Fire and Water Records: Goo Goo Dolls

Fire and Water Records is the closest to Heaven that I'll ever be and I don't want to go home right now, because I want to hear Ryan Daly and Neil Daly go ga-ga over GOO GOO DOLLS. Join the Brothers Daly as they share some of their favorite Goo Goo Dolls songs and discuss the history of this punk band that rocketed to pop-rock superstardom in the '90s.

Listen to the FWR Goo Goo Dolls playlist on Spotify.

Track list

  1. Name
  2. Long Way Down
  3. Naked
  4. Iris
  5. Ain't That Unusual
  6. Just the Way You Are
  7. Big Machine
  8. Before It's Too Late
  9. Acoustic #3
  10. Never Take the Place of Your Man
  11. Rebel Beat
  12. Hate This Place
  13. Black Balloon

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2 responses to “Fire and Water Records: Goo Goo Dolls

  1. The Goo-Goo Dolls are to songs as Paul Rudd is to Mac & Me.

    If “We Are the Normal” was ever a thing, it missed me entirely. I was most probably introduced through “Only One,” which very much captured the sound on ’93, and would have been right in my brother & I’s wheelhouse. I still dig that one, but the actual band probably didn’t stand apart from the other Screaming Lemon Puppet Asylums.

    I surely took note of their odd “Name” because of their breakout hit, and even though I didn’t remember any other specifics decades removed from last viewing, I knew the video was set on a bus. Certainly didn’t remember how handsome Johnny Rzeznik was, but I guess you can take that sort of thing for granted in youth. I want to bash on “Name” because it clearly announces their MOR intent going forward, but you can’t deny that it’s overall a good and meaningful number. There’s something very specifically Gen-X about the line “And reruns all become our history.” God, Kennedy’s turning out to be a garbage human being really put a damper on the old 120 Minutes crush, but we’ll always have Martha Quinn, yeah?

    “Naked” is a nice enough period tune that I heard enough times then that I doubt I’ll ever feel a desire to hear again, but am perfectly content to have it play at times like now when it’s brought up. This is the beginning of a theme.

    I always think of “Long Way Down” as the one from Twister, even though I never bothered to watch Twister. I’d argue that it’s their best song in terms of pure craft. The vocals, guitars, and drums perpetually feed into each other in a propulsive cycle. You get a few verses, there’s a mild change-up, another few verses, another change-up, but it’s all still of one melodic piece. Then you have the Robby Takac launch the chorus with the repeated title, and Rzeznik interjecting with the additional choral lyrics. Sonically*, it matches the camerawork in the video emulating a tornado.

    You guys hard sold the deeper lyrical meanings, and since I didn’t remember “Lazy Eye,” I read those first. lightweight and not even a glimmer of recognition. The Batman Forever soundtrack was such a big deal, I surely would have heard the one that followed, Right? No memory. Turn on the video, and instantly recognized those opening guitar notes. The local alt-rock station played the shit out of it in the late ’90s. It’s fine.

    Wings of Desire, or the Zauriel origin story, was only a decade old when it was remade as City of Angels, neither of which I’ve ever seen. I guess I can accept Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda, but Meg Ryan is a bridge too far. It made back nearly four times its $55M budget, and yet I never hear anyone speak of it or see it turn up on cable. Only the soundtrack didn’t fall down the collective memory hole. Remember when that was a thing? When was the last time a soundtrack mattered to anyone, instead of say “Gotta Get Up” blowing up on its own after Russian Doll I Got You Babe’d it? But anyway, I’m sure “Iris” got a lot of mediocre dudes laid. It’s fine.

    So “Slide” is “Brick” rearranged by Katrina and the Waves? It’s fine.

    “Dizzy?” “Black Balloon?” “Broadway?” I guess those got radio play. They’re fine.

    Oh hey, I guess I did still listen to the radio in 2002. Wasn’t sure about that, but “Here Is Gone” got more play than those previous three singles. Not enough that I’d remember a lick of it without having a discography on Wikipedia in front of me, but sure. Not so much “Big Machine.” I’d need to ask Mac if he remembered that one, and he’d give me a look for even bringing up the Goo Goo Dolls. It’s fine.

    “Give a Little Bit” let me know the band was over. It’s the lame cover you cap the second greatest hits collection with. You tell me they had one more late career comeback? That’s fine. Certainly better than that painful Prince cover.

    Looking forward to the Go-Gos episode with special guest Bully the Stuffed Bull.

    * I’m pissed that insisted I’d spelled “sonically” wrong, I tried multiple variations, and then confirmed my initial spelling on Google.

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