Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Goo Goo Dolls: Extended

(This one is for Angry over at Days of Our Youth.)

Now Buffalo's The Goo Goo Dolls career made no sense. Two ignored mid-eighties metallic pop-punk albums, two more Repalcements-esqe college-rock albums which garnered a little more praise (but mostly for the first one, Hold Me Up) and then in 1995 the band, almost overnight, took over the pop charts (and the glossy magazines) with songs that were smart, catchy and impeccably produced by Bob Mould's main man Lou Giordano. It was like The Goo Goo Dolls had decided to learn from Mould's Sugar and Grave Dancer's Union era Soul Asylum instead of Westerberg's oeuvre. While still in thrall to the greater sounds of Minneapolis, The Goo Goo Dolls hit on a formula that could be gussied-up more every subsequent album until they became pretty hard to take but on most of A Boy Named Goo even their fuck-ups sound like gold.

This bootleg of B-sides, soundtracks etc, which includes covers of The Soft Boys' "I Wanna Destroy You", The Rolling Stones' "Bitch" and The Damned's "Hit of Miss (nice choices, boys) is only for the converted but maybe I'll convince someone to go back and re-hear the awfully-titled A Boy Named Goo with the absence of prejudice, as I managed to do when I picked up a blank-covered pre-release cassette from my work the month before the album hit big and quickly discovered that it just all made sense.

Extended link is in the comments.

Speaking of comment: Whether you feel love, hate or indifference toward the Goo Goo Dolls tell us why.

Support the band...







  1. I'm at just the right age where it turns out A Boy Named Goo was the first good rock album I ever owned when I was a kid, and it pretty much set the course of my musical interests for the next decade at least. From that album I progressively went backwards in Goo history until I got to the Metal Blade stuff and figured out what punk was, and the rest is history. I was pleasantly surprised to see you discussing this album here... I'll always have a soft spot for it.

  2. I lived in Buffalo when the GGD were starting out, and never saw them. I recall early that reviews of friends who had seen them were pretty negative across the board. They seemed like a bit of a joke. Moving forward a couple of decades, the group has enjoyed a pretty spectacular career, based largely on hard work. They get slammed for their soft stuff, but they hit tuneful, rock ballads out of the park. And their rock numbers more than hold their own. Kudos for hanging in there.

  3. Another band that the music snobs abandoned when success came knocking.
    Thankfully in the blog world no one seems to give to much consideration to garnering cool kid points and instead continue to unashamedly nail their colours to the mast in support of great bands like The Goo Goo Dolls and Soul Asylum.

  4. I grew up in Buffalo and in fact lived upstairs from Robbie Takac, who was/is a all round good cat. I personally always sort of enjoyed their not taking themselves too seriously, while being extremely hard workers. Buffalo in the mid-late 80's was a very easy place to be a lazy musician slacker-drunkard and be able to afford it. The Goo's understood that they had to break the gravity that was Buffalo, and the only way to do it was through a lot of hard work and determination. So whatever one wishes to say about their music, the fact is they busted their balls to make it, and have achieved the not so small feat of remaining genuinely good guys along the way. That being said I always thought that their earlier brand of Minneapolis styled power pop was more to my liking. They also where a extremely high energy band and their shows were always tons of fun, and probably won me over more then the music alone.

  5. I still can't help wondering what their career would have been like if their overnight success was due to the Nightmare on Elm Street movie series instead of a chick flick.

    I haven't heard the pre-Hold Me Up stuff but it sounds worth checking out. I remember it referred to in either Razorcake or MRR as worth checking out. Hmmm, most probably Razorcake.

  6. It's amazing the great people that help you out in blogland! Much thanks as I have been looking for this for a long time. I saw the Goo Goo Dolls many years ago actually opening for The Replacements. "Pleased to Meet Me" tour if I remember correctly. The Damned are my fave band so always love to hear how others do their tunes especially knowing the Goo Goo Dolls are great at covers. Much Thanks again and if there is anything that you are looking for please let me know!

    Angry (Days of Our Youth)

  7. I was never more than a casual fan but for some reason their music still pulls me in from time to time. Perhaps they are yet another band I should revisit.

