Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Goo Goo Dolls

When one things about the late 1990’s and early 2000’s adult alternative scene, The Goo Goo Dolls were a pivotal group in that scene.  Like most fans of the group, I first became familiar with them off of their massive mid 90’s hit “Name,” and continued to be their fan afterwards as they demonstrated strong songcraft and a generally likable persona, although I never saw them live or got to know them personally.  Yet before the band achieved popularity, they had toiled for a long time in obscurity and had spent years refining their musicianship and songwriting before they hit the big time, and they had quite a few songs worth appreciating from before the time they were stars as well as after the point when their music was no longer hitting the pop carts any longer.  Even so, this is the sort of striving and hardworking group that deserves to be appreciated for the music that they have made over the whole course of their career, which provides some great reasons as to why it was that for a few years that Adult Alternative music took over the radio songs chart in such a massive way.  In order to understand the Adult Alternative boom of the 1990’s and 2000’s, the Goo Goo Dolls are an essential act to understand.

The Influence Of The Goo Goo Dolls

Although they are saddled with a somewhat ridiculous name (a fact that they alluded to on their breakthrough album “A Boy Named Goo”), the influence of the Goo Goo Dolls is pretty extensive, and they themselves were strongly influenced by The Replacements before them [1], another band of hard-playing and somewhat hard-drinking people who mixed populist sentiments with a strong degree of thoughtful sentimentality.  The Goo Goo Dolls were also important in that they were able to keep growing and keep together as a band to show the way that acts which had languished on college radio could enter into the mainstream without selling out or watering down their sound, an impressive task that the band was able to achieve, pointing the way for other Adult Alternative acts to receive massive airplay and considerable popularity while maintaining their rough edges.  In addition to that, the band has done some excellent work with music-related charities that has demonstrated their populist touch.

Why The Goo Goo Dolls Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

There are several reasons why the Goo Goo Dolls belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  For one, they have had #1 hits on the Adult Pop Charts, Alternative charts, and mainstream rock charts, besides 3 top ten hits and five additional top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, including such smash hits as “Name,” “Iris,” “Slide,” “Black Balloon,” “Broadway,” “Here Is Gone,” “Give A Little Bit,” and “Better Days.”  On top of that they had a stellar career of punk rock singles before they were stars that demonstrate a much harder edge than they are assumed to have as well as a lengthy amount of adult oriented rock after their peak popularity that demonstrate their continued compassion for the struggles of ordinary people like “Notbroken.”  In terms of their album success, their four studio albums from 1995 to 2006 have all been certified at least gold and two of them, “A Boy Named Goo” and “Dizzy Up The Girl,” have gone multi-platinum [2].  This is a record of sustained excellence that few bands can match, and their body of work as a whole is one that deserves recognition.

Why The Goo Goo Dolls Aren’t (Yet) In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Despite (or maybe because of) the band’s popularity in the period after 1995, the group has never been critics’ darlings.  Of course, the band was not critically loved at first, when the band recorded songs with a local Buffalo lounge singer, and the frequent comparisons of The Replacements to The Goo Goo Dolls did not improve matters any.  Nevertheless, although the band certainly has some haters, they also have a lot of fans and it may be that as the 25 year anniversary of their breakout success comes that the band will receive more attention for their eligibility for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, even though people should give a listen to “Superstar Car Wash” and/or “What I Learned About Ego, Art, Opinion, And Commerce” as well.

Verdict:  Put them in.  The Goo Goo Dolls may be rock journeymen in the eyes of many, but their career is well worth recognition by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a whole.

[1] See, for example:






[2] See, for example:


About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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