Tragic Kingdom - No Doubt


If you didn’t fall in love with Age of Empires II at one point, you are a chump. There, I said it.

“Choppa”. (I preferred the Britons)

How the hell does No Doubt’s 1995 “Tragic Kingdom” relate to Age of Empires II, you ask?

It’s simple. When playing a cracked, disk-image version of AoEII on my parents old Windows ME (yes, I know) machine, the game would still spin up whatever disc happened to be in the CD-ROM drive at the time. In a true testament to childhood laziness, “Tragic Kingdom” was that disc for a good number of weeks or months.

I heard “Excuse Me Mr.” blast into its first bars thousands of times.

An interesting tidbit: my brother and I both played songs from this album at our high school’s Winter Formal half-time show Battle of the Bands. His band played “Different People” and mine played “Sunday Morning”. I think his performance was better.

This album has gone on to be a classic for just about everyone who ever heard it, and it’s easy to see why. This was Gwen at her best. This was third-wave ska, if not at its finest, at least in its most pure, idiomatic form. Other names from this time period pleasantly spring to mind: Goldfinger. Fishbone. Sublime. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Dance Hall Crashers. Reel Big Fish. Less Than Jake.

All things considered, not a bad bug for a cracked copy of a game, I’d say.

Sounds like: 90s.

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