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The Goo Goo Dolls Biography

Home > Music > G > Goo Goo Dolls, The > Biography

Birth Place: Buffalo, New York, United States
Years Active: 1986-present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock, Post-grunge, Punk

The Goo Goo Dolls are an American rock band formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York by lead vocalist and guitarist John Rzeznik and bass guitarist and back up vocalist Robby Takac. Since the end of 1994, Mike Malinin has been the band's drummer, a position previously held by George Tutuska.

The band released their first album, “Goo Goo Dolls” in 1987 on Mercenary Records, but was picked up in 1988 by Celluloid Records, a larger record company. The band released its second album, “Jed,” in 1989 after moving to Los Angeles.

They released their third album, “Hold Me Up,” in 1990 which was the first to feature Rzeznik as the lead vocalist, who sang on five tracks, including the single, "There You Are.” Goo Goo Dolls' third release incorporated elements of heavy metal, pop rock, and punk rock. In 1991, the song “I'm Awake Now” was recorded for the soundtrack of “Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.”

“Superstar Car Wash,” released in 1993, received significant media attention. The critical success and encouraging sales of their last album resulted in a larger budget from Metal Blade Records. The album was partially recorded in Metalworks Studio in Mississauga, Ontario. “We Are the Normal,” received a major push toward play on college and independent radio.

Fallin' Down” made it onto the 1993 soundtrack of Pauly Shore's hit film “Son in Law.”

Shortly after recording the band's fifth album, 1995’s “A Boy Named Goo,” George Tutuska was kicked out of the band, hiring Mike Malinin to as his replacement. “A Boy Named Goo” had a catchy rock sound, and became one of most successful alternative rock albums of mid-90's, peaking at #27 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It was not until the release of the single “Name” that the band experienced any viable commercial success. “A Boy Named Goo” later achieved double-platinum status.

This success, however, proved bittersweet, as the band found themselves in a legal battle with Metal Blade records. 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.

Rzeznik was approached to write a song for the “City of Angels” soundtrack, and the end product was “Iris.” This song propelled the band to stardom, as it stayed at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for a record-breaking 18 weeks, and was nominated for three Grammys that year. “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. The album was their first Top 20 entry on the Billboard 200, peaking at #15.

In 2001, the Goos released their first ever compilation album, “What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce.” “Gutterflower” released in 2002 achieved gold certification, while producing the hits “Here Is Gone,” “Sympathy” and “Big Machine.” It remains their highest charting album, peaking at #4 on the Billboard 200.

In 2006, the Goo Goo Dolls marked their 20th anniversary with their album “Let Love In,” which included the studio recording of Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit” as well as other Top 10 radio singles, “Better Days,” “Stay With You” and “Let Love In.” With their third single from the album, “Let Love In,” the Goo Goo Dolls hit a record 12 Top 10 hits on the Adult Top 40 chart, beating Matchbox Twenty and Sheryl Crow. The album became their second Top 10 on the Billboard 200, peaking at #9.

“Something for the Rest of Us” was released in 2010. While the album is full of the pop-rock that has sustained the band for decades, lead singer/guitarist Rzeznik's songwriting takes on a more somber, serious tone. The album reached #7 on the Billboard 200 in 2010.