Black Balloon (Goo Goo Dolls song)

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"Black Balloon"
Goo Goo Dolls Black Balloon.jpg
Single by Goo Goo Dolls
from the album Dizzy Up the Girl
Released June 8, 1999
Format CD single
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock
Length 3:55
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) John Rzeznik
Producer(s) Rob Cavallo, Goo Goo Dolls
Goo Goo Dolls singles chronology
"Black Balloon"

"Black Balloon"
Music video
"Black Balloon" on YouTube

"Black Balloon" is a song recorded by the Goo Goo Dolls. It was released in June 1999 as the fourth single from the band's 1998 album, Dizzy Up the Girl.

Meaning and composition[edit]

The song, according to lead singer Johnny Rzeznik, is based on a woman who is struggling with a heroin addiction and her lover who is desperately trying to save her. He has also said that it is about "seeing someone you love that is so great just screw up so bad." Speculation as to the exact subject matter of the song has also been attributed to the ex-wife of bassist Robby Takac (who had overdosed on heroin).

Like many other songs by Goo Goo Dolls, "Black Balloon" uses an unusual alternate tuning. Several electric guitars used in the introduction and the acoustic rhythm guitar are tuned to an open D-flat fifth chord. It was half-stepped on the album version.

Music video[edit]

The video for the song opens with a woman blowing smoke into a soap bubble (a "black balloon"). The video then changes focus and shows various scenes from a 50s or 60s era swim club while the band performs the song. Tracy Phillips is found in this video as well. The video was done by Nancy Bardwell.

During live performances of the song, fans can often be seen inflating black balloons and batting them around in the crowd.[1]

Track listing[edit]

United States release[edit]

  1. "Black Balloon (Radio Remix)" - 4:10
  2. "Slide (Live)" - 3:33

United Kingdom release[edit]

  1. "Black Balloon (Radio Edit)" - 4:01
  2. "Black Balloon (Album Version)" - 4:10
  3. "Naked" - 3:44

Australia release[edit]

  1. "Black Balloon"
  2. "Lazy Eye"
  3. "Naked (Remix)"
  4. "Flat Top"

Chart positions[edit]

The track was moderately successful at rock radio, reaching number 13 and number 28 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, respectively. It also became the fourth pop hit for the band, reaching number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.


External links[edit]