Hey Baby (No Doubt song)

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"Hey Baby"
Single by No Doubt featuring Bounty Killer
from the album Rock Steady
Released October 29, 2001 (2001-10-29)
Format CD
Recorded

2001

Genre Ragga, dancehall, synthpop, reggae fusion
Length 3:27
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, Bounty Killer
Producer(s) Philip Steir, Sly & Robbie, No Doubt
No Doubt featuring Bounty Killer singles chronology
"Bathwater"
(2000)
"Hey Baby"
(2001)
"Hella Good"
(2002)
Alternative cover
France cover

"Hey Baby" is a song written by Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Bounty Killer for American rock band No Doubt's fifth studio album Rock Steady (2001). The song is heavily influenced by the Jamaican dancehall music present at No Doubt's post-show parties and tour bus lounges of their Return of Saturn tour.[1] Its lyrics describe the debauchery with groupies at these parties.

The song received positive reviews from music critics, although its dancehall influences had a mixed reception. It was released as the album's lead single in October 2001. The single was commercially successful and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. At the 45th Grammy Awards, it won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Background and writing[edit]

"Hey Baby" was one of the first songs written for Rock Steady.[2] The song begins with instrumentals programmed with producer Philip Steir at Toast Studios in San Francisco, California.[1] They experimented with ray gun-like electronic effects and sounds that guitarist Tom Dumont compared to Star Wars music.[3] Notably, the intro is reminiscent of the beginning of the song Jungle Love by the Steve Miller Band. The lyrics and melodies were recorded at a session at Dumont's home studio in Los Angeles weeks later. While the band was working on the album in Kingston, Jamaica during March 2001, producers Sly & Robbie left the percussion and Gwen Stefani's original vocal.[1] The band asked about adding a guest appearance on the song, so Sly & Robbie recommended and added a toast from Bounty Killer.[4]

Like the song's dancehall style, the lyrics depict the band's post-show parties from touring in support of Return of Saturn. The song details female groupies who attended the parties to hook up with the male band members. Stefani commented that "if you're talented and you're up there, girls want to make out with you." Bassist Tony Kanal described it as "a very PG version" of the licentiousness that took place while touring.[5] The song also touches on Rock Steady's overall theme of Stefani's impatience in her long-distance relationship with then-boyfriend Gavin Rossdale (whom she eventually married in 2002), as she sits "sipping on chamomile/watching boys and girls and their sex appeal".[6]

Music and structure[edit]

The song describes groupies at post-show parties.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Hey Baby" is a ragga song composed in the key of E minor. It is written in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 90 beats per minute.[7] The song focuses on programming and lacks live instrumentation.[8] As a result, the band needed four keyboard rigs to recreate the track's sound for live performances,[9] including a Roland AX-1 and an E-mu Proteus 2000.[10] Stefani's vocal range spans over two octaves in the song, from D3 to E5.[7]

The song opens with an introduction consisting of a sustained measure of electronic effects followed by two lines from the chorus. In each two-measure line during the first half of the verses, Stefani descends the scale while the keyboard plays the off-beats of the first measure and the electric bass opens the line with a two-note bassline. During the second half of the verses, Stefani's vocals are overdubbed, and the instrumentation becomes more frequent.[11] Each of the two verses is followed by the chorus, where overdubbing is used on Stefani's vocals to produce first inversion and normal form E minor chords. Bounty Killer then toasts the bridge, and after a brief section sung by Stefani, the song closes by repeating the chorus twice.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Jordin Sparks performing "Hey Baby" on Top 10 of American Idol season six

"Hey Baby" generally received positive reviews from music critics. LAUNCHcast's Lisa Oliver described the song as a mix of "spacesynth" and ragga that "bursts with Batman punches."[12] Colleen Delaney of Stylus Magazine was unimpressed by the lyrics' double entendres and noted that the toast and "deep, booming production save this song from being thin" but that it remained "inane and unengaging".[13] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine found the song a return to the band's roots, and that it finds No Doubt "sunnier (and tighter) than ever" as a result.[6] Entertainment Weekly included "Hey Baby" in a list of the band's top five songs.[8] About.com ranked the song number three in a list of the top five singles from Stefani's career, with the band and as a solo artist, for her "simultaneously sounding like she understands the hippest of contemporary pop (the Bounty Killer guest rap doesn't hurt) while having the wisdom of an adult several years out of high school."[14] The song was listed at number thirty-eight on the 2002 Pazz & Jop list, a survey of several hundred music critics conducted by Robert Christgau.[15]

