Trapped in a Box

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"Trapped in a Box"
Single by No Doubt
from the album No Doubt
Released February 25, 1992 (1992-02-25)
Format CD single
Length 3:24
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Eric Stefani
Tom Dumont
Gwen Stefani
Tony Kanal
Producer(s) Dito Godwin, No Doubt
No Doubt chronology
"Trapped in a Box"

"Trapped in a Box" is a 1992 song by American rock band No Doubt. It was released as their debut single on February 25, 1992 from their debut album No Doubt. Despite failing to chart in the Billboard Hot 100, it was included on their greatest hits album The Singles 1992-2003.


A sample from the only single released from the album.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Within the booklet from The Singles 1992-2003 is a blurb on each song. The short paragraph on "Trapped in a Box" states:

The oldest track in this collection, "Trapped in a Box" is the sole representative of No Doubt's eponymous major label debut and a good barometer for their development. Beginning as a poem Tom wrote for school, bandleader at the time Eric Stefani then shaped the arrangement with everyone contributing lyrics. Together for six years when recorded, the band had moved beyond their ska roots. The horn section and quasi-ska rhythms remain inspired by those early Madness/Fishbone influences, while the emerging sense of flow and pop bounce makes the track a benchmark for the time and a notable milestone today. Ostensibly their first official single, "Trapped" was admittedly too out there for the radio of the time. It wasn't aggressively promoted and largely fell upon deaf ears in a world enthralled with an "alternative revolution" mainly centered on male aggression. That changed soon enough.[1]

The song is based on a poem that guitarist Tom Dumont wrote about being addicted to television and how it can control one's way of thinking.[1] 19.5degs described the song as "skiffling" and "the weakest track [on The Singles 1992-2003] in the way of singing, but [with] smart lyrics".[2] Music OMH, however, described the song as a "kooky, almost novelty single"[3] and CD Universe described the song as a "rhythmic workout".[4] Rhapsody, in a positive review, described it as "one of the album's highlights" and Allmusic called it "as exciting" as two of No Doubt's more successful singles, "Hella Good" and "Just a Girl".[5]

Music video[edit]

After the disappointing sales of No Doubt, Interscope did not wish to finance the release of a single from the record. However, the band financed the shooting of a video for the song "Trapped in a Box" out of their own pockets. Roughly $5,000 was spent on it. The video got local airplay in Orange County but, despite the band's hopes, it was never aired on either MTV or VH1, although it was played on MuchMusic in Canada. It failed to achieve status on any chart. In 2003 the song was released on No Doubt's greatest hits compilation album The Singles 1992-2003 and the video was released on the companion DVD of music videos, The Videos 1992-2003.

This is the only music video to feature original keyboardist Eric Stefani, who left in 1994. The video was directed by Mike Zykoff.

Track listing[edit]

CD single[edit]

  1. "Trapped in a Box" - 3:24


  1. ^ a b Montoya, Paris; Lanham, Tom (2003). The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes) - Trapped in a Box. No Doubt. 
  2. ^ "Singles reviews". 19.5degs. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  3. ^ McDonnell, Sarah. "No Doubt - The Singles 1992-2003 (Interscope)". Music OMH. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ "No Doubt Singles 1992-2003". CD Universe. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Singles 1992-2003". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2009.