  8. If you get a chance, check out . It's some of the Enemies and Jumpers combining ina band called Fredmann's Curve. They're doing "Disconnected," a song originally by the Enemies that the GGD did. Old school punks from Buffalo.

  9. Holy cow! A Jumpers and Enemies reference in blogland! Jumpers were my all-time fave Bflo band. They were a great power pop band. They deserved a much better fate.

  10. Weird, I have been listening to Hold Me Up for the last week, and had their CDs on my desk to rip to MP3 tonight. Thanks for the upload.

  11. TK
    That's really interesting, I never thought of ABNG as a gateway album like, say, Dookie but I see what you're saying.

    Yeah they played Winnipeg on tourr fot hier first album and everyone here who saw them hated them. But your comments "They get slammed for their soft stuff, but they hit tuneful, rock ballads out of the park" is totally accurate.

    it's a...
    Thanks for getting what we do here: it's not about record sales, high or low, it's just about the songs.

    Thanks for the back story, love that kind of detail. My initial contact with the band was through those first two albums and I did like them but strangely their most successful album is my favourite.

    Yeah "Iris" sealed thier fate, it's stil a beautiful ballad, if a little drippy.

    Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the idea to defend a maligned favourite of mine. I saw them in 1989 and they were good but it turned into one of the worst nights of my life and I left for entirely non-musical reasons. I should draw up a list of my requests and post it!

    I did check out the cool video and was just happy to earn some punk rock history I didn't know. Any chance you have access to some of the original material? I'd love to post it!

    As above, Do you have any Jumpers and Enemies for me to post. I'd love to give a forgotten old power-pop band a little publicity.

    Synchronicity (and I went to the Police next - scary!)

  12. As an English person of an ignorant nature i have never heard the music of this band before, although i have heard their name mentioned spasmodicaly.As a big fan of The Damned i feel duty bound to enlighten myself..with the accordance of many thanks to you Jeffen ;>}

  13. I like Hold Me Up, and the one just prior was okay. But I mostly liked them for their live show at the Spectrum (circa '92?) - they were a fun, fine rock band, not too serious, and not too moronic.

  14. Thanks for this!

    I left Buffalo in '82, so missed the rise if the GGD's. I did see the Enemies, at the Continental, and McVan's, many times.

    My favorite memory of the Enemies was Fred playing a guitar solo w/ the bass-player's dentures. He started out by saying lots of guitarists play with their teeth, I'm gonna play with someone else's...

  15. Anon
    I hope you enjoy The Damned cover but don't forget that this is just an intro...the real stuff is waiting for you...

    That show must have been circa '90 (before 'Hold Me Up' I believe) unless they visited Wpg. THREE times between 1988-1992. I should go back and re-vist HMU and maybe even SSCW.

    Awesome anecdote - now someone's gotta hook me up with some Enemies to post!

    Lou Reed would approve of your use of the word 'alright'.

  16. Yeah I agree with Doc Cowboy above, the Goo Goo Dolls along with Mathew Sweet were among the hardest working bands in the early nineties music business. Regular appearances at First Avenue niteclub in Mpls. made them an accepted household name all around. Good suggestion their Angry, see what a few comments at D.O.Y. on my part gets me, a posted near my own:>}

  17. viacom

    Don't you love how our little corner of the blogosphere works? - I know I do.

  18. spot on summery of the goo goo dolls. I do wish they kept a bit of the ragged edge rather than the polished one they've had for a number of years now but still I'd rather see The Goo Goo Dolls in the charts than some of the pop drivvel

  19. Anon
    Thanks for the words on the summary, it was weird when poel started feraking out about them and I'd been sorta following tgem for so long.

    I don't begrudge them any of their success, while after a while they were too slick for my personal tastes I still liked hearing the songs on the radio.

  20. Since there has been a lot of "Enemies" talk in this neck of the woods, I unfortunately have some bad news to drop. On Sept. 7, Joe Bompczyk, guitarist of the Enemies, died at the age of 55.

    Read more:

  21. Doc
    Sad news, I'm still hoping some one can hook me up with some of their music to me so I can post it here.

  22. LOL... "seemingly overnight..."

    "A Boy Named Goo", containing the single "Name" which broke the band, was out for a good year before the band got big!


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