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.
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.
The undisputed success of “Name” marked a fundamental change in the band’s sound from alternative rock to a more mainstream “adult orientated rock” direction which disappointed many of the original fans of the band.
It was “Name” that had made the band popular and they were able to make guest appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210, Charmed, and even presented an award to Michael Jackson.
Dizzy Up the Girl and Gutterflower (1997–2005)
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.
“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 their hometown of 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.
July 4, 2004 has been proclaimed “Goo Goo Dolls Day” in their native Buffalo, New York.
Greatest hits albums (2007–2008)
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.
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.
Something for the Rest of Us (2008–2011)
The Goo Goo Dolls announced recording sessions for a new album, on their official website, unrelated to their Volume Two in 2008.
In addition, the band performed as part of the O2 Wireless Festival in London’s Hyde Park in the summer of 2008, 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, as well as performing a four-show tour across England.
On June 19, 2008, at a ceremony in New York City, the band’s singer and principal songwriter John Rzeznik was named that year’s recipient of the Hal David Starlight Songwriter Award. Past recipients of the prestigious award include: Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and John Legend.
On June 12, 2009, the band mentioned on their Facebook page that the producer for their new album was Tim Palmer. 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.
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.
Something for the Rest of Us was released on August 31, 2010. 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.
The band performed a live mini concert at the Apple Store in Manhattan, New York on December 2, 2010. The show was recorded and was released in 2011 as a part of Apple’s “Live at SoHo” collection which is sold online at the iTunes Store.
On January 3, 2011, the band performed the halftime show at the Orange Bowl played between the Stanford Cardinal and the Virginia Tech Hokies. On January 30, 2011, they performed before the start of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. On February 7, 2011, they performed at the Delta Ballroom in St. John’s Newfoundland, beginning their 2011 Canadian tour.
Magnetic and Malinin’s departure (2011–2015)
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.”
On May 23, 2011, it was announced that the band had recorded a song for the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon called “All That You Are”, and was released on the film’s soundtrack on June 14, 2011. In September 2011, “Iris” reached the number three spot in the Top 40 in the UK, 13 years after its original release.
On August 9, 2012, the band announced that they had started recording their tenth studio album. 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”. Magnetic was released on June 11, 2013 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”.
The band supported the album with a co-headlining tour with Matchbox Twenty, a Canadian tour an acoustic tour with support from Run River North and a co-headlining tour with Daughtry.
On December 27, 2013, Malinin announced his departure from the band via Twitter and Facebook.
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.”
Boxes, vinyl albums, and 20th anniversary of A Boy Named Goo and touring (2015–2017)
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.
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.
On February 22, 2016, the band announced a 2016 summer tour with Collective Soul and Tribe Society to promote Boxes.
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.
You Should Be Happy EP, touring, 20th Anniversary of Dizzy Up the Girl (2017–present)
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. The tour included a performance in their hometown, Buffalo, on August 12.
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. 2018 also saw the release of two live albums for the band: The Audience is This Way in June, and The Audience is That Way in November.
The Goo Goo Dolls have been closely involved with several charities over the years. Through the organization USA Harvest, millions of meals have been distributed to people in need by generous fans bringing nonperishable goods to the band’s concerts over the course of more than a decade.
A scholarship fund was created by the band for St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in honor of Nicholas Orrange, John Rzeznik’s nephew. It is a high school with higher academic requirements. The purpose of this scholarship is to aid people who carry the grades but cannot afford the school.
Over the years the Goo Goo Dolls have also been involved with the Food Bank of Western NY and Compass House. The band has also volunteered their time to perform at events for ECHO, Light of Day, among others.
They have lent a hand for causes from Autism research, to scholastic musical programs as well as participating in, and donating to innumerable other charities.
John Rzeznik is an ambassador for VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. Robby Takac is the founder of the Music is Art Foundation.
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