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This US rock band, formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1986, originally comprised Robby Takac (b. 30 September 1964, USA; bass/vocals), Johnny Rzeznik (b. John Rzeznik, 5 December 1965, Buffalo, New York, USA; guitar/vocals) and George Tutuska (drums). Taking their name from an advertisement in a magazine, the band’s first two albums were compared to Cheap Trick and the Replacements. They started doing unlikely cover versions on the second of these, 1989’s Jed, when the professional crooner Lance Diamond sang guest vocals on a cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Down On The Corner’. He also sang on a version of Prince’s ‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’ on 1990’s Hold Me Up. Both albums featured unpretentious pop punk songwriting, and the band was now being celebrated by a growing number of fans in the media. Their commercial breakthrough came with 1995’s hit single ‘Name’ and A Boy Named Goo, which was produced by Pere Ubu, Hüsker Dü and Sugar accomplice Lou Giordano.

The Goo Goo Dolls’ career showed signs of stalling in the mid-90s following litigation with their record company Warner Brothers Records and the departure of Tutuska following the recording of A Boy Named Goo. Mike Malinin (b. 10 October 1967, USA) replaced him and the band was saved by the anthemic ‘Iris’, which became a huge radio hit after featuring on the soundtrack of the Nicolas Cage movie, City Of Angels. Having built up a strong following on the back of that single, the new album Dizzy Up The Girl climbed to number 15 on the Billboard 200 album chart in late 1998. ‘Slide’ hit the US Top 10 the following January as the album continued its march to multi-platinum status. To put out a ‘best of’ album in 2001 seemed just a little premature, however. Gutterflower, the long-awaited follow-up to Dizzy Up The Girl, was released in spring 2002. The band enjoyed further hits with the singles ‘Here Is Gone’, ‘Big Machine’ and ‘Sympathy’. A live CD/DVD package was released in 2004, which included a notable cover version of the Supertramp hit ‘Give A Little Bit’.
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