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Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: The Singles

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Album Review

Hard to believe it, but at one point all the Goo Goo Dolls ever wanted to be was the Replacements — nothing more than a ragged band playing kickass rock & roll along with the occasional heartbroken ballad. Of course, they were never as chaotic as the 'Mats; they were good guys where Paul Westerberg and company were ornery, unpredictable artists, prone to self-sabotage, legendarily throwing away their potential breakthrough gig on Saturday Night Live. That wasn't the Goo Goo Dolls. They never met an opportunity they didn't turn down, slowly morphing from baby Replacements to the cheerful rockers showcased on this 2007 compilation, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: The Singles. This 14-track collection picks up the tale with 1995's A Boy Named Goo, which not so coincidentally is where the band abandoned its 'Mats aspiration and started being the alt-rock band that played by the rules (even then, Boy's breakthrough hit, "Name," is re-recorded here, the better to make it fit with the pop of their later years). Where all their peers shunned power ballads, the Goo Goo Dolls embraced them, slowly turning into a group that specialized in soaring ballads and anthems. Surely there was an audience for this, since the Dolls ruled the adult Top 40 charts throughout the 2000s as they kept refining and smoothing their blueprint out. They were reliable, they satisfied fans, and for those fans, this Greatest Hits will satisfy.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Early in their career, the Goo Goo Dolls were frequently dismissed by critics as mere imitators of the Replacements; however, they refined and mainstreamed their sound to become one of the most popular adult alternative rock bands of the 1990s, selling millions of records to audiences largely unfamiliar with their influences. That's no knock on the band, either — the music simply improved in craft and accessibility as the years progressed, and radio happened to be receptive to a style that,...
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Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: The Singles, The Goo Goo Dolls
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