After years as the badass rock frontwoman, Stefani was ready for something a little different. The release of her first solo album, Love.Angel.Music.Baby, found the star trying out electronic pop and throwing things back to the ’80s a full decade before Taylor Swift did. Stefani also upped the fashion love, with Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and, of course, Harajuku girls all getting lyrical shout-outs.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the worldwide release of the b-a-n-a-n-a-s album, so for this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking back at some of Stefani’s first footsteps in the pop arena — an area she’s clearly interested in returning to, if recent solo single “Baby Don’t Lie” is any indication, not to mention her forthcoming next solo album.
“When I was recording Love.Angel.Music.Baby, it was all about making a dance record,” Stefani tells Billboard. “I was inspired by the ’80s dance music I grew up listening to — Debbie Deb, Depeche Mode, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam and New Order. I was so clear and so inspired on what I wanted to do. I just needed to let it all come out. Now that I look back at those collaborations, I feel so proud.”
Join us on a dance trip down memory lane with a few of her singles and travel from Wonderland to high school to a pirate ship all over again.
The Song: “What You Waiting For?”
Remember When: How would solo Gwen differ from the No Doubt frontwoman we knew and loved? If the video for her debut single was to be believed, Stefani was using this album to explore the girly world she’s long loved, complete with stellar fashion, bright colors and backup dancers. Welcome to Wonderland!
The Song: “Rich Girl”
Remember When: Bring on the fun fantasy. Years before Lonely Island explained the joys of being “on a boat” (and a year after Johnny Depp made pirates look mighty appealing), Stefani cuts loose on a boat exploring a fabulous, gorgeous, fun, glam life… not unlike the real-life Stefani story.
The Song: “Hollaback Girl”
Remember When: “Super ka-wai-i!” Love.Angel.Music.Baby left many marks on pop culture, but perhaps the most ubiquitous was the rap/chant breakdown that makes sure no one forgets how to spell “bananas.” Bonus: High school has never looked so cool. Take that, Courtney Love.