The band's endeavor in dancehall music received mixed reviews. Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine viewed the toast as a mistake,[16] and Blender's Rupert Howe found the foray into dancehall misguided, leaving Bounty Killer sounding bored.[17] Alex Needham wrote for the NME that the song was a strong example of "white reggae" but that many listeners may not be able to tolerate the genre itself.[18] For Entertainment Weekly, David Browne described the chorus as "big, bustling, and irresistible" and its hip hop influence as kicky.[19] In the BBC review of The Singles 1992-2003, Ruth Mitchell wrote that the chorus was addictive and chiming and that the song had a "catchy dancehall groove".[20]

Chart performance[edit]

"Hey Baby" was chosen as the lead single from Rock Steady to represent the band's more "upbeat and confident" attitude for the album.[1] It was commercially successful in the United States and enticed a younger audience to No Doubt.[8] The song debuted at number thirty-six on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for half a year.[21] In its third week, the song became the band's highest charting single, eventually peaking at number five for two consecutive weeks, later broken when "Underneath It All" reached number three.[21][22] It was successful in the mainstream music market, topping the Top 40 Mainstream and reaching the top ten on the Top 40 Tracks and Adult Top 40. The song had significant crossover success and reached number five on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart.[22] At the 2003 Grammy Awards, the song won the award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and No Doubt performed a medley of "Underneath It All" and "Hella Good" at the show.[23]

The song had similar success in Europe, reaching number five on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles. In the United Kingdom, "Hey Baby" debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart but was unable to top the chart. It reached the top ten in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, and Norway and the top twenty in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.[21]

In Australia, "Hey Baby" debuted on the ARIA Singles Chart at number twenty-eight and peaked four weeks later at number seven.[21] It was listed at number thirty-seven on the 2002 end of year chart.[24] On the New Zealand Singles Chart, it reached number two, under Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever", for two non-consecutive weeks.[21]

Music video[edit]

Adrian Young's controversial full frontal on the gymnastics rings, based on an actual event.

The song's music video, directed by Dave Meyers, follows the theme of the lyrics. It shows the band on a tour bus, stopping at a party at Club Poonani. The members separate when three girls approach the male band members. Kanal has his picture taken with several women, paying for it by taking money that drummer Adrian Young earns by hanging from gymnastics rings naked. Dumont defeats a woman, portrayed by Sonya Eddy, in an endurance drinking game, and Stefani dances, eventually joining Bounty Killer on stage.[25] There are intercut scenes of the band members on a red and black background, a black and white houndstooth background, and standing on top of the phrases "NO DOUBT", "ROCK STEADY", and "HEY BABY" in red and white.

The video was filmed in three days in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.[26] The scenes were designed to recreate the parties that the band attended while recording Rock Steady in Jamaica. Young's scene was based on an actual event, where he won US$200 on a dare to hang upside down and naked on the rings at a club in New York. Dumont's scene, filmed at Casa Mexicana, is inspired by a similar scene from the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[25]

Young's full frontal on the rings, shown during Bounty Killer's line "The way you rock your hips, you know that it amaze me," was controversial.[27] Bounty Killer's rival Beenie Man stated that "the video portray Bounty as a gay. That is a Jamaican artist, and that can't gwan in a dancehall, no way." Bounty Killer cancelled his performances with No Doubt because of the incident, stating that "they did not understand because they are from America and they accept gay people … If Jamaica is upset, I ain't going to accept no success that my culture is not proud of."[28]

