This is not the first Goo Goo Dolls complilation (more on that later), but this is the first compilation of the Goo Goo Dolls' greatest hits and best known songs. How does it stack up?
"Greatest Hits, Volume 1: The Singles" (14 tracks, 53 min.) rightfully focuses on 1998's Dizzy Up The Girl, the band's most successful album, and is represented here by 5 tracks: "Dizzy", "Slide", "Broadway", "Black Balloon", and probably the band's signature song "Iris". 2002's Gutterflower get 3 tracks here: "Here Is Gone", "Big Machine" and "Sympathy". Last year's disappointing "Let Love In" nevetherless gets 4 tracks here: the title track, "Stay With You", "Feel the Silence" (which comes in a new mix), and "Better Days". Strangely, only one track from the band's comemrcial breakout album. 1995's "A Boy Named Good" is: "Name", and it's not even the original, no, it's a newly recorded version (and inferior to the original). Why Rzeznik felt the need to do that, who knows. This compilation is rounded out by "Before It's Too Late", the Goo Goo's contribution to the "Transformers" soundtrack earlier this year.
In all, there is a lot of good music here. But this should be called the "So Far Incomplete Greatest Hits". Conspicuously missing here are "Long Way Down" from the "Boy Named Goo" album, which was a genuine radio hit (and later also appeared on the "Twister" soundtrack); "January Friend" from the "Dizzy" album; "We Are the Normal" (from the excellent "Superstar Car Wash" album, and the predecessor of "Name"); and most of all "Give a Little Bit", the Supertramp cover that eventually appeared on "Let Love In" and the band's biggest radio hit in the last 3 years. At 53 min. there clearly was room to add at least those 4 songs here as well.
In 2001, the band released a terrific but under-the-radar compilation called "What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art and Commerce", a hard charging and rocking collection of the band's first 6 albums up to that point (minus the hits like "Name", "Slide", "Black Balloon" etc.). It was a terrific way of showcasing the band's bar-punk-rock origins. I have no problem with the band evolving into a (mostly) power-ballad band but let's not forget the other facet of the band's sound either. In all, "Greatest Hits: Volume 1" is not bad, but could have been better. "Volume 2" is supposedly on the way for Spring 2008, focusing on the band's B-sides, one-offs and other oddities and rarities.