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A closer look at the Goo Goo Dolls

By Amber Case
On February 28, 2013


   Many students were delighted to hear that the Goo Goo Dolls would be coming to Marist for the 2013 Spring Concert when the Student Programming Council made the big announcement on their Facebook page. For those who are unfamiliar with the alternative rock band, the Goo Goo Dolls formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1986. Their name was inspired by a True Detective advertisement for a toy called a goo goo doll. At the time, the band had to come up with a name quickly, and this particular ad caught their attention. Lead singer John Rzeznik has stated in past interviews that if the band had even five more minutes to come up with a band name, then they probably would have chosen something different. Along with Rzeznik, the other band members include bassist Robby Takac and percussionist Mike Malinin. Malinin replaced original member George Tutuska as drummer in 1995.

   Although the trio has been in the music industry for 27 years, it was not until 1995 that the Goo Goo Dolls had their first hit. Between 1986 and 1993, the group released four albums which spawned three singles but garnered little recognition. The Goo Goo Dolls recorded the song "I'm Awake Now" for the 1991 horror film "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare," and their third single "We Are Normal" peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Alternative Songs music chart in 1993. Upon the release of the band's fifth album "A Boy Named Goo," the Goo Goo Dolls finally achieved a mainstream breakthrough. The album was certified double platinum in the U.S. and the single "Name" became their most successful hit in the nine years that the group had been recording music. It was the success of "Boy" that helped propel the Dolls to release their undoubted masterpiece,  "Dizzy Up the Girl." "Dizzy Up The Girl" was released in 1998 and features the most widely known songs of the group's history. Leading the band to three Grammy nominations the following year, "Iris" stayed at number one on the Hot 100 Airplay Chart for 18 weeks; a record that still stands after 15 years. Ranked No. 39 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs, the rock ballad is perhaps the most famous Goo Goo Dolls song ever released along with "Black Balloon," which also earned the trio a Grammy nomination. "Dizzy Up the Girl" also features fan favorites "Slide" and "Broadway."

   The Goo Goo Dolls have released three albums since the certified triple platinum "Dizzy Up the Girl" and announced a tenth album, "Magnetic," to be out on May 7, 2013. Goo Goo Dolls singles are still present on the Adult Top 40 Billboard chart, even peaking at number one for the band's cover of "Give A Little Bit" by Supertramp in 2005. In recent years, the band has continued to make music that has been featured in movies and television shows such as "Transformers," "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" and "Smallville." The group often performs for sold-out crowds at concerts, but have been performing at smaller venues as well, such as sporting events. The band performed at halftime of the Detroit Lions' 2007 Thanksgiving football game and prior to kickoff at the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The Goo Goo Dolls have three compilation albums including a two-volume Greatest Hits. In 2008, John Rzeznik was awarded the coveted Hal David Award for songwriting by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other notable recipients of the award have been Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and John Legend.

   Before the band arrives at the Marist College Riverfront on April 28, they will be playing in Florida, California and North Carolina beginning on March 3. The group will release the first single "Rebel Beat" off of their upcoming album on Feb. 19. Be sure to listen to the latest Goo Goo Dolls music in preparation for the 2013 Spring Concert. It is sure to be an exciting show! 

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