Rarities #26: No Doubt Boom Box (2003)
During my recent trip to Auckland, I made a pilgrimage to one super cool record shop, called Real Groovy Record Store. It was located just 5 minutes from where my hotel was located at in Queen Street. I read about it in Lonely Planet before I set off for the trip and I was very excited to visit the store.
So when I finally had a day off for free-and-easy, I headed for the store and I wasn't disappointed. I spent 3 and a half hours in there. It's one of those old-fashioned record store that is really rare now. It's everything HMV is not.
The store itself is huge, occupying a building of its own. And the interior is not so brightly-lit and organised like HMV. Rather, it is more haphazard with rows and rows of stuff everywhere. It sold CDs, DVDs, vinyls, books, T-shirts, basically all the shit. There was also a stage where I believe some bands will perform when they launch their albums or stuff. In a word, cool.
I love the shop. Reminded me a lot of the old Tower Records/Tower Books at Pacific Plaza in Singapore. It was my ambition to work in Tower Records and it still is. Oh man, I love the old-school record shops.
Anyway, the reason for the long story is because I found this rarity in Real Groovy. It's really a treasure trove there. In addition to the 3 and a half hours there, I also spent about 200 bucks on stuff. Could have been more, but I resisted like mad.
But yeah, I have been searching for No Doubt's Boom Box for a long, long time. I only knew it existed but I didn't know how it looked like. And I was so happy when I finally found it.
This Boom Box collection is a great box set. The four discs in it are actually available for purchase separately, but it's always nice to have them in one tidy little box. And there's also a nice booklet that includes the lyrics to all the songs as well as stories behind the tracks.
The first disc is The Singles 1992 - 2003, containing 15 of their greatest hits. It's a strong collection and it showcases how No Doubt have evolved over the years - from their early punk ska sounds to the more synthetic dance grooves in the new millenium.
Disc Two is The Videos 1992 - 2003, which also contains 15 videos but substitues It's My Life with Oi To The World. Disc Three is the B-sides and remixes disc, titled Everything In Time. Haven't heard this yet though.
Disc Four is the concert DVD Live In The Tragic Kingdom. I remember watching this on VCD sometime back, and I was always looking forward to watching it again. It's a very good concert. Gwen Stefani sure knows how to work the crowd, and the part where she asks the guys to sing the line "I'm just a girl" is always funny. The band is top-notch too.
With the release of this collection, No Doubt took a hiatus and Gwen went to do her own stuff, releasing two highly successful solo albums in the meantime. Word is that they are re-grouping and releasing a new album this year. Apparently the songs have been recorded already - they're just waiting for Gwen to record her vocals.
It will definitely be one of my most-anticipated albums this year and I can't wait to hear how their sound is going to evolve next. No Doubt rules!