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Ex-Girlfriend (song): Wikis


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Single by No Doubt
from the album Return of Saturn
Released May 2, 2000 (U.S.)
Genre New Wave
Alternative rock
Ska Punk
Length 3:32
Writer(s) Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, Gwen Stefani
Producer Glen Ballard
No Doubt singles chronology
"Simple Kind of Life"

"Ex-Girlfriend" is a song written by Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Gwen Stefani for No Doubt's fourth studio album Return of Saturn (2000). The song was released as the album's first official single in mid-2000 (see 2000 in music) and it was moderately successful, reaching the top 40 in most countries.


Background and writing

Gwen Stefani originally composed the song as a dirge about her relationship with Bush's lead singer Gavin Rossdale, whom she married in 2002. After listening to it, the band increased the tempo because the album already included several ballads.[1] The line "you say you're gonna burn before you mellow" is a reference to the lyrics in the Bush song "Dead Meat": "I'm doing you in tomorrow/I'll burn before I mellow".

"Ex-Girlfriend" is a rock song composed in the key of E minor. It is written in common time and moves at a fast tempo of 168 beats per minute. Stefani's vocal range in the song covers nearly an octave and a half, from G3 to C5.[2] It features flamenco guitar riffs and influence from New Wave and Hip Hop.[1]

Music video

Stefani and Kanal falling in the music video.

The song's music video, which was directed by Hype Williams, was partially based on the highly controversial Japanese anime Kite. In the video, Stefani cross-dresses to enter a men's bathroom and, upon being discovered, assaults Tony Kanal (who plays her ex-boyfriend) and several other men. When Kanal regains consciousness, he grabs Stefani and jumps out the window, and the two plummet to the ground. The storyline is cut with scenes of the band playing on a stage. No Doubt's guitarist Tom Dumont initially played the part of a police officer but was cut from the final version of the "Ex-Girlfriend" video. He enacts the role in MTV's Making the Video.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Ex-Girlfriend".


  1. "Ex-Girlfriend" – 3:31
  2. "Leftovers" – 4:31
  3. "Ex-Girlfriend" (CD-ROM video)


  1. "Ex-Girlfriend" – 3:31
  2. "Big Distraction" – 3:34
  3. "Full Circle" – 3:16


  1. "Ex-Girlfriend" – 3:31
  2. "Leftovers" – 4:31
  3. "Full Circle" – 3:16
  4. "Ex-Girlfriend" video

Netherlands/UK 2-track

  1. "Ex-Girlfriend" – 3:31
  2. "Full Circle" – 3:16

Chart performance

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"Ex-Girlfriend" failed to enter the U.S. Hot 100 chart and spent only one week on the Canadian Singles Chart, on which it peaked at number forty. Elsewhere the single experienced more success, and reached the Australian top ten and UK top thirty.

Chart (2000) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 9
Canadian Singles Chart 40
Finnish Top 20[3] 15
German Singles Chart 34
Swedish Top 60[4] 18
Swiss Top 100[5] 19
UK Singles Chart 23
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[6] 2
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 11


Country Certification Sales
Australia Gold[7] 35,000+


  1. ^ a b Montoya, Paris and Lanham, Tom. "Ex-Girlfriend". The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes). Interscope Records. November 25, 2003.
  2. ^ Sheet music for "Ex-Girlfriend". Hal Leonard Corporation. 2000.
  3. ^ "No Doubt - Ex-Girlfriend (Song)". Retrieved January 9, 2007.
  4. ^ "No Doubt - Ex-Girlfriend (Song)". Retrieved January 9, 2007.
  5. ^ "No Doubt - Ex-Girlfriend (Song)". Retrieved January 9, 2007.
  6. ^ "No Doubt". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  7. ^

External links

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