Sunday Morning (No Doubt song)
Artwork for most European releases
|Single by No Doubt|
|from the album Tragic Kingdom|
|Released||May 27, 1997|
|No Doubt singles chronology|
"Sunday Morning" is a song recorded by American rock band No Doubt. It was released as the sixth single from their third studio album Tragic Kingdom (1995). The single was made available as a CD single, cassette single, and VHS single on May 27, 1997 through Interscope. Lyrically, the song is about Gwen Stefani's relationship with Tony Kanal, and their breakup that followed. The track was written by band members Kanal, Gwen Stefani, and Eric Stefani, while production was handled by Matthew Wilder.
The single was well received by many music critics, with one of them calling it a "standout track". It also performed well commercially, peaking in the top 50 in several countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia; the song was certified gold in the latter country for sales of over 35,000 copies. Musically, "Sunday Morning" is a ska punk and reggae rock song. A music video for the single was released in 1996 and directed by Sophie Muller; it features the band members preparing a large feast before getting into a food fight.
Background and recording
Recording sessions and meetings for No Doubt's third studio album Tragic Kingdom (1995) began in 1993 between members Eric Stefani, Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young. The material produced with Angle was hugely rejected by Interscope Records' officials, and had the members work with producer Matthew Wilder instead. Upset with working with someone outside the band, Eric eventually stopped recording with the band, and encouraged the remaining members to write the group's songs, as he felt threatened when he did so. After Kanal broke off his seven-year relationship with Gwen, both of them wrote several more songs, until there was enough material for an album. The single's inspiration came when Kanal was having a fight with Stefani, his then-girlfriend, through the bathroom door of his parents' house in Yorba Linda, California; Stefani later revamped the lyrics to discuss her breakup with Kanal.
"Sunday Morning" was written by Kanal, Gwen Stefani, and Eric Stefani, while production was handled by Matthew Wilder. The song is a ska punk and reggae rock song, with one critic comparing it to Motown music. According to Chris Heath of Rolling Stone, the single "erupts delightfully from its opening harmonies into a thumping combination of Motown and pop cheese, is especially spirited"; he later compared it to Kim Wilde's 1981 single "Kids in America". Kenneth Partridge, writing for Billboard, stated that the song allowed Gwen to go "from victim to victor", especially in the lyrics "Thank you, now you're the parasite"; in Partridge's The A.V. Club review, he described it as "a straight-up ska track" that "didn't chart as high, but the damage was done".
After its release, "Sunday Morning" received general acclaim from music critics. Kenneth Partridge of Billboard appreciated Gwen "constantly gaining and losing the upper hand in her romantic adventures". Thomas Bleach, writing for his self-titled blog, also enjoyed the track, calling the "infectious chorus, fast pace and cheeky nature of the song appeal[ing]". A critic writing for The Diamondback favored the "defiant" sound of the track, while a reviewer from Punk News titled the song a "gem", but predicted that "on a weaker album, [it] would have made more of a splash." Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times cited the song as an "example of the band's improved craft" and claimed that it "help[s] carry the album's thematic current" of "enthusiastic music". Similarly, Nicholas Jones of The Odyssey Online called it a "standout track", due to it being "lyrically clever".
In a poll held by Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos asked readers to vote on "The 10 Best Gwen Stefani Songs"; "Sunday Morning" took fourth place and its consensus stated "Stefani is a powerhouse on the raucous, bitter single. [...] From the moment Adrian Young's opening drum solo builds up, the song grows more and more massive and searing."
"Sunday Morning" was moderately successful, with it charting in several countries. In the United States, the song did not enter the Billboard Hot 100 due to restrictions in place at the time, but entered the Mainstream Top 40 component chart, where it peaked at number 35. In Australia, the single peaked at number 21, and stayed on the chart for a total of 19 weeks; it was later certified gold by the ARIA for sales of over 35,000 copies. In Canada and New Zealand, it peaked at numbers 33 and 50, respectively. In Europe, the track peaked at number 50 in the United Kingdom and number 55 in Sweden.
An accompanying music video for the song was directed by Sophie Muller and premiered in 1996; Muller was initially asked to produce a video for Tragic Kingdom's lead single "Just a Girl", but nothing came of it. "Sunday Morning" marked Muller's second collaboration with the band, following "Don't Speak". In a 2012 interview with OC Weekly, Muller spoke of the result of the single's music video:
"Of all my videos, I suppose 'Sunday Morning' is the most like them. It's the most honest–where they are all hang out together, that feels very real to me. They all get on and they're very good friends and have very different lives. When I met them some of them were still living with their parents! (Well, some of them.) They hang on to each other in the sense of that when they got huge across the world, there was already a sense of family between them."
The video was filmed at Gwen Stefani's grandparents' house in Anaheim, California, in a one-day shoot. Band member Dumont stated that the video "was really normal for us before this weird success", listing their routine of rehearsing in a garage and later having a big dinner and how that was average for them.
The video commences with a scene of the band beginning to perform the song in a house's detached garage. When the first verse starts, Stefani's ex-lover (Terry Hall) walks by the house before sitting down on a swing. Stefani changes her shoes as the song's chorus is played; she walks away from the garage and down a street to a grocery store. At the store, she purchases four cans of tomato sauce, and quickly leaves. Meanwhile, Dumont, Kanal, and Young prepare a large dinner for the band as Stefani reenters the home. Stefani slices tomatoes, Dumont cooks some spaghetti noodles, Kanal cuts up a few onions, and Young sets the table. At the song's bridge, Stefani accidentally cuts herself with a knife and Kanal drops a pot of pasta sauce; both of them promptly clean up their messes as dinner is served. Dumont initiates a food fight, and touring members Gabrial McNair and Stephen Bradley join in. The video ends with the ex-lover sitting alone on the swing.
Track listings and formats
US CD single
US VHS single
Australian and Swedish CD single
European CD single
French CD single
Philippines cassette single
UK CD single
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from the Tragic Kingdom liner notes.
Charts and certifications
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- "Swedishcharts.com – No Doubt – Sunday Morning". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
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- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: INT5P-6157). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records, Geffen Records. 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: 0 602537 306329). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: 606949556624). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: MCAF0029). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: NC 7306.6). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: IND 76064). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: M-22366-97). 1997.
- Sunday Morning (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: 6 06949 5560 0). 1997.
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- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 27, 2016.