Goo Goo Dolls’ classic love ballad Iris tops one million UK sales in time for Valentine’s Day


Official Charts Company

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, it’s difficult to avoid getting drawn back in to revisiting at least a handful of love songs when February 14th comes around.

Like a coveted Christmas Number 1, crack the formula for writing the ultimate classic love ballad, and those hits can sometimes go on to achieve the rare million seller status – think Celine Dion’s Think Twice, Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, and of course, Whitney’s I Will Always Love You.

Add to that list now Goo Goo Dolls, whose slow burner hit Iris has reached the pinnacle of mega-hit status in the UK as it tops one million pure sales in the UK on 1.003 million downloads and physical CD sales, according to Official Charts Company data. It’s a rare feat to achieve in 2020, when the preference is often to stream music.

Iris’s million-seller status is the latest feat in the song’s particularly unique journey. While it was a big hit in the US, Iris missed the Top 40 on the Official UK Singles Chart when it was first released in 1998, debuting at Number 50 in July. A re-release the following year saw it enter the Top 40 for just one week, landing at Number 26.

Still, awareness of the song and its popularity steadily grew, and the introduction of downloads into the Official Chart in 2005 gave the song a new lease of life, spending six months in the lower half of the Top 100 between 2006-2007.

Iris saw its biggest resurgence in 2011, when it was a popular choice of audition song on The X Factor, notably by finalist Frankie Cocozza, whose rendition during the show’s Bootcamp stage sent Iris to Number 3 on the Official Singles Chart the following week.

Iris has so far managed 22 separate stints in the UK Official Singles Chart Top 100 – totalling 92 weeks on chart - its last appearance was 2015. Over the past year alone in the UK, it has been downloaded an average of 148 times a week and streamed around 410,000 times weekly, while its music video gets 95,000 plays per week on average. See Goo Goo Dolls full Official Chart history, click on ‘Chart Facts’ to see the stats and week by week chart positions for Iris.

Celebrating the news, Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik told

"I’m so happy that this song has had such a long life in the UK. Thank you to everyone who gave us this amazing gift."

Iris - the title of which was inspired by a country singer named Iris DeMent – has, 22 years on, slowly-but-surely earned its place in the love ballads hall of fame. Its gushing unreservedly romantic lyrics such as “you’re the closest to heave that I’ll ever be” and “I just don’t want to miss you tonight” have made it an extremely popular choice for one particular occasion: never underestimate the power of a wedding song.

Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris: The Numbers
UK sales:1.003m (999,200 downloads, 4,100 physical sales)
UK streams: 76m
UK video streams: 8.7m
Weeks on chart: 92 weeks
Official Chart Peak position: Number 3, (October 2011)
Source: Official Charts Company

February 12, 2020 7:05pm ET by Official Charts Company  

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