Goo Goo Dolls

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Goo Goo Dolls
Goo Goo Dolls in 2013. From left to right: John Rzeznik, Robby Takac
Goo Goo Dolls in 2013. From left to right: John Rzeznik, Robby Takac
Background information
OriginBuffalo, New York, U.S.
Years active1986–present
Associated acts
Past members

The Goo Goo Dolls are an American rock band formed in 1986[4] in Buffalo, New York, by guitarist/vocalist John Rzeznik, bassist/vocalist Robby Takac, and drummer George Tutuska.[5] The band has had 19 top ten singles on various charts.[6]

The Goo Goo Dolls are renowned for their biggest hit single, "Iris", released in 1998. The song spent nearly 12 straight months on the Billboard charts, and held the number one position on the Hot 100 Airplay chart for 18 weeks. In October 2012, "Iris" was ranked #1 on Billboard's "Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012" chart. Other notable singles include "Name"[7] and "Naked" from 1995's A Boy Named Goo; "Slide", "Black Balloon", "Dizzy", and "Broadway" from 1998's Dizzy Up the Girl; "Here Is Gone" from 2002's Gutterflower; "Better Days", "Give a Little Bit", and "Stay with You" from 2006's Let Love In; and "Home" from 2010's Something for the Rest of Us.

Origins and early music (1986–1993)[edit]

The band's original lineup included John Rzeznik (guitar, vocals), Robby Takac (bass, vocals), and George Tutuska (drums, percussion). Takac and Tutuska had been long-time friends in school and met Rzeznik while he was playing in the band The Beaumonts with Takac's cousin, Paul Takac and close friend Michael Harvey who was the inspiration for the band.[8] The trio picked their name from a True Detective ad for a toy called a Goo Goo Doll.[9] "We were young and we were a garage band not trying to get a deal. We had a gig that night and needed a name. It's the best we came up with, and for some reason it stuck. If I had five more minutes, I definitely would have picked a better name", said Rzeznik. With Takac as their lead singer, the band released their first album, Goo Goo Dolls in 1987 on Mercenary Records, but was picked up in 1988 by Celluloid Records, a larger record company. They played around Buffalo's underground music circuit and across the country opening for punk bands such as Gang Green, SNFU, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion, Motorhead, ALL, The Dead Milkmen, Doughboys, Big Drill Car, The Gun Club, Uniform Choice, The Dickies, and DRI and playing with fellow Buffalo bands. The band released its second album, Jed, in 1989.[10]

The band released its third album, Hold Me Up, in 1990 and featured Rzeznik as the lead vocalist on five tracks, including the single, "There You Are"—as well as their then concert favorite, "Two Days in February". After being embraced by local college radio and punk scenes (including such venues as CBGB), the Goo Goo Dolls incorporated elements of heavy metal, pop rock, and punk rock into the album. In 1991, the song "I'm Awake Now" was recorded for the soundtrack of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.[citation needed]

Superstar Car Wash, released in 1993, received significant media attention. The critical success and encouraging sales of their last album resulted in a larger budget from Metal Blade Records. The album was partially recorded at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ontario. The single "We Are the Normal" received a major push toward play on college and independent radio, and its video was displayed on MTV's 120 Minutes program. "Fallin' Down" made it onto the 1993 soundtrack of Pauly Shore's hit film Son in Law.[citation needed]

Mainstream success (1993–2010)[edit]

A Boy Named Goo, legal issues, and Tutuska's departure (1993–1997)[edit]

Shortly after recording the band's fifth album A Boy Named Goo, Tutuska was fired from the band. He was replaced by Mike Malinin, and the band toured rigorously.[citation needed]

