Name (song)

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Single by Goo Goo Dolls
from the album A Boy Named Goo
Released September 26, 1995
Format CD single, cassette single
Recorded 1994
Length 4:30 (album version)
4:03 (single edit)
4:15 (2007 re-recording)
Label Metal Blade/Warner Bros.
Writer(s) John Rzeznik
Producer(s) Lou Giordano
Goo Goo Dolls singles chronology
"Flat Top"

"Name" is an alternative rock song by the American rock band Goo Goo Dolls. It was released in September 1995 as the third single from the album A Boy Named Goo. As the band's first hit, the song topped both the US Modern Rock chart and the US Album Rock chart, and reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

Although the Goo Goo Dolls were considered an alternative group prior to the single's release, "Name" crossed over to pop and adult contemporary radio, greatly increasing the band's fan base.

Prior to the release of the Dizzy Up the Girl album three years later, "Name" was the band's most successful single. It is currently their 3rd most successful single, after "Iris" and "Slide".

The band re-recorded this song for their compilation album, Greatest Hits Volume One: The Singles; this version featured minimal arrangements and production.

Track listing[edit]

CD single
  1. "Name" - 4:30
  2. "Nothing Can Change You" - 3:14
  3. "I Wanna Destroy You" - 2:35
German promo single
  1. "Name" (Single edit)
Cassette single
  1. "Name"
  2. "Burnin' Up"

Song composition[edit]

The song's unusual guitar tuning, D-A-E-A-E-E,[3] is accomplished by replacing the B string with a high E string. In an interview with Guitar World Magazine, the singer and songwriter Johnny Rzeznik explained: "Both the top strings are high E strings. Whenever I tried tuning a regular B string up to E, it would pop. It was really tough on the tension. I've seen guys play 'Name' with regular tuning. It doesn't sound right."[4] Rzeznik says that the song's unusual composition happened "quite accidentally". In an interview with KFOG, he explained: "It was weird, I was just sitting on my couch randomly twisting the tuning pegs, and I couldn't figure out what notes the guitar was tuned to, so I had to grab my tuner to find out, and then I jotted them down on a post it. ... I just sat there and let my fingers play the fretboard openly, and that is what became the progression of 'Name'."[5]

In her book The Kennedy Chronicles, former MTV VJ Kennedy claimed that the song was actually about her complicated relationship with Rzeznik, with the lyrics referring to their time together and her full name being a secret to most. Rzeznik admitted to the inspiration in the book, saying "I was trying to capture a was pretty interesting to have a song inspired by a moment. And I thought it was a very sweet song."[6]


In October 2012, "Name" was ranked #24 on Billboard's "Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012" chart. This chart also featured the Goo Goo Dolls' hits "Slide" (ranking at #9) and "Iris" (which topped the chart, at #1). The Goo Goo Dolls are the only musicians to have three songs chart 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.[7]

Chart positions[edit]

Preceded by
"Comedown" by Bush
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
October 7, 1995
Succeeded by
"Hand in My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette
Preceded by
"Lump" by The Presidents of the United States of America
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
October 28 – November 11, 1995
Succeeded by
"My Friends" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Preceded by
"Hard as a Rock" by AC/DC
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
November 4 – December 2, 1995
Succeeded by
"My Friends" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Preceded by
Lump by The Presidents of the United States of America
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 number-one single
October 9, 1995
Succeeded by
"Geek Stink Breath" by Green Day

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unterberger, Andrew. "Top Ten Mediocre Post-Grunge / Alternative Bands". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 260.
  3. ^ Dolls, G. (1996). Goo Goo Dolls - a Boy Named Goo*. Milwaukee: HAL LEONARD.
  4. ^ "Guitar World Magazine, May 1996 "Goo Vibrations"". NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Guitar World Acoustic, Issue 29 "A Simple Twist of Fate"". NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, The Kennedy Chronicles. 2013, Macmillan. pp103-105.
  7. ^ "The Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012, From No. 100 To No. 1". Billboard. 1992-10-03. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  8. ^ " – The Goo Goo Dolls – Name". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 64, No. 18, December 16, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 

External links[edit]