On April 11, 2000, No Doubt released their long-awaited fourth studio album, Return of Saturn. Over the weekend, the band and their fans paid tribute on the album’s 20th anniversary. No Doubt’s platinum-selling record was described in reviews at the time as a “defiantly mature record.”
No Doubt’s guitarist, Tom Dumont, revealed on Instagram how the album came about — and what the band’s emotional state looked like before releasing the record.
“Coming off the success of ‘Tragic Kingdom,’ we were under a great deal of pressure while writing and recording ‘Return Of Saturn.’ It felt like all eyes were on us, like never before. We worked really hard on it, there were many ups and downs, and creatively I think we made something great. Although ‘ROS’ didn’t have the commercial success that some other ND albums did, I’m very happy that so many fans call it their favorite No Doubt album.”
Dumont explained that the band members were trying to create new sounds and sonic landscapes that would be a step forward for the group.
He attached a photo of the group taken from that era. The photo served as a reminder that not only did No Doubt reinvent their sound — and look — during this period, but so did their lead singer, Gwen Stefani.
The “Just A Girl” hitmaker had been known for her platinum blond hair, but switched to a bright pink hue during the Return of Saturn era. When talking to Vogue— in a video available via YouTube — Stefani explained that her decision to dye her hair was influenced by a breakup and a change in her life. She admitted that she wanted it to be a light cotton candy shade but ended up with fuchsia pink. Stefani revealed that she had just come off a huge tour and was struggling to find her identity. She wrote Return of Saturn and declared that the album was about assessing your life.
Tony Kanal, the band’s bassist, shared on his Instagram account that he knew No Doubt had something to prove after the huge success of Tragic Kingdom. He felt that the commercial impact of the record didn’t matter, because the band was able to dig deep and make “bold and brave” decisions. The process of making something he described as “beautiful and real to them” is what he believed was important.
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Happy 20th Return of Saturn. After touring for 2.5 years on Tragic Kingdom, we got back in the studio and knew we had something to prove. Not to anyone else but to ourselves. We dug deep, and I have always felt that we were bold and brave and nothing else mattered but the pursuit of making something that was beautiful and real to us. Needless to say I’m really proud of what we accomplished on this album. Immense thanks to everyone that worked on ROS with us and immense gratitude to everyone that loves this record as much as we do ????
According to Billboard, Return of Saturn peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and enjoyed four singles — “New,” “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Simple Kind of Life,” and “Bathwater.”
Fans have been taking to the comments section on No Doubt’s group Instagram account to praise the album.
“Happy birthday to the best f*cking album ever,” one user wrote.
“This is hands-down my favorite No Doubt album!” another fan shared.
“Such an iconic album,” remarked a third devotee.