The video debuted at number ten on MTV's Total Request Live,[29] peaking at number three, and topped VH1's Top 20 Countdown for three weeks.[30] The video won the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Pop Video and Best Group Video in 2002.[31] In Canada, it reached number eight on MuchMusic's Countdown for two consecutive weeks and remained on the countdown for nine weeks.[21] The video was nominated for Best International Group Video at the 2002 MuchMusic Video Awards but lost to Korn's "Here to Stay".[32]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Rock Steady booklet:[33]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[34] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[35] 12
France (SNEP)[36] 47
Germany (Media Control Charts)[37] 8
Ireland (IRMA) 15
Italy (FIMI)[38] 11
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[39] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[40] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[41] 3
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[42] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[43] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 11
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 2
US Billboard Hot 100 5
US Billboard Pop Songs 1
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Montoya, Paris and Lanham, Tom. "Hey Baby featuring Bounty Killer". The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes). Interscope Records. November 25, 2003.
  2. ^ "No Doubt". Front Row Center. Fox Family. February 18, 2002.
  3. ^ "No Doubt". Mean Street. Volume 12, issue 6. December 2001.
  4. ^ Reid, Nadine. "Bounty Killa: 'I represent Dancehall!'". The Germaican Observer. Issue 16. October 2001.
  5. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon and Rankin, Rebecca. "No Doubt's 'Hey Baby' Pays Tribute To Drooling, Gawking Groupies". MTV News. November 1, 2001. Retrieved July 12, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal. "Music Review: No Doubt: Rock Steady". Slant Magazine. 2004. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Sheet music for "Hey Baby". Universal-MCA Music Publishing. 2001.
  8. ^ a b c Hiatt, Brian. "Reasonable Doubt". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  9. ^ Moon, Tom. "No Doubt to Get Sexy on Tour". Rolling Stone. March 8, 2002. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
  10. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon. "No Doubt: Geared Up to Rock Steady". Onstage. February 1, 2002. Retrieved August 7, 2007. Archived August 9, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Guitar tab for "Hey Baby". Hal Leonard Corporation. 2001.
  12. ^ Oliver, Lisa. "No Doubt - ''Rock Steady''". LAUNCHcast. February 14, 2002. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  13. ^ Delaney, Colleen. "No Doubt - Rock Steady - Review". Stylus Magazine. September 1, 2003. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  14. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Top 5 Gwen Stefani / No Doubt Singles". About.com. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  15. ^ "Pazz & Jop 2002: Critics' List". The Village Voice. February 18, 2003. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  16. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rock Steady > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  17. ^ Howe, Rupert. "No Doubt : Rock Steady Review". Blender. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  18. ^ Needham, Alex. "No Doubt : Rock Steady". NME. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  19. ^ Browne, David. "Rock Steady (Music - No Doubt)". Entertainment Weekly. December 10, 2001. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  20. ^ Mitchell, Ruth. "Rock/Indie Review - No Doubt, Singles 1992 - 2003". BBC. June 21, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "No Doubt Hey Baby". Top40-Charts.com. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  22. ^ a b "Rock Steady". Allmusic. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  23. ^ Jeckell, Barry A. and Cohen, Jonathan. "Norah Jones Sweeps Grammys". Billboard. February 24, 2003. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  25. ^ a b "Hey Baby". Making the Video. MTV. November 6, 2007.
  26. ^ "No Doubt and Bounty from Orange County." BountyKiller.com. Retrieved July 9, 2007. Archived June 10, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Huey, Steve. Bounty Killer > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  28. ^ Kenner, Bob. "Collateral Damage". VIBE: 110–4. June 2002.
  29. ^ "The TRL Archive - Debuts". ATRL. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  30. ^ "Biography". BountyKiller.com. Retrieved August 4, 2007. Archived July 6, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Eminem scoops MTV video awards". BBC News. August 30, 2002. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  32. ^ Katie, Bailey (2002-05-13). "MuchMusic Video Awards Nominees Announced". Chart. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  33. ^ "Liner notes". Rock Steady (Compact Disc). No Doubt. San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Port Antonio, Jamaica; Kingston, Jamaica: Interscope. 2001. p. 1. 6 06949 31582 5. 
  34. ^ "Australian-charts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  35. ^ "Austriancharts.at – No Doubt – Hey Baby" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  36. ^ "Lescharts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby" (in French). Les classement single.
  37. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  38. ^ "Italiancharts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby". Top Digital Download.
  39. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – No Doubt search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – No Doubt – Hey Baby". Top 40 Singles.
  41. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby". VG-lista.
  42. ^ Romanian Top 100[dead link]
  43. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby". Singles Top 60.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – No Doubt – Hey Baby". Swiss Singles Chart.

External links[edit]