The Goo Goo Dolls are one of America’s most successful and biggest selling rock bands who first formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York. The band consists of Johnny Reznick on guitar and vocals, bassist Robby Tackak and drummer George Tutuska. Starting off originally as an underground punk band, they released their self-titled debut in 1987. For the first few years of their career, the were signed to Metal Blade, a label primarily known for heavier bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Gwar. They left this label after 1995’s A Boy Named Good, after which they released all of their further output on Warner Brothers, who had already been distributing several of their albums with Metal Blade. It was after this record where the band went from being an alternative rock band into more of a stadium band after the release of the song “Iris” in 1998 which to this day is their biggest hit.
Our Top 10 Goo Goo Dolls songs lists looks at a band who continues to be massively successful, constantly scoring high in the charts and selling millions of albums. They are a band who have made many classic mainstream rock anthems over the years and with this list, we look at the top ten greatest.
# 10 – Can’t Let It Go
The first track on this list is 2006’s Let Love In which is not considered to be the band’s strongest album, but it did still contain some great anthemic songs, of which this is one. This track wastes little time in getting to the point, featuring a great sing a long chorus, which is exactly the kind of thing that the band does best.
# 9 – Sweetest Lie
This track is from Something for the Rest of Us released in 2010. The opening track from the album, it is a good way for it to start as the track is full of energy and shows that the band can still make good music this late into their career. The Goo Goo Dolls are not the most cutting edge band in the world and you do not expect to hear things from them which make you think differently about music. However, not all music has to like that and the here the Dolls are truly proving themselves to be masters of their craft.
# 8 – Big Machine
This song was released was released in 2002 and taken from the album Gutterflower. Reznick has described it as being the band’s “disco song” which is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but this track does see the band experimenting with their sound a bit, which is not something that they do very often. Lyrically, it is reportedly a tale of unrequited love.
# 7 – Name
Next is a single from 1995’s A Boy Named Goo. It was the band’s first big hit, topping both the US Modern Rock Charts and the Album Rock Charts as well as reaching number five on the Billboard 200. It was with this song that the band start to show what would later be their transformation in into more of a pop-rock act and it increased their fan base by a lot, appealing to a more mainstream audience rather than the mainly alternative crowd that had previously made up their fans.
# 6 – Broadway
This track released in 2000 was the final single to be taken from Dizzy Up the Girl which had been released two years previously. As a single it had a lot to live up to after the huge popularity some of the album’s previous singles such as “Iris” and “Slide.” Although it did not manage to become quite as popular, it still managed to reach the decent chart position of number twenty-four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is a Springsteen-esque number which is about a street which was home to many popular youth hangouts in the band’s hometown of Buffalo.
# 5 – Let Love In
At number five we have the title track and final single from the band’s eighth album released in 2006. The song was the subject of some controversy when it was used in a television advert that year for Trojan Condoms. The advert was soon taken off air because of a negative reaction from the public, with many finding the title of the song inappropriate. However, this did not hinder its success too much, as it still managed to chart high in several different charts, including number one the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.
# 4 – Ain’t that Unusual
Here is a track from A Boy Named Goo which sees the band still playing their earlier more alternative sound, with this song being rather reminiscent of Husker Du. It is a song that is one of the best examples of their earlier sound, showing that at one time they did actually make music that was more innovative. Lyrically, it is also different to their love ballad singles, with this song being about outcasts people who are seen as “losers” by mainstream society.
# 3 – Here is Gone
This was the lead single from Gutterflower. It was another song from the Goo Goo Dolls that managed to chart high in several different lists, the highest of which was number three on the Adult Top Forty. Reznik has stated that the song is about being in a causal relationship and wanting more out of it. He also said of the writing process that inspiration for the track came from living far away from home and being single.
# 2 – Long Way Down
Just off the top spot is a track that was one of the later singles to be released from A Boy Named Goo. Another track that, like many on the album is an example of the band’s pre-stadium rock years as it once again resembles the sounds of bands such as Husker Du and The Replacements. Although it did not chart as high as other singles from the record such as “Name,” it was still successful, reaching number seven on the Billboard US Mainstream Rock chart.
# 1 – Iris
At the number one spot, what else could it possibly be? The song was originally written for the soundtrack to the movie City of Angels released in 1998 but also appeared on Dizzy up the Girl. Many will probably think that it is an overly-obvious choice putting this at number one but with a song that is such a radio hit juggernaut such as this, it provides some pretty stiff competition for pretty much any other songs in the band’s back catalog. Upon its release, it topped the chart in several different countries such as Australia, Canada and Italy.