Thursday, April 07, 2011

Blast from the Past: Superstar Car Wash & A Boy Named Goo

Title(s): Superstar Car Wash (Amazon, Wikipedia); A Boy Named Goo (Amazon, Wikipedia)
Artist: Goo Goo Dolls (Official, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace,, Wikipedia)

I first heard the Goo Goo Dolls in 1993 when I saw the video for the song “We Are the Normal” on 120 Minutes. I loved the song but for whatever reason never got around to getting the CD (or tape) of Superstar Car Wash at the time. In 1995 when they released A Boy Named Goo, I really like the first few singles and this time did get the album. Sometime afterward I went back and picked up Superstar Car Wash and have owned both CD’s off and on over the years. And in that time I’ve come to believe that these are two of the 90’s most unsung records and they are easily the best Goo Goo Dolls records that I have ever heard (now to be fair, the only other GGD CD that I’ve ever owned was 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl which I thought was extremely disappointing). I also tend to think of these records as extensions of each other.

Sonically Superstar Car Wash and A Boy Named Goo are on the same page. You can listen to them one right after the other and it will sound like one musical whole. The songs mix elements of pop, punk, and rock in what is truly best described as college rock (a.k.a. late 80’s/early 90’s alternative rock). The band was obviously hugely influenced by The Replacements and at times sounds eerily like their Minnesota idols (Paul Westerberg even provided the lyrics for “We Are the Normal”) but is that really a bad thing? I say hell no! These songs are catchy and rockin’ all at the same time and can easily sound great on a mixed CD (or tape) next to the likes of Buffalo Tom, Armchair Martin, The Copyrights, or The Thermals (just to name a few).

If you’re someone who only know the Goo Goo Dolls from their hits but like a lot of college rock bands, I highly suggest that you check out both of these CD’s. I’m sure you can track down some relatively inexpensive used copies of the CD and believe me they are well worth the investment.

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