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Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

Originally written by American alternative rock band the Goo Goo Dolls for the 1998 film City of Angels’ official soundtrack, it’s hard to pin down whether the song became such a massive hit due to the influence of the Meg Ryan/Nicolas Cage film or if the film became such a rousing success because of the song and its music video. It could have gone either way, but there’s no denying that Iris has contributed greatly to the Goo Goo dolls success, so much so that they even included the song on their sixth album, Dizzy Up the Girl.

Contrary to the Goo Goo Dolls’ trademark distorted guitar driven rock, Iris is heavily driven by mandolin, violins, and cellos, which blends with the distorted, overdubbed guitars and the steady drum beat in order to create an grand, epic feel to the song, punctuated by lead singer Johnny Rzeznik’s distinctively hoarse vocal stylings and the memorable lyrics.

The name in the title, Iris, was never really mentioned in the lyrics of the song, with Rzeznik explaining that he just thought of the title while flipping through an issue of Billboard Magazine, reading an article about country singer Iris DeMent, and deciding to use her name as the title because he felt it was “a nice name.”