Gwen Stefani quite frankly does it all. She sings, writes, acts, designs, coaches, and is a mom to three sons.
After rising to fame as the lead singer of No Doubt in the 1990s, Stefani decided to embark on a solo career when the band went on a hiatus. Her solo music introduced the three-time Grammy Award winner to new audiences and proved to be an instant success for her. After a string of features with Prince, Eve, and Moby, Stefani was ready to give performing on her own a try.
According to Chart Masters, her decision to go solo was clearly a good idea as she has sold an estimated 19.3 million albums around the world.
To date, Stefani has released four studio albums since 2004 and has plans to release a new LP later this year. Some of her signature singles include Hollaback Girl, Rich Girl, Cool, and The Sweet Escape. Along with her infectious singles, she has a whole load of album cuts that deserve just as much attention.
While we wait for album No. 5, here are 10 of the best songs from Stefani’s albums that weren’t released as singles.
Bubble Pop Electric
Bubble Pop Electric featuring Johnny Vulture sits at No. 5 on the Love. Angel. Music Baby. tracklisting and comes in as the first song on the album to not have been released as a single. The very playful electronic track was written with Outkast member Andre 3000 and easily could have served as a single and been another huge hit during that era.
Over 15 years since its release and the song has gone viral on Tiktok. Bubble Pop Electric is currently Stefani’s third most popular song on Spotify at the moment and remains a fan favorite. It’s crazy how things turn out.
Don’t Get It Twisted
Only Stefani could probably get away with a song this crazy, and it still be amazing. Don’t Get It Twisted is the wildest track about falling pregnant and having an odd experience. The Tony Kanal-produced anthem has a dancehall vibe with hints of a circus theme. Kids, you don’t need drugs in your life. Just listen to the trippy Don’t Get It Twisted instead.
Wonderful Life ends The Sweet Escape album on a beautiful note. The synthy ’80s-inspired song is a complete masterpiece and might be her best album track of all time. The song has aged incredibly well and has a very timeless production to it.
It comes as no surprise that this is one of Stefani’s best solo efforts as the people involved are no stranger to creating groundbreaking work — Linda Perry, Nellee Hooper, and Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore. The 3 minute 59 track is about her first love in school and holds a special place in Stefani’s heart.
In a 2016 interview with Australian magazine Inpress, Stefani explained the story behind the bittersweet ballad, per Song Facts.
“‘Wonderful Life’ is the one song I had leftover from the last record; it’s one of my favorite songs. It was written for my… I guess he was my first kissing-love who I had in Ninth Grade – I guess I can say his name, Matt Ellej. He actually passed away, and I wanted to write a song for him, and I wrote the song ‘Wonderful Life.’ The thing that’s really crazy about the whole thing is – because obviously, I hadn’t seen him for a really long time, and I loved him, and he changed my life so much – he’s the one that turned me onto groups like The Cure and Depeche Mode. He was really into it; I mean, he was Robert Smith – he had the whole big hair and everything. He was super into Depeche Mode, and so when Martin Gore played on the record, I told him about Matt and how much he loved them. I mean, if he knew that… I mean, how beautiful is that? To have a song I wrote for him and then to have his idol play on it – it was quite a meaningful experience for me.”
Where Would I Be?
Stefani’s third studio album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like, dropped 10 whole years after her previous solo album. A lot had happened in that time, and she had plenty of things to sing about. The record mainly consists of songs about heartbreak and falling in love again.
Where Would I Be? is one of the few solo Stefani songs that features a production that would sit perfectly on a No Doubt LP. The ska beats are a reminder that the young women on Tragic Kingdom will always be inside her, no matter where her sound or life takes her.
Harajuku Girls is, without a doubt, a very dated song that should essentially stay in the 2000s. However, its playful and youthful energy is so contagious and feels so nostalgic after all these years. Stefani has always been vocal about her love for Japanese fashion and their culture and used the song as a way of paying homage to the Harajuku Girls, who were her inspiration and a huge part of her first two albums.
Send Me A Picture
Send Me A Picture is one of the more carefree numbers on This Is What The Truth Feels Like and is basically a classy, catchy song about sending saucy pics *cough* nudes *cough* to the person your dating. There isn’t much else to say other than that.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. is one of the best pop albums of all time and deep cuts like Serious is a good explanation as to why. 80 percent of the album’s content could have been released as a single, and that’s no exaggeration. Stefani hit the jackpot with Serious, a hypnotic pop song that showed off her wild imagination and fun lyrics perfectly. A music video was filmed for Serious, but unfortunately was never officially released. A low-quality 59-second clip of it leaked online and can be watched on YouTube.
I associate Danger Zone and Serious together because they are both ’80s-inspired bangers that come one after another on the LAMB tracklisting. For me, Danger Zone slaps that little bit harder as it has more of a rock edge and a punchy and bold chorus. Stefani performed the song on her 2005 Harajuku Lovers tour and gave it the passion and a ball of energy it deserved.
Rare closes the standard edition of This Is What The Truth Feels Like on a heartwarming number. The song is pure bliss from start to finish, and hears Stefani singing about finding true love again and “loving every second” of her new relationship. What’s not to like?
The Real Thing
Writing about love is something Stefani does best and is essentially something she has always done. The Real Thing is a soft, ethereal pop song filled with romantic lyrics that are about two people mutually loving one another. Stefani was inspired by New Order and managed to get Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook to perform background vocals and bass on the breezy tune.
A lot of fans believe the song should have become a single. But then again, so should have a lot of these deep cuts on this list.
The Real Thing scored itself a Slow Jam Mix with American duo Wendy & Lisa. The alternative version is a more stripped-back ballad and something you’d expect to hear at a wedding.
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