Iris (song)

Iris (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Iris

Artist = Goo Goo Dolls
from Album = "and" Dizzy Up the Girl
Released = 1998
Format = CD single
Recorded =???
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 4:49 3:33 (alternate version)
Label = Warner Bros. Records
Writer = John Rzeznik (lyricist and composer)
Producer = Goo Goo Dolls
Last single = "Lazy Eye" (1996)
This single = "Iris" (1998)
Next single = "Slide" (1999)

"Iris" is a song by American alternative rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. Originally written for the soundtrack of 1998 film "City of Angels", the song was later included on the band's sixth album "Dizzy Up the Girl". The gives a distinctive sound as it is in an odd tuning, with 5 of the 6 strings tuned to D. This gives a ringing effect similar to a 12-string guitar. "Iris" has been one of the Goo Goo Dolls' most defining songs in terms of its contribution to the band's future success.

Track listing

#"Iris (Album Edit)" - 4:54
#"Lazy Eye" - 3:48
#"I Don't Want To Know" - 3:37

Origins and theme

The instrumentals in the song are heavily driven by guitar riffs and cellos, with a steady drum beat beneath.

It was the first song that the Goo Goo Dolls had been asked to write specifically for a film. Songwriter Johnny Rzeznik has been quoted as saying he broke several years of writer's block and several years of sobriety simultaneously the night he wrote this track.

In the music video the band is shown high up in skyscrapers, watching the lives of people through telescopes. Seen throughout the video is the actor Nicolas Cage. This theme reflects on what the angels do in the film. Interspersed throughout the video are clips from the film depicting scenes where Seth is falling in love and deciding whether or not to give up being an angel.

The song was named "Iris" by guitarist/vocalist John Rzeznik for Iris DeMent. Rzeznik found her name while flipping through a magazine, and thought it was a nice name, so he chose it for the song. Prior to this, some fans of the song have speculated that the title refers to the Greek messenger of the gods, Iris. This is thought supposedly because some angels are considered messengers and this song was written for the movie City of Angels (in which the main character "is" an angel).


Upon its release, "Iris" became second of a string of hits from the film's soundtrack, "". (The first was Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited" and the third was Sarah McLachlan's "Angel.") On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 the song peaked at number nine for five weeks, and it spent a record eighteen weeks at number one on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. It was not allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 until after it had peaked (amazingly when it was allowed to chart "Iris" still cracked the top 10 at #9) because no commercial single had been released. "Iris" also peaked at #8 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock and # 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts.

The song was also a major international hit. "Iris" spent 31 weeks in the top thirty on the Ireland singles chart, and despite never charting higher than number five, it is the thirteenth biggest-selling single there.This song was also used in the production of "The Bear" by Anton Chekov performed by Rebecca Gove and Ioannis Bakogeorgos.

Besides the song's success on the charts, "Iris" enjoyed critical acclaim. At the 41st Grammy Awards, "Iris" received nominations for "Record of the Year" and "Pop Performance by a Duo or Group." The song also garnered John Rzeznik a "Song of the Year" nomination. [ [ 41st annual Grammy nominees and winners] . 24 February 1999. "CNN". Accessed 7 March 2008.]

Cover versions

Avril Lavigne performed the song on stage at the Fashion Rocks Awards with Goo Goo Dolls lead singer Johnny Rzeznik. It was the choice of the first dance for her 2006 wedding with Sum 41 lead singer Deryck Whibley. It was most recently featured on the reality show "", performed by Ryan Star. New Found Glory also recorded the song for their album, "From the Screen to Your Stereo Part II".

The song was referred to in the 2007 movie "Farce of the Penguins"


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