A Boy Named Goo, released in 1995, had a catchy rock sound, and became one of the most successful alternative rock albums of the mid-1990s. It sold modestly in this time; however, it was not until the release of the single "Name" that the band experienced any viable commercial success. A Boy Named Goo became the first album in Metal Blade history to achieve double-platinum status. This success, however, proved bittersweet, as the band found themselves in a legal battle with Metal Blade records. The band filed suit against Metal Blade, claiming they had not earned any royalties from their album's sales, which was attributed to a "grossly unfair, one-sided and unenforceable contract" which had been signed by the band in 1987.[11] The two sides reached a settlement which had the band signed to the Metal Blade's distributing label, Warner Bros. Records, under which the band released their sixth album, Dizzy Up the Girl, in 1998.[12] The undisputed success of "Name" marked a fundamental change in the band's sound from alternative rock to a more mainstream, adult-oriented direction; this disappointed many of the original fans of the band. "Name" made the band popular, and led to guest appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210, Charmed, and even presented an award to Michael Jackson.[citation needed]

Dizzy Up the Girl and Gutterflower (1997–2005)[edit]

Rzeznik was approached to write a song for the City of Angels soundtrack, and the end product was "Iris". This song continued the band's fame, as it stayed on top of Billboard Hot 100 Airplay charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks and spent 4 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Pop Songs chart. Later that year, it was nominated for three Grammys. According to several interviews with Rzeznik, he was experiencing serious bouts of writer's block when he was approached, and was on the verge of quitting the band days before he wrote the song.[13]

"Iris" was included on the triple-platinum Dizzy Up the Girl, and was among top-ten hits "Slide", "Black Balloon", "Broadway", and "Dizzy" from the same album. In 2001, the Goos released their first ever compilation CD, What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce. Next, Gutterflower (2002) achieved gold certification, producing the hits "Here Is Gone", "Sympathy", and "Big Machine". On July 4, 2004, the band performed a free concert in Buffalo, playing through a deluge of rain that can be seen on the DVD released later that year. The DVD also contained a studio version of the Goo Goo Dolls' cover of "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp. The single reached the top of the Adult Top 40 chart in 2005.[citation needed] July 4, 2004 has been proclaimed "Goo Goo Dolls Day" in their native Buffalo, New York.[14]

Goo Goo Dolls perform their song "Before It's Too Late" from the OST of the 2007 film Transformers at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, on July 22, 2007.

Let Love In (2005–2007)[edit]

In 2006, the Goo Goo Dolls marked their 20th anniversary with their new album Let Love In, which included the studio recording of "Give a Little Bit" as well as other top 10 radio singles "Better Days", "Stay with You", and "Let Love In". With their third consecutive single ("Let Love In") from the album, the Goo Goo Dolls hit a record 12 top 10 hits in Adult Top 40 history, beating Matchbox Twenty and Sheryl Crow until Matchbox Twenty's release of Exile on Mainstream and the Goo Goo Dolls' release of "Before It's Too Late" from the Transformers Soundtrack, which left both groups with 13 top 10 hits in the Adult Top 40. Goo Goo Dolls planned to release another single from Let Love In, "Without You Here", as well as a song from the July 2007 Transformers movie called "Before It's Too Late", originally titled "Fiction". To promote the new single, the Goo Goo Dolls performed "Before It's Too Late" at both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 8, 2007, and again at The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on June 22, 2007.[15]

On June 27, 2007, the Goo Goo Dolls performed to a sold-out crowd at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. The performance premiered on HDNet in high–definition on Sunday, September 30. The entire concert was released as a DVD on the limited edition version of their 2008 release, Vol.2.[citation needed] Though the album has not (as of 2007) been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), various music sites have asserted that it has gone gold.[16]

Greatest hits albums (2007–2008)[edit]

The band onstage
The band performing "Slide" in 2007

On November 13, 2007, the Goo Goo Dolls released a greatest hits album entitled Greatest Hits Volume One: The Singles, which includes a new version of "Name" recorded and mixed by Paul David Hager, and a remix of "Feel the Silence" by Michael Brauer.[17] On August 19, 2008, a second greatest hits album was released entitled Vol.2, which includes b-sides, rarities, and a live performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre from their "Let Love In" tour.

