Sunday Morning

Album: Tragic Kingdom (1995)
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Songfacts®:

  • Like "Don't Speak," this one has a lyric written by No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani and aimed squarely at bass player Tony Kanal, her boyfriend for seven years. When he broke up with her, she was devastated, but took a hard look at herself, regained her confidence, and wrote some hit songs.

    In "Sunday Morning" she sings about how she thought she knew him so well until without warning, he took her to splitsville. With No Doubt's upbeat ska inflections, it's a buoyant song where Stefani finds her strength, letting Kanal have it in the bridge:

    You're on the other side of the mirror
    So nothing's looking quite as clear
    Thank you for turning on the lights
    Thank you, now you're the parasite
  • When No Doubt caught fire in 1996, a casualty of their fame was their unified front - media attention listed hard to Stefani, and very often she was photographed alone as the face of the band. They earned a victory on May 1, 1997 when Rolling Stone put the entire band on the cover. In the interview, Tony Kanal named "Sunday Morning" his favorite No Doubt song, even though he goes through the wringer in the lyric. Kanal later explained that he didn't really process the breakup until much later - the band was so busy at the time that he never had a chance to ruminate on it.
  • "Sunday Morning" was pushed as a single to radio and MTV in the spring of 1997, 18 months after the Tragic Kingdom album was released. The band released their first album, which flopped, in 1992, so it took a while for the Tragic Kingdom songs to catch on. When they did, the band was sent on tour and scheduled for a flurry of interviews and appearances, an exhausting pace they kept up for over a year (they performed "Sunday Morning" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 11, 1997).

    They finally got some time off at the end of 1997 and took their sweet time making their next album, Return Of Saturn, which came out in 2000.
  • This was written by Gwen Stefani, Eric Stefani, and Tony Kanal. Eric, Gwen's brother, was a founding member of the band but left before the Tragic Kingdom album was released - he took a job working on The Simpsons. The song was produced by Matthew Wilder, who had a big hit in the '80s with "Break My Stride."
  • Much of No Doubt's success at this time (to the tune of 10 million copies of Tragic Kingdom sold just in America) can be attributed to their music videos, which got lots of exposure on MTV. Sophie Muller, who as Eurythmics go-to director got plenty of experience shooting a captivating frontwoman, directed the "Don't Speak" and "Sunday Morning" videos. "Don't Speak" shows the band getting elbowed out by Stefani at photo shoots and media events; "Sunday Morning" shows the band performing together in a garage, making dinner and getting in a food fight when they eat - all good times. The idea was to counter the "Don't Speak" video by showing their friendship.

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