Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Number 559 - Hootie & The Blowfish

Number 559

Hootie & The Blowfish

"Only Wanna Be With You"

Genre:Alt Pop
Art by Bambi-Graves
Well I'm back & no, not from outer space. Hospitals & travelling (sounds like a horror novel) are all out of the way. I can relax and write here again, surely nothing can go wrong? ..... Uh oh, wait ..... It's the School Holidays. ack. Why is it i can never enjoy music when its the school holidays? I guess the only best thing about being a kid, is just that, being a kid. When your older all that enjoyment of screaming just has no novelty in it anymore. When i was a kid all we did was run around outside with a ball. Now they camp around a PlayStation singing dreadfully on singstar (should be re-named Cats Choir) or the infernal Runescape. The funny thing is, is that every generation moans about the same dilemma, just not digitally as we do. ~ Crowbarred
The Album
Hootie & the Blowfish's debut album, Cracked Rear View, was the success story of 1994/1995, selling over 12 million copies. It's a startling, large number, especially for a new band, but in some ways, the success of the record isn't that surprising. Although Hootie & the Blowfish aren't innovative, they deliver the goods, turning out an album of solid, rootsy folk-rock songs that have simple, powerful hooks. "Hold My Hand" has a singalong chorus that epitomizes the band's good-times vibes. None of the tracks transcend their generic status, but they are strong songs for their genre, with crisp chords and bright melodies. Still, the songs wouldn't be convincing without the emotive vocals of Darius Rucker, whose gruff baritone has more grit than the actual songs. At their core, Hootie & the Blowfish are a bar band, but they managed to convince millions of listeners that they were the local bar band, and that's why Cracked Rear View was a major success.

Hootie & the Blowfish's mainstream pop variation of blues-rock brought the band to the top of the charts in 1995. Formed at the University of South Carolina, the group features lead vocalist/guitarist Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld; the name refers to two friends of the band, not Rucker and the group itself. Cracked Rear View, the group's first album, was released in the fall of 1994 and a single, "Hold My Hand," worked its way into the Top Ten by the beginning of 1995. Its success propelled the album to number one, as well as launching a second hit, "Let Her Cry," which was quickly followed by "Only Wanna Be With You."

Cracked Rear View had become a massive success by the fall of 1995, going platinum several times over. By the time the group released their second album, Fairweather Johnson, in the spring of 1996, the debut had sold 13 million copies in the U.S. alone. Fairweather Johnson initially didn't replicate that success. It entered the charts at number one and sold two million copies within its first four months of release, but it didn't produce any hit singles on the level of the debut's "Hold My Hand" or "Let Her Cry." Musical Chairs followed in 1998. The album Scattered, Smothered, and Covered was issued two years later, featuring previously unreleased material, songs polled by the fans, and Hootie's own tributes to R.E.M. and the Smiths. The band returned with new studio material on a 2003 self-titled effort for Atlantic, and followed in 2004 with an engaging Best of set. It included all their big hits as well as cover songs like 54-40's "I Go Blind." Hootie & the Blowfish toured for most of the year in support of the hits collection, then returned to the studio. The result was Looking for Lucky, released in August 2005 through their own Sneaky Long imprint. Lucky featured contributions from numerous guests, including Matraca Berg and members of the Silos.~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
The band's name comes from two of frontman Darius Rucker's college choir friends, neither of whom was ever a band member. One, Paul Graham, with a round face and glasses, was nicknamed Hootie because of his perceived owl-like appearance. Billy Huelin,The Blowfish, also got his nickname from his facial appearance, in his case chubby cheeks. Rucker is often mistakenly referred to as Hootie.
Did you know... (1) In 1995, Hootie and the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reached an out-of-court settlement for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in their song "Only Wanna Be With You."
(2) Hootie & The Blowfish brought their entire band and crew down to New Orleans for 5 days of building houses in Musicians' Village, on October 16-20, 2006.

For more Hootie visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #135
For REM see Number 712 & Number 597
For Bob Dylan Number 929 & Number 841

What does Rolling Stone think about Hootie?
Dominating this hugely appealing major-label debut, Darius Rucker's voice is a thrilling discovery: Big and bluesy, it's a force of nature. The South Carolina band, together since 1989, lends an unapologetically love and peace worldview (their hit "Hold My Hand" updates the sentiments of the Youngbloods' "Get Together") to fat, folk-derived, group-written guitar rock; their absolute lack of irony is as refreshing as their sing-along hooks. But it's from the darker, more introspective numbers ("Goodbye," "Not Even the Trees") that real inspiration shouts out. Rucker comes across as the archetypal soulman, his exuberance completely convincing. (RS 693)

Ok, since Hippy has thrown the gauntlet down, what do the others think?
Tez: 5 Stars (It was a nice change from the testosterone music of Nirvana)
Jasmine: 5 Stars (I can remember mom singing in the car to pre-school for me)
Gazza: 2 Stars (I understood every lyric sung, how can you call that music? &#^%@ wussies)
Hippy: 5 Stars (Only thing missing off the album was the hemp leaf on the cover)
Crowbarred: 5 Stars (Something you could sing to, reminded me of the Beatles & Beach Boys)
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (No way, Pub Band. ick) the Album ranked at Number (Our word is the LAW!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 73.5 out of 108
Search Artist here 1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
By The Year 1955 to 2005:



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