The band performed "Better Days" and "Stay With You" at the halftime of the Detroit Lions' 2007 Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field, which focused on the United Way and the NFL's commitment to youth health and fitness.[18]

Something for the Rest of Us (2008–2010)[edit]

The Goo Goo Dolls announced recording sessions for a new album, on their official website, unrelated to their Volume Two in 2008.[19] In addition, the band performed as part of the O2 Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park in the summer of 2008,[20] at the Miller Lite Rock 'N Racing show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifying for the 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,[21] as well as performing a four-show tour across England.

On June 12, 2009, the band mentioned on their Facebook page that the producer for their new album was Tim Palmer.[22] On August 15, 2009, Robby Takac posted an update on his Twitter account stating that the recording for the new album had been completed, and the mixing of the album was yet to be done.[23] Then on September 18, 2009, John Rzeznik stated in an interview on Good Day L.A., that the new album had tentatively been titled Something for the Rest of Us.[24]

Something for the Rest of Us was released on August 31, 2010.[25] While the album was full of the pop-rock that has sustained the band for decades, lead singer/guitarist Rzeznik's songwriting took on a more somber, serious tone.[26] Something for the Rest of Us included the single "Home", which extended the band's record to 14 top ten hits at the Hot AC radio format (more than any other artist in the history of that format).[27]

The band performed a live mini-concert at the Apple Store in Manhattan, New York on December 2, 2010.[28]

Later career (2010–present)[edit]

Magnetic and Malinin's departure (2010–2015)[edit]

During an interview with UpVenue on February 16, 2011, Rzeznik confirmed that he was writing new material for a new album: "I've actually been experimenting, in this last week, while we've been out on this tour, just writing lyrics and then figuring out the melodic structures", said Rzeznik. "We can't wait another four years to put another album out; that's just a ridiculous waste of time."[29]

On August 9, 2012, the band announced that they had started recording their tenth studio album.[30] The new album, titled Magnetic, was recorded using multiple producers. On January 18, 2013, the band released the first single off of Magnetic titled "Rebel Beat".[31] Magnetic was released on June 11, 2013 [32] and debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. On July 19, 2013, the band released the second single off of Magnetic, "Come to Me".[33]

The band supported the album with a co-headlining tour with Matchbox Twenty, a Canadian tour,[34] an acoustic tour with support from Run River North,[35] and a co-headlining tour with Daughtry.[36]

On December 27, 2013, Malinin announced his departure from the band via Twitter[37] and Facebook.[38]

The Goo Goo Dolls contributed to the soundtrack of the broadway musical Finding Neverland in 2015. The soundtrack, released June 9, 2015, contained the song "If the World Turned Upside Down."[39]

Boxes, 20th anniversary of A Boy Named Goo and touring (2015–2017)[edit]

The band spent the majority of 2015 in the studio writing and recording their eleventh studio album, Boxes, at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Washington. Robby Takac revealed that there were eleven tracks, two of which were songs he sang lead vocals on, and that three out of eleven tracks were already completed. The album was released on May 6, 2016.[citation needed]

The Goo Goo Dolls celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of A Boy Named Goo by releasing a special edition of the album on November 27, 2015. The special edition contains the original track listing of the album, along with seven unreleased tracks. In addition, Dizzy Up the Girl and A Boy Named Goo were released for the first time on vinyl on October 8 and November 27, respectively.[40][41]

On February 22, 2016, the band announced a 2016 summer tour with Collective Soul and Tribe Society to promote Boxes.[42]

Goo Goo Dolls released an exclusive vinyl box set for Record Store Day on April 22, 2017 entitled Pick Pockets, Petty Thieves, and Tiny Victories (1987–1995) on Warner Bros. Records. The five vinyl disc box set features their first five studio albums, including their first album, Goo Goo Dolls on vinyl for the first time since 1987, Hold Me Up for the first time on vinyl domestically, Superstar Car Wash and Jed for the first time ever on vinyl and A Boy Named Goo. There were just 1,000 copies of the box set pressed.[43]

You Should Be Happy, Miracle Pill, and Christmas album (2017–2020)[edit]

