Just a Girl

For other uses, see Just a Girl (disambiguation).
For the Bonnie Pink album, see Just a Girl (album). For the silent film, see Just a Girl (film).
"Just a Girl"

Standard artwork (US Enhanced CD single pictured)
Single by No Doubt
from the album Tragic Kingdom
Released September 21, 1995 (United States)
Format CD
Recorded 1994
Length 3:28
Label Interscope
Producer(s) Matthew Wilder
Certification Platinum (RIANZ)
No Doubt singles chronology
"Just a Girl"
Music video
Just a Girl at Youtube.com

"Just a Girl" is a song by the American rock band No Doubt. The song was released in 1995 as the album's lead single and helped the band break into mainstream music, peaking at number 23 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Upon release in the UK in 1996 the song only reached number 38.[1] However, after the massive success of "Don't Speak" the song was re-released and managed a peak of number 3.[1]

"Just a Girl" was first aired on the Californian radio show Ska Parade.[2] It was also featured in the movie Clueless and the opening credits of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

Background and writing

After primary songwriter Eric Stefani left No Doubt in 1994, the rest of the band took on the role of songwriters for the band, which dramatically changed the band's musical style. Tragic Kingdom was the first album on which the band had written most of the material and singer Gwen Stefani had written the lyrics, and there were claims that the band had "sold out" - dropped their own style to pick up a more popular one in order to make more money. Tom Dumont explained the change of style in an interview with Backstage Online:

This album was our first attempt [to write simpler music]. It was Gwen's first time really writing all the lyrics herself so to me, it went the opposite from selling out, we have done something that is even more personal. In the past, Eric was writing songs about his life and having Gwen sing them. Now we have Gwen singing and writing about her own experiences. It makes it more natural. She's a singer, she should sing about herself or sing what she wants to sing. I think that is the main reason why our musical style has changed.[3]

The song itself is written about Gwen Stefani's exasperation over female stereotypes, portraying women as weak and in need of a man to look after them. This is evident from lyrics such as "Don't you think I know / Exactly where I stand? / This world is forcing me / To hold your hand." She explained her inspiration in an interview for BAM Magazine:

I wrote that because my dad got mad at me for going to Tony [Kanal, No Doubt bassist]'s house and driving home late at night. I mean, c'mon, I'm, like, going on 30 here! I wouldn't trade [being female], but I really don't think guys understand what a burden it can be sometimes.[4]


The song's main riff, performed on a guitar and a Roland Jupiter-8.

"Just a Girl" is a moderately fast song at 108[5] beats per minute and is written in the key of D major. Like the majority of popular music, it is set in common time.[6] The voice of the singer, Gwen Stefani, spans nearly an octave and a half, from B3 to E5 in scientific pitch notation.[6] The opening riff that Dumont uses was taken from an earlier effort by keyboardist Eric Stefani.[7] The song is heavily influenced by new wave music, using synth noise from a Roland Jupiter-8, '80s keyboards and effects, and retro sounds.

Music video

The music video was directed by Mark Kohr.

The video begins with the band members loading their silver car with recording equipment in front of the Stefani household. Gwen Stefani stands in front of a damaged red car and sings. They drive away, with Tom Dumont, Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal sitting in the backseats. The band arrive at a building where Stefani enters the ladies' bathroom, carrying a boombox, and the rest of the band enters the gents', carrying speakers, instruments and electrical equipment. The ladies' bathroom is clean, brightly decorated and well furnished with flowers, fruit and two female assistants. The gents' bathroom is dark, dirty and bare-walled. The men set up and play their equipment in the gents' while Stefani sings in ladies'. Various men and women enter their respective bathrooms; the men use the urinals and the women check their make-up, before dancing with the band. Eventually, the men take to lifting each other through the ceiling to get into the other bathroom and the video ends with everyone dancing together in the ladies'.


Peak positions

Chart (1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 37
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 30
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[11] 25
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 9
Norway (VG-lista)[14] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 23
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[17] 24
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[18] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[1] 38
Chart (1997) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[19] 21
France (SNEP)[20] 28
Germany (Official German Charts)[21] 24
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 3

End of year charts

Chart (1996) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[24] 68

Track listings

American CD single[25]
  1. "Just a Girl" – 3:28
  2. "Different People" – 4:34
  3. "Just a Girl" (video)
European CD single[26]
  1. "Just a Girl" – 3:28
  2. "Just a Girl" (live from London, UK) – 5:39
  3. "Don't Speak" (live from Hamburg, Germany) – 5:28
  4. "Hey You!" (live from Den Haag, the Netherlands) – 3:20
German CD single[26]
  1. "Just a Girl" – 3:28
  2. "Different People" – 4:34
  3. "Open the Gate" – 3:38

Cover versions


  1. 1 2 3 "No Doubt: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  2. Layne, Anni. "The Ska Parade Is Coming To Town". Rolling Stone. May 9, 1998. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  3. "Interview with Tom Dumont". No Doubt official website. October 31, 1996. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  4. Hermanson, Wendy (November 17, 1995). "Just a Girl". BAM. San Francisco. ISSN 0194-5793. OCLC 4855429. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  5. "BPM Database for No Doubt". bpmdatabase.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Just a Girl" sheet music. Hal Leonard Corporation. 1995.
  7. "Just a Girl". Montoya, Paris and Lanham, Tom. 2003. The Singles 1992-2003 (liner notes).
  8. "Australian-charts.com – No Doubt – Just a Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. "Ultratop.be – No Doubt – Just a Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. "Ultratop.be – No Doubt – Just a Girl" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. "Rock/Alternative - Volume 63, No. 15, May 27, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  12. "Dutchcharts.nl – No Doubt – Just a Girl" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. "Charts.org.nz – No Doubt – Just a Girl". Top 40 Singles.
  14. "Norwegiancharts.com – No Doubt – Just a Girl". VG-lista.
  15. "Swedishcharts.com – No Doubt – Just a Girl". Singles Top 100.
  16. "No Doubt – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for No Doubt.
  17. "No Doubt – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for No Doubt.
  18. "No Doubt – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for No Doubt.
  19. "Austriancharts.at – No Doubt – Just a Girl" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  20. "Lescharts.com – No Doubt – Just a Girl" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. "Musicline.de – No Doubt Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  22. "Swisscharts.com – No Doubt – Just a Girl". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. "No Doubt: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  24. "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  25. "American track listing of "Just a Girl"". No Doubt official website. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  26. 1 2 "International track listing of "Just a Girl"". No Doubt official website. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
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