Do We Owe Hootie & the Blowfish An Apology?😀

bcorig

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I’m originally from South Carolina and heard Hootie & the Blowfish back when they were just a hardworking bar band. I never really understood the vicious blowback not long after their hit album, Cracked Rear View. I recently saw this thoughtful article in Esquire that takes a deep dive into the subject. It’s kinda long so I’ll just post two paragraphs to give you the gist. The link to the entire article is at the bottom. This should be like red meat for a lot of you…
😂

“The Blowfish Backlash was the debut of a very new-millennium kind of viciousness, and it came out of nowhere. The band’s 1994 major-label debut, Cracked Rear View, was a staple of every college party, sports bar, and pleasant mainstream rock station of mid-1990s. By the end of 1999, the album had sold 16 million copies, and it still sits in the list of top 20 best-selling albums of all time, where it will probably stay forever because nobody’s ever going to buy albums again.

We treated Hootie and the Blowfish with the performative viciousness that pervades our current cultural moment. We turned on one of our own, just for fun, as children do. We belittled them like we have not done another major mainstream rock band before or since. We bullied Hootie and each Blowfish, and we liked how it felt, so we didn’t stop. We laughed them out of the game for no good reason, while we let Dave Matthews Band continue kicking around the same hacky sack for their next few albums. We shamed them in a way we never did Counting Crows, and to this day Adam Duritz walks the earth with a hairdo that answers the question: what if a fireworks display could be brown?”

Entire article here:

Yes. And while you are at it, include The Monkees and The Carpenters, who got the same treatment from “The Cool Kids” 50 years ago.
 

archetype

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Back when they were getting a ton of radio play, Darius Rucker was interviewed (Rolling Stone?) and it was interesting and revealing to me.

Darius said he and the band never thought they were anything fabulous ("We're no Grateful Dead") but were competent performers doing what they wanted to do. He said he and they wrote songs that weren't great art, but were relatable pop songs that folks liked.

The band felt that they had a popularity that was greater than their musical competence and that popularity would run its course and end. Darius said they were happy to ride that until it stopped, but didn't consider changing course. They wrote and played what they liked to write and play and felt they were good at. He said if the big wave ended, they'd just go back to playing what they liked as a college bar band.

Eventually, the band split up and Darius went on to a country music career. IMO he's performing radio-crafted nonsense, but he may be doing what he wants, and he apparently makes more money than I do.
 

ale.istotle

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Song 12. Did not expect a Led Zeppelin cover. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do. Kinda bland. Lacks the fire of the original.
 

staxman

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Back when they were getting a ton of radio play, Darius Rucker was interviewed (Rolling Stone?) and it was interesting and revealing to me.

Darius said he and the band never thought they were anything fabulous ("We're no Grateful Dead") but were competent performers doing what they wanted to do. He said he and they wrote songs that weren't great art, but were relatable pop songs that folks liked.

The band felt that they had a popularity that was greater than their musical competence and that popularity would run its course and end. Darius said they were happy to ride that until it stopped, but didn't consider changing course. They wrote and played what they liked to write and play and felt they were good at. He said if the big wave ended, they'd just go back to playing what they liked as a college bar band.

Eventually, the band split up and Darius went on to a country music career. IMO he's performing radio-crafted nonsense, but he may be doing what he wants, and he apparently makes more money than I do.
Thank you so much for posting that! The band was absolutely gobsmacked at time by the huge success and sales of Cracked Rear View”. They really were prepared to fade back into obscurity. In fact, one of Blowfish was a Finance major and set up a business trust structure to invest the proceeds from that album so the band members would have decent funds/insurance for the long term. They really loved being a touring bar band.
 

staxman

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And don’t forget the uproar that was caused by directly quoting a few lines from Bob Dylan’s “Idiot Wind” in the song “Only Wanna Be With You”. Dylan didn’t mind😀
 

ale.istotle

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Thank you so much for posting that! The band was absolutely gobsmacked at time by the huge success and sales of Cracked Rear View”. They really were prepared to fade back into obscurity. In fact, one of Blowfish was a Finance major and set up a business trust structure to invest the proceeds from that album so the band members would have decent funds/insurance for the long term. They really loved being a touring bar band.
Last of 16 songs in playlist winding down. Solid pop. It makes sense they see themselves as a touring bar band. If I saw this band in a bar I'd be pretty happy. I suspect the hate is just a pile-on. Pop culture is fickle. The band isn't and never was cutting edge, but always solid stuff.
 

David Barnett

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Imagine being wildly successful with your music, for years.
Then imagine becoming a joke/laughingstock, for no real good reason.
Unimaginable.
Truly.
Hopefully, they laughed all the way to the bank.
Really.

