Iris (song)

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GGD Iris.jpg
Artwork for earliest commercial release
Single by Goo Goo Dolls
from the album Dizzy Up the Girl and City of Angels
Released April 7, 1998 (1998-04-07)
Format CD
Recorded 1997 (1997)
  • 4:50 (album version)
  • 3:35 (radio edit)
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) John Rzeznik
Goo Goo Dolls singles chronology
"Lazy Eye"
"Lazy Eye"

"Iris" is a song by American alternative rock band Goo Goo Dolls. Originally written for the soundtrack of the 1998 film City of Angels, the song was later included on the band's sixth album Dizzy Up the Girl. "Iris" has contributed greatly to the band's success. The song's time signature alternates between 4
and 6
, and features an unusual guitar tuning in which most of the strings are tuned to D, lending the guitar a chorus-like effect.

Besides becoming one of the biggest alternative rock staples of the 1990s, "Iris" also remains one of the biggest crossover hits in the history of popular music, crossing over from modern rock radio to pop and adult contemporary radio, reaching number one on all of these formats and becoming the most played song of 1998 for all formats.


"Iris" is a power ballad.[3] In a 2013 interview with Songfacts, lead singer John Rzeznik explained how he wrote the song:

I was thinking about the situation of the Nicolas Cage character in the movie. This guy is completely willing to give up his own immortality, just to be able to feel something very human. And I think, "Wow! What an amazing thing it must be like to love someone so much that you give up everything to be with them." That's a pretty heavy thought.[4]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon its release, "Iris" became second of a string of hits from the film's soundtrack, City of Angels: Music from the Motion Picture. (The first was Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited" and the third was Sarah McLachlan's "Angel"). The song debuted at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart on April 18, 1998, and eventually spent a record of 18 weeks at number one in Hot 100 Airplay. However it was not allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 because no commercial single had been released. In December 1998, just after the song's airplay had peaked, the rules changed to allow airplay-only songs onto the chart. As a result, the song debuted and peaked at number 9 and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. On the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, "Iris" peaked at number eight. The song was the band's 2nd number one hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, following their 1995 hit "Name." "Iris" stayed at number one for five weeks on the Alternative Songs chart and also hit number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart for four weeks. The song spent a then-record 17 weeks at number one on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart (beating No Doubt's 15-week run at number one with "Don't Speak" in 1996–97). The Goo Goo Dolls performed "Iris" on October 20, 2001 at Madison Square Garden as part of The Concert for New York City to raise money for victims of the September 11 attacks.[5]

The song was also a major international hit. "Iris" spent 31 weeks on the charts and peaked at number five on the Irish Singles Chart; it is the nineteenth biggest-selling single there.[6]

"Iris" initially peaked at number 50 in the UK in August 1998. On 2 October 2011, following performances by auditionees on The X Factor, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 3.[7] In May 2013, the song charted at number 12 after it was covered by Britain's Got Talent contestant Robbie Kennedy.[8]


This song was also used in the production of The Bear by Anton Chekov performed by Rebecca Gove and Ioannis Bakogeorgos. Besides the song's success on the charts, "Iris" 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 Johnny Rzeznik a "Song of the Year" nomination.[9] The single was certified Platinum by the RIAA on August 18, 2008. The song was used frequently in the British comedy Gavin & Stacey.

The song was ranked at number 39 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest pop songs.[10]

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.[11]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD1
  1. "Iris" (Edit) – 4:50
  2. "Lazy Eye" – 3:45
  3. "I Don't Want To Know" – 3:37
  • CD2
  1. "Iris" – 4:51
  2. "Slide" – 3:34
  3. "Iris" (acoustic version) – 3:26
  4. "Slide" (acoustic version) – 3:15

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Closing Time" by Semisonic
Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
July 4, 1998 – August 1, 1998
Succeeded by
"Inside Out" by Eve 6
Preceded by
"Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
"The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy & Monica
Canadian Singles Chart number-one single
July 13, 1998 – August 10, 1998
August 24, 1998 – September 7, 1998
Succeeded by
"The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy & Monica
"Crush" by Jennifer Paige
Preceded by
"María" by Ricky Martin
Australian Singles Chart number-one single
August 2, 1998 – September 6, 1998
Succeeded by
"High" by Lighthouse Family
Preceded by
"I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith
"Believe" by Cher
Italian Singles Chart number-one single
November 21, 1998 – December 12, 1998
December 26, 1998
Succeeded by
"Believe" by Cher
"Believe" by Cher

Cover versions and appearances in media[edit]


  1. ^ LaPage, Mark (December 1998). "Review: Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up the Girl". Spin. 
  2. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (April 24, 2006). "Let Love In (Music - The Goo Goo Dolls)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Influences: Avril Lavigne – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Rovi. Archived from the original on May 2, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ "John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls". Songfacts. Retrieved January 21, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls Songfacts". 
  6. ^ a b Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Sak Noel tops UK singles chart with 'Loca People'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  8. ^ "Midweek Charts: Rudimental Home in on No.1". Music Week. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  9. ^ 41st annual Grammy nominees and winners Archived 2006-12-22 at the Wayback Machine.. 24 February 1999. CNN. Accessed 2008-03-07.
  10. ^ "Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Pop Songs". Listology. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  11. ^ "The Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012, From No. 100 To No. 1 - Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  12. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 67, No. 23, August 31, 1998". RPM. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  14. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Top Annuali Single: 1998". Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  15. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". Singles Top 100.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Goo Goo Dolls: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  18. ^ "Goo Goo Dolls Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Goo Goo Dolls Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Goo Goo Dolls Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Goo Goo Dolls Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  22. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Iris". Irish Singles Chart.
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Goo Goo Dolls" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  25. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". VG-lista.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  27. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  28. ^ " – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  29. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  30. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1999". Archived from the original on 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  31. ^ "Italian single certifications – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2014-12-12.  Enter Iris in the search field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ Copsey, Rob (September 19, 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Goo Goo Dolls – Iris". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2014-12-12.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  35. ^ "Marcie Sings "Iris" at Al's Funeral - YouTube". Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  36. ^ Corner, Lewis (December 11, 2011). "Leona Lewis: 'Hurt EP' review". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  37. ^ Kellin Quinn (2012-05-29), Sleeping With Sirens - Iris (Goo Goo Dolls Cover), retrieved 2016-12-17 

External links[edit]