Song of the Day #5,036: ‘Hannah Jane’ – Hootie and the Blowfish

Continuing my look at 1994, first by counting down my own top ten albums of that year.

#6 – Cracked Rear View – Hootie and the Blowfish

At some point it became cool to hate on Hootie and the Blowfish, or at least uncool to like them, but in 1994 it was impossible to deny the appeal of their muscular folk rock debut album.

Cracked Rear View was a hit both critically and commercially, eventually selling more than 21 million copies in the U.S. alone to become one of the top twenty best-selling albums of all time.

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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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