3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Hootie & the Blowfish

With a deep, rich voice, Darius Rucker burst on the musical landscape in the 1990s with his South Carolina-born college band Hootie & the Blowfish. Instantly their name was memorable and also fodder for fun. But more than a quirky moniker, the band boasted a number of songs that just wouldn’t leave the radio. Songs that stuck around like late summer. Songs that were beloved.

Videos by American Songwriter

In the intervening decades, some have forgotten the power the band displayed those decades back, or perhaps they just weren’t around for the era that was Hootie & the Blowfish. Today, Rucker is a famous country music artist, with billions of streams in that genre. But here below, we wanted to share a trio of songs from the Hootie years that every music fan can get behind.

[RELATED: Darius Rucker on Country Music, His Favorite Hootie Memory and His Mother’s Legacy]

“Hold My Hand” from Cracked Rear View (1994)

From the band’s 1994 debut LP Cracked Rear View, which became one of the best-selling albums of all time thanks to more than 20 million units sold, this song recalls the old Beatles hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” but whereas the Mop Tops’ song was proto-rock, this song was an acoustic hit in an era when the acoustic guitar was making a comeback thanks to artists like Dave Matthews Band and Hootie & the Blowfish. As for this song, it’s one you can belt out with friends along with Rucker’s wood-grain voice. It’s a perfect bar song made by close friends who loved to hang in bars. It’s catchy and unassuing. On the song, Rucker sings,

With a little love and some tenderness
We’ll walk upon the water
We’ll rise above the mess
With a little peace and some harmony
We’ll take the world together
We’ll take ’em by the hand

‘Cause I’ve got a hand for you
Oh, ’cause I wanna run with you

“Let Her Cry” from Cracked Rear View (1994)

Rucker told American Songwriter the opening line from this song was his favorite lyric he’d ever written. Unlike the track above, this is a more solemn song, sad and weeping. It’s about the loss of love, about distance. While it’s also one you can sing along to easily, you might do it alone in your bedroom or while driving along the highway, away from something. On the acoustic-driven track, which got the band a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1996, Rucker sings,

She sits alone by a lamp post
Tryin’ to find the thought that’s escaped her mind
She says, “Dad’s the one I love the most
But Stipe’s not far behind”

She never lets me in, only tells me where she’s been
When she’s had too much to drink
I say that I don’t care, I just run my hands through her dark hair
Then I pray to God you gotta help me fly away

And just let her cry if the tears fall down like rain
Let her sing if it eases all her pain
Let her go, let her walk right out on me
And if the sun comes up tomorrow, let her be, let her be

“Only Wanna Be with You” from Cracked Rear View (1994)

A music video that helped put both the band and ESPN’s SportsCenter on the map thanks to melody, acoustic guitar, athletes like Muggsy Bogues, and witty banter, this track adds the cherry to the sundae by quoting a Bob Dylan lyric (Tangled up in blue). Truly, there is much to love about all these things swirling together. But more than anything, the track and video are just a romp together. Let’s make music fun again! On the vibrant love song, Rucker sings,

You and me, we come from different worlds
You like to laugh at me when I look at other girls
Sometimes you’re crazy and you wonder why
I’m such a baby ’cause the dolphins make me cry

Well there’s nothing I can do
I’ve been looking for a girl like you

You look at me, you’ve got nothing left to say
I moan and pout at you until I get my way
I won’t dance, you won’t sing
I just wanna love you but you wanna wear my ring

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Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Hootie & the Blowfish

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