Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why Do You Hate Me So? I Dont Know

Hootie and the Blowfish
Cracked Rear View
1994, Atlantic
produced by Don Gehman

Darius Rucker - vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
Mark Bryan - guitars, mandolin
Dean Felber - bass, piano, clavinet
Jim Soni Sonefeld - drums, percussion, piano

  • Hold my Hand
  • Let Her Cry
  • I Only Wanna be with You/Use Me
  • Time
  • Drowning
This band stormed onto radio in 1994. After the pop-synth, glam rock of the late '80s and the thrash metal, grunge of the previous few years, the Hootie and the Blowfish released a debut so different and refreshing that it climbed the charts.

If I had to describe a distinguishable 90s pop rock sound, I'd say Hootie and Blowfish nailed it. They are bouncy and fun and happy-go-lucky, light with a hint of gospel, but also had a roots blues sound that will break your heart. Darius Rucker's baritone was something rare in rock music. I think, in retrospect, the band always had a country cross-over feel, so it is no surprise that Rucker made a career in country.

This record sold 10.5 million copies in its first year. It went Platinum 16 times. It is the 16th best selling record in the US of all time. It was number one on Billboard 200 five times and also was number one in New Zealand and Canada.

As quickly as this record rose, there was an equal and opposite backlash. I found this odd at the time, and still find it odd now. Was it because radio overplayed it? Was it because there were unfounded rumors they were gay? Was it because the front man was black in a predominately white man genre? I'm not sure, but the record still holds up as a genre melding eulogy to a loved one. Haters, predictably, were wrong.

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