It was September of 1998 when myself and many people around the world became fans of the Goo Goo Dolls, when they released their world wide smash hit “Iris” from the blockbuster movie ‘City Of Angels’. “Iris” hit #1 on the modern rock, pop and adult contemporary charts en route to becoming the most played song of 1998. It was this song from the triple platinum album “Dizzy Up The Girl” that made me a fan of modern rock music. Front man Johnny Rzeznik didn’t just create another hit, he created one which became one of the most successful crossover singles in the history of recorded music.
The Goo Goo Dolls comprised of members Johnny Rzeznik (lead vocalist and guitarist), Mike Malinin (drums) and Robby Takac (bass guitarist) released there 6th studio album “Dizzy Up The Girl” on September 22nd 1998. It became their most successful album to date, selling over 4 million copies (3x platinum certified), and upon it the single “Iris”, which hit number 1 on the hot 100 Airplay chart and stayed on top for 18 weeks, setting a record that still stands today. The single also reached number 1 on the Billboard charts, Adult Top 40, Mainstream Top 40 and achieved 3 Grammy nominations.
But the success of this record didn’t stop there, as the second single “Slide” was released and also hit number one on Billboard charts, Modern Rock charts, and debuted at number 1 in Canada where it stayed in the charts for 70 weeks. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 18, 2008. In October 2012, “Slide” was ranked number 9 on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012” chart, which also featured Goo Goo Dolls hits “Iris”, which topped the chart at #1, and “Name” ranking at number 24. The Goo Goo Dolls are the only musicians to have three songs chart on the list, two breaking the top 10 and all three falling within the top 25.
The third single was the ever up lifting track “Dizzy” which was written written by lead vocalist and guitarist Johnny Rzeznik. The song peaked at number 9 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks charts, and was released on an EP, titled “Dizzy EP” which featured this song as well as others from previous albums. The 4th single from “Dizzy Up The Girl” has to be my favorite song of the whole album called “Black Balloon”. The song, according to lead singer Johnny Rzeznik, is based on a woman who is struggling with a heroin addiction, while her lover try’s to save her. Rzeznik said about the song “seeing someone you love that is so great just screw up so bad.” This caused a bit of buzz, as it was rumored that the subject matter of the single was about the ex wife of bassist Robby Takac who had overdosed on heroin. “Black Balloon” didn’t managed to steam roll the rock charts like it’s predecessors, but it still peaked at number 3 on the Canadian charts and the Billboard Top 40.
“Dizzy Up The Girl” is nothing short of incredible from it’s simple structures to it’s harmonic intro’s, this record is one of the most powerful of the 90’s and of all time. Rzeznik songs are flawlessly written and executed, and while Robby’s songs aren’t the strongest, they don’t kill the magic of this piece of art. The level of success the Goo Goo Dolls hit with songs like “Iris” and “Slide” is something that most bands never get to experience, and Johnny Rzeznik spoke about just how much it meant to him to have been apart of it saying:
“I’m grateful every day that I still get to do it. And I’m grateful every day that those guys are in my life.”
“Dizzy Up The Girl” will forever be a cult pop rock album that will never die.