On May 12, 2017, Goo Goo Dolls released a five-song EP entitled You Should Be Happy. The EP features four original songs, as well as a remix of the title track from their last album, "Boxes". In support of the EP, the band toured throughout the summer of 2017 on the "Long Way Home" tour with Phillip Phillips.[44] The tour included a performance in their hometown, Buffalo, on August 12.[45] With 2018 marking the 20th anniversary of Dizzy Up the Girl, the band embarked on a commemorative tour where they performed the album in its entirety. The tour began on September 30, and wrapped that November. Also in 2018, the band released two live albums: The Audience is This Way in June, and The Audience is That Way in November.[citation needed]

At the beginning of 2019, the Goo Goo Dolls announced on Twitter that they were working on a twelfth studio album. On record store day (April 13, 2019), a vinyl box limited to 1000 copies under the name Topography was released. The box set includes studio albums from 1998 to 2013 (Dizzy Up the Girl, Gutterflower, Let Love In, Something For The Rest of Us, and Magnetic). On June 21, 2019, the single Miracle Pill was released, the first single from the twelfth studio album of the same name, which was released on September 13. From there the songs Money, Fame & Fortune, Indestructible and Fearless were extracted as singles.

On August 24, 2020, they announced their first Christmas album: It's Christmas All Over, which was released on October 30. Later that year, Rzeznik sat down with Atwood Magazine to discuss the band's 35th anniversary.[7]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums

Accolades, awards, and nominations[edit]

"Iris", the band's 1998 hit single, enjoyed critical acclaim. At the 41st Grammy Awards, "Iris" received nominations for "Record of the Year" and "Pop Performance by a Duo or Group." The song also garnered John Rzeznik a "Song of the Year" nomination.[50] The song was ranked at number 39 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest pop songs.[51]

In October 2012, "Iris" was ranked number one on Billboard's "Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012" chart, which ranked the top songs of the first 20 years of the Mainstream Top 40/Pop Songs chart. The list also featured the Goo Goo Dolls' hits "Slide", ranking at number nine, and "Name" at number 24. The Goo Goo Dolls are the only musicians to have three songs on the list, two breaking the top 10 and all three falling within the top 25. They are also the only musicians that have back to back singles (Iris, 1998 and Slide, 1999) featured on the list.[52]

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1995 "Name" Top Modern Rock Track Nominated
1998 "Iris" Top Hot 100 Airplay Track Nominated
Top Adult Top 40 Track Nominated
Themselves Top Adult Top 40 Artist Nominated
1999 Won
Top Hot Top 40 Artist Won
Top Hot 100 Singles Artist Nominated
Top Hot 100 Singles Artist – Duo/Group Nominated
"Slide" Top Hot 100 Airplay Track Nominated
Top Hot Top 40 Track Won
Top Adult Top 40 Track Won

Other awards[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result
1998 Grammy Awards "Iris" Song of the Year (John Rzeznik) Nominated
Record of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals Won
MTV Video Music Awards Best Video from a Film Nominated
Billboard Music Video Awards Pop Clip of the Year Nominated
1999 MTV Movie Awards Best Song from a Movie Nominated
Radio Music Awards Song of the Year – Adult Hit Radio Won
Online Music Awards Themselves Favorite Rock Group[53] Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music Group Nominated
2000 Choice Music: Rock Group Nominated
Radio Music Awards Artist of the Year – Alternative/Pop Radio Won
ASCAP Pop Awards "Slide" Song of the Year Won
Grammy Awards "Black Balloon" Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals Nominated
2001 ASCAP Pop Awards Most Performed Songs Won
"Slide" Won
2003 "Here Is Gone" Won
2005 Radio Music Awards Themselves Artist of the Year – Adult Hit Radio Won
"Give A Little Bit" Song of the Year – Adult Hit Radio Nominated
2007 ASCAP Pop Awards "Better Days" Most Performed Song Won
2008 The Average Lives of Students Music Awards Themselves Excellence Award Won
Songwriters Hall of Fame John Rzeznik Hal David Starlight Award Won
2013 Guitar Center RockWalk Hall of Fame Themselves RockWalk Hall of Fame Won


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External links[edit]