speak" (album version) – 4:27
  2. "Greener Pastures" (from The Beacon Street Collection album) – 5:05

Release history

Country Date
United States April 15, 1996
United Kingdom February 10, 1997


Chart (1995-96) Peak
Swedish Singles Chart[11] 1
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[6] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40[6] 1
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[5][6] 2
U.S. Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[6] 9
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[5][6] 1
Chart (1997) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[12] 1
New Zealand Singles Chart[13] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[14] 2
Finnish Singles Chart[15] 4
French Singles Chart[16] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[17] 1
Norwegian Singles Chart[18] 1
UK Singles Chart[9] 1
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Adult Recurrents[6] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[5][6] 6


Country Certification Sales
Australia 2xPlatinum[19] 140,000
Preceded by
"I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay number-one single
(first run)

December 7, 1996 – January 11, 1997
Succeeded by
"Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton
Preceded by
"Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay number-one single
(second run)

February 1, 1997 – April 5, 1997
Succeeded by
"You Were Meant For Me" by Jewel
Preceded by
"Thug Devotion" by Mo Thugs
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
January 19, 1997 – January 26, 1997
Succeeded by
"I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly
Preceded by
"Freak" by Silverchair
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
February 9, 1997 – March 30, 1997
Succeeded by
"Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden
Preceded by
"Discothèque" by U2
UK Singles Chart number-one single
February 16, 1997 – March 9, 1997
Succeeded by
"Who Do You Think You Are" by Spice Girls
Preceded by
"Breathe" by The Prodigy
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
December 13, 1996 – December 20, 1996
Succeeded by
"Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 451-500". Blender (Alpha Media Group Inc). Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  3. ^ "No Doubt History Website". No Doubt Official Website. Interscope Records/Universal Music Group. 
  4. ^ "No Doubt". Rock on the Net. Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Artist Chart History – No Doubt". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Tragic Kingdom – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  7. ^ "Billboard: 1997 Year-End Chart-Toppers". Rock on the Net. Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  8. ^ Top 40 Hitdossier, ISBN 90-230-1144-9
  9. ^ a b "All the Number 1 Singles". Official UK Charts Company. Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  10. ^ "It's No Doubt, Not The Gwen Stefani Experience". MTV News. MTV Networks. 1997-01-17. Retrieved 2006-12-24. 
  11. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  12. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  13. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  14. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  15. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  16. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  17. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  18. ^ "No Doubt – Don't Speak (Song)". Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". ARIA. ARIA – Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 


External links


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