Excuse Me Mr.

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"Excuse Me Mr."
Noedoubtexcusememr.jpg
US promotional CD single
Single by No Doubt
from the album Tragic Kingdom
Released August 21, 1996
Format CD
Recorded 1995
Genre
Length 3:04
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Matthew Wilder
No Doubt singles chronology
"Don't Speak"
(1996)
"Excuse Me Mr."
(1996)
"Happy Now?"
(1997)

"Excuse Me Mr." is a song recorded by American rock band No Doubt. It was released as the fourth single from their third studio album, Tragic Kingdom (1995). The single was made available as a CD single on August 21, 1996 through Trauma and Interscope. The song's lyrics describe a woman who is repeatedly trying to express her love for a man who isn't noticing her. It was later featured on No Doubt's greatest hits album, The Singles 1992-2003 (2003).

The song was received well, with some appreciating the lyrics and fast production. Commercially, the song was unsuccessful, peaking in only three countries. A music video for the song was produced by Sophie Muller and released in early 1997; it features Stefani mimicking silent films, and also performing the track in a dimly-lit room. It was later featured on No Doubt's greatest hits album, The Singles 1992-2003 (2003).

Background[edit]

The song was originally composed on the acoustic guitar, and two versions were recorded: one with country and folk influence, one with punk rock influence. Producer Matthew Wilder preferred the former, and the other, which the band preferred, was lost in a studio accident; the studio pressed No Doubt to use the folk version on Tragic Kingdom, but the band refused to record "Spiderwebs", another single from the album, unless they could re-record the punk version of "Excuse Me Mr.".[1] The folk version remains unreleased.

Composition[edit]

"Excuse Me Mr." was written by Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont while production was done by Wilder.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

"Excuse Me Mr." was commercially unsuccessful, peaking in only three countries. In the United States, the single failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked on the Alternative Songs component chart at number seventeen.[3] It lasted eleven weeks on RPM' Rock/Alternative chart, where it peaked at number twelve on the week ending March 31, 1997.[4] In New Zealand, the song was very successful, where it lasted a total of six weeks and peaked at position eleven.[5]

Music video[edit]

The rail track scene from the music video.

The music video was directed by long-time collaborator Sophie Muller. It was released in early 1997, after filming of the video concluded in January of the same year.[6] It features Gwen Stefani trying to stay in front of the camera as it moves from person to person. A 40-second portion in the middle of the video resembles silent films, with Gwen Stefani tying herself to rail tracks in front of an oncoming train (a la Pearl White) and with Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, and Adrian Young dressed as hobos.

Live performances[edit]

The band performed the song alongside "Don't Speak" in Saturday Night Live in December 1996.[7]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[4] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[5] 11
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[3] 17

Track listing[edit]

CD single[8]
No. Title Length
1. "Excuse Me Mr." 3:05

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Singles 1992–2003 (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: 6 02498 61126 5). 2003. 
  2. ^ Tragic Kingdom (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Interscope Records (Barcode: 6 0694-92580-2 3). 1995. 
  3. ^ a b "No Doubt – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for No Doubt. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3167." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – No Doubt – Excuse Me Mr.". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  6. ^ Morris, Chris; Rosen, Craig; Reynolds, J.R. (January 11, 1997). "A Final Reflection On A Departed Year: What They Said At The Billboard Awards". Billboard. p. 13. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  7. ^ Krohn, Katherine (2008). "The Big Time". Biography: Gwen Stefani. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. Retrieved November 13, 2016 – via Google Books. 
  8. ^ Excuse Me Mr. (Liner notes/ CD booklet). No Doubt. Trauma Records (Catalog: INTSP–6086). 1996.