STORY OF SONG
“Don’t Speak” is the tenth song off of American alternative rock band No Doubt’s third studio album “Tragic Kingdom” in 1995. The band consisted of Gwen Stefani (lead vocalist), bassist, saxophonist and keyboardist Tony Kanal, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young.
“Don’t Speak” was written by Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric, who was a former member of the band. Eric originally wrote the track as a love song, but it went through many rewrites. The final version was modified by Gwen, who turned it into a breakup song about her ex-boyfriend and bandmate Tony Kanal after he ended their seven year relationship that they had had since high school. According to Gwen, the song “used to be more upbeat, more of a Seventies rock-type thing.” The track was nominated for “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” at the 1998 Grammy Awards.
The music video was directed by Sophie Muller and starts with Kanal picking a rotten orange from a tree, with flies in the fruit. Then it leads onto the band performing song, mainly at the Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake City. The music video also focuses on the media always focused on Stefani rather than the band as a whole, and also included live footage of them performing with Dog Eat Dog and Goldfinger at the Roseland Ballroom in New York on the 21st August 1996. The video ends with Kanal returning the orange to the tree. The day before the music video was filmed, the band almost didn’t go through with it as tensions were high and they almost broke up. The music video won the award for “Best Group Video” and got nominated for “Video of the Year” at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. As of January 2019, the video has over 630 million views on YouTube, and almost 2 million likes.
Release Date: 15th April 1996
Songwriter/s: Gwen Stefani & Eric Stefani
Producer/s: Matthew Wilder
Music Video Release Date: 1996
Music Video Director: Sophie Muller
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: In its year of release, “Don’t Speak” went to #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, in the UK and the US. It received a 2x Platinum certification in Australia, Norway and UK. It also went Platinum in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. It received a Gold certification in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It was ranked at #495 on Blender magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born”.