Continued from Part 1...

A lot was happening in 1995  on the one hand, Ebay, Windows 95, DVDs (yay!); and, on the other, Timothy McVeigh, OJ, Ebola (boo!) but in the glorious pop-cultural intersection of sounds and celluloid, a quartet of songs was selected by director Amy Heckerling and music supervisor Karyn Rachtman to play in a medley, during the opening credits of Clueless, the curiously timeless and wonderfully timely retelling of Jane Austin’s 1815 novel, Emma.  The film would go on to become an oft-quoted cult classic, and a cinematic anthem for the mid-nineties.

That medley (during which we were introduced to Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash as 'Cher' and 'Dionne'), began with a cover of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” by The Muffs.  And then, between David Bowie’s iconic “Fashion,” and Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop” blaring out of the speakers of Cher’s Jeep we hear “Just a Girl” by No Doubt; a song that Rachtman would later say was “the embodient of Clueless.” [Listen to the song fade-in at 1:39, on the video, below.]

The song, while not released as a single from the Clueless soundtrack (much to the disappointment of Rachtman and Heckerling, who knew it was gonna be huge), was released as the first single from the SoCal ska band’s third studio album, Tragic Kingdom (1995) itself, the first album upon which Gwen Stefani, the band’s vocalist, would assume the mantle of songwriter (previously filled by her brother, Eric; who’d left the band, the previous year).

The rest of the story is one you know.  Tragic Kingdom would go on to sell more than 16 million copies, and hit #1 on not just the Billboard 200, but also topped the charts in Canada, Finland, Norway, and New Zealand, before going Platinum in the UK, Triple-Platinum in Austrailia, and being certified Diamond* in the US and Canada.  Over the next thirty years, No Doubt would win a pair of Grammy Awards, a slew of MTV Awards, and more.

Beginning in 2004, Stefani’s solo career would move to the foreground (especially until No Doubt returned from its only significant hiatus, in 2009), marked most notably by her debut solo-album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. which sold more than 7 million copies, worldwide, received six Grammy noms, and unleashed the Harajuku Girls on our collective consciousness  which gave us such aughts anthems as “What Are You Waiting For?,” “Rich Girl” (feat. Eve), “Cool,” “Luxurious” (featuring Slim Thug), and what’s widely considered to be Stefani’s signature song, “Hollaback Girl;” her fabulously infectious smash-up of Americana and Japanese street-style, that she wrote with Pharrell Williams, as a reaction to a slam by Courtney Love, that appeared in the August’04 issue of Seventeen.** [Catch-up on Stefani’s oeuvre with Only 10's beautifully-produced 10-minute retrospective of the evolution of her music and style, below.]

Now, in case you live in a shoe (a shoe without WiFi, no less) you’re probably thinking that this is all very nice, but you’re wondering to what hill of beans any of this might add-up.  A valid point, no doubt (pun intended); so, I’d inform you that Gwen Stefani’s Live Nation Vegas-produced residency, Gwen Stefani – Just a Girl, is returning to the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood.  And then I’d tell you to go back and check-out Part 1; so you can read all about it!

Gwen Stefani – Just a Girl
Zappos Theater | Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Click HERE for info and tickets

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: A song is certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) when it sells, ships-to-retailers, and/or streams 10,000,000 copies.  A song is certified Diamond by Music Canada – formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) – when it sells, ships-to-retailers, and/or streams 800,000 copies // “Being famous is just like being in high school.  But I’m not interested in being the cheerleader.  I’m not interested in being Gwen Stefani.  She’s the cheerleader, and I’m out in the smoker shed.”  Stefani’s reply, issued in the March’05 issue of NME, “Y’know, someone one time called me a cheerleader, negatively, and I’ve never been a cheerleader.  So I was like, ‘Ok, fuck you. You want me to be a cheerleader?  Well, I will be one then.  And I’ll rule the whole world, just you watch me.”]