ARTIST: The Goo Goo Dolls
TITLE: Hold Me Up
YEAR RELEASED: 1990
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: There You Are (#24 Modern), Just the Way You Are
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, unless you’re a superfan
LINEUP: Johnny Rzeznik, Robby Takac, George Tutuska
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Third album by the Buffalo punksters-turned-kinda mainstream rockers illustrates that transition, as Johnny Rzeznik takes over lead vocals on half the tracks.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first two Goo Goo Dolls records are pretty much standard late 80’s “punk with some pop influences”, and nothing to write home about. But a life of eating cold canned ravioli in vans (well, I’m conjecturing that anyway) wasn’t in the cards, and the band realized that they could make some bank by adding more pop to their punk and become a hybrid band.
That coincided with Johnny Rzeznik taking over as lead vocalist for at least half the tracks (Robby Takac was more of a traditional punk vocalist) and taking over as more of the lead songwriter. Rzeznik really wanted to be Paul Westerburg, and it shows here.
As for the record, it’s OK. It’s an odd mix with the punk and the pop-punk wrestling for control, even in the same songs. There are hooks, but not on every song. “There You Are” was their first MTV video and it’s more of the direction they’d go in the future. For better, or worse.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They covered “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” by Prince and had Buffalo legend Lance Diamond sing it. It’s probably the best cut.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE B-: Two sides of the band fighting for control, even if the band was in harmony. It’s OK, and better than their first two, which I’m skipping.