Song of the Day #4,053: ‘Hey Sister Pretty’ – Hootie & the Blowfish

In 2005, two years after their self-titled album, Hootie & the Blowfish released their fifth — and to date, final — album of original material, Looking For Lucky.

The band returned to producer Don Gehman for this effort, and for the first time brought on additional songwriters for some tracks. Some of these songs hint at Darius Rucker’s move into country music, with a strong bluegrass influence and a number of religious references.

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Song of the Day #4,052: ‘Woody’ – Hootie & the Blowfish

Ever since The Beatles released the white album, it seems every band feels the need to put out a mid-career self-titled record.

For Hootie & the Blowfish, that time came in 2003. Hootie & the Blowfish was the first album of original material by the band in five years, and the first without producer Don Gehman. Instead, Grammy-winning producer Don Was took the reins and brought more of a pop sheen to the music.

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Song of the Day #4,051: ‘Hey Hey What Can I Do’ – Hootie and the Blowfish

Hootie and the Blowfish followed up their third album with a collection of covers titled Scattered, Smothered and Covered, a name they borrowed from a Waffle House advertisement.

The band rolls through 15 tracks of enjoyable bar rock, mostly covering artists I don’t know, though they do include tracks from R.E.M., The Smiths, Roy Orbison and Led Zeppelin (today’s SOTD, one of the album’s standout tracks).

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Song of the Day #4,050: ‘ What’s Going On Here’ – Hootie and the Blowfish

While I did buy Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1996 sophomore effort, Fairweather Johnson, when it was released, that marked the end of my fandom. Like most of the world, I tuned out after that.

So their third album, 1998’s Musical Chairs, is completely new to me. And that’s a shame, because after a couple of listens, and despite the major hits on their debut, I think this album is better than either of the first two.

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Song of the Day #4,049: ‘She Crawls Away’ – Hootie and the Blowfish

Back in 2012, I posted a track from Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1994 smash Cracked Rear View, marvelled at the meteoric rise and just-as-quick fall of the band, and suggested that “it’s about time it became cool to like Hootie again.”

I guess I was on to something. The band is currently packing arenas on a reunion tour, and recently the New York Times’ pop music critic Jon Caramanica published a piece titled ‘Hootie & the Blowfish, Great American Rock Band (Yes, Really).’

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Song of the Day #1,599: ‘Only Wanna Be With You’ – Hootie & The Blowfish

Of all the songs I’m writing about over the next couple of weeks, this throwaway pop hit by Hootie & The Blowfish is the one that I most felt was written with me in mind.

In 1994, I was a couple of years into my relationship with the woman who would become my wife, and this song became our unofficial anthem because it so eerily described us.

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Song of the Day #1,340: ‘Hold My Hand’ – Hootie & the Blowfish

Best 90s Artists – #3 – Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View was the best-selling non-country, non-soundtrack album of the 90s. That seems like a lot of qualifiers, I know, but coming in fourth to Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and The Bodyguard isn’t too shabby.

Cracked Rear View sold more than 16 million units, a number unimaginable today. Consider that Adele’s current amazing yearlong streak has amounted to about 7 million sales and you’ll get an idea of how much different the landscape is now.

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