Ask this guy:

5719d9f51a4bc08579132cdcbd208bc91b588ca8.jpeg
 

David Barnett

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I'm 6 songs into the Apple Essentials playlist and honestly it's nothing but hits. Darius' voice is smooth as ever. Really solid pop.
So far I'm thinking the hate is because it's too perfect and controlled. Everything is smooth, well produced. No sharp edges.
Ti-i-ihme. Why do you punish me?

Smooth, and flat. He sings way flat. Autotune would have a stroke trying to cope with Rucker.
 

Trenchant63

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I’m originally from South Carolina and heard Hootie & the Blowfish back when they were just a hardworking bar band. I never really understood the vicious blowback not long after their hit album, Cracked Rear View. I recently saw this thoughtful article in Esquire that takes a deep dive into the subject. It’s kinda long so I’ll just post two paragraphs to give you the gist. The link to the entire article is at the bottom. This should be like red meat for a lot of you…
😂

“The Blowfish Backlash was the debut of a very new-millennium kind of viciousness, and it came out of nowhere. The band’s 1994 major-label debut, Cracked Rear View, was a staple of every college party, sports bar, and pleasant mainstream rock station of mid-1990s. By the end of 1999, the album had sold 16 million copies, and it still sits in the list of top 20 best-selling albums of all time, where it will probably stay forever because nobody’s ever going to buy albums again.

We treated Hootie and the Blowfish with the performative viciousness that pervades our current cultural moment. We turned on one of our own, just for fun, as children do. We belittled them like we have not done another major mainstream rock band before or since. We bullied Hootie and each Blowfish, and we liked how it felt, so we didn’t stop. We laughed them out of the game for no good reason, while we let Dave Matthews Band continue kicking around the same hacky sack for their next few albums. We shamed them in a way we never did Counting Crows, and to this day Adam Duritz walks the earth with a hairdo that answers the question: what if a fireworks display could be brown?”

Entire article here:

(Standing up, nervously clearing my throat…) “Hi, I’m Jeff and I’m a Hootie and the Blowfish former tormenter. (Support group responding) “Welcome Jeff”……Seriously, I recall Hootie suddenly being everywhere back then and I really didn’t mind it, nor did I really torment them. 😆 The trick was not expecting to hear Return to Forever caliber playing from them. They had positive songs and I don’t recall them hurting my ears or offending me even though I didn’t actually buy their music or try to see them live. I do recall some friends/acquaintances putting them down a bit.
 
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ping-ping-clicka

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I’m originally from South Carolina and heard Hootie & the Blowfish back when they were just a hardworking bar band. I never really understood the vicious blowback not long after their hit album, Cracked Rear View. I recently saw this thoughtful article in Esquire that takes a deep dive into the subject. It’s kinda long so I’ll just post two paragraphs to give you the gist. The link to the entire article is at the bottom. This should be like red meat for a lot of you…
😂

“The Blowfish Backlash was the debut of a very new-millennium kind of viciousness, and it came out of nowhere. The band’s 1994 major-label debut, Cracked Rear View, was a staple of every college party, sports bar, and pleasant mainstream rock station of mid-1990s. By the end of 1999, the album had sold 16 million copies, and it still sits in the list of top 20 best-selling albums of all time, where it will probably stay forever because nobody’s ever going to buy albums again.

We treated Hootie and the Blowfish with the performative viciousness that pervades our current cultural moment. We turned on one of our own, just for fun, as children do. We belittled them like we have not done another major mainstream rock band before or since. We bullied Hootie and each Blowfish, and we liked how it felt, so we didn’t stop. We laughed them out of the game for no good reason, while we let Dave Matthews Band continue kicking around the same hacky sack for their next few albums. We shamed them in a way we never did Counting Crows, and to this day Adam Duritz walks the earth with a hairdo that answers the question: what if a fireworks display could be brown?”

Entire article here:

I'm sorry I missed hootie and the Blowfish The seemms to have happened during Agartha, Pangea, era Mile Davis obsession, you know his electric period .
So We didn't do anything.
 

staxman

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Last of 16 songs in playlist winding down. Solid pop. It makes sense they see themselves as a touring bar band. If I saw this band in a bar I'd be pretty happy. I suspect the hate is just a pile-on. Pop culture is fickle. The band isn't and never was cutting edge, but always solid stuff.
That captures the point in posting this to begin with. I saw them in a rowdy college bar in Columbia, SC long before they cut that album. Like a lot of college bar bands, they were fantastic in their element. The over the top success of that album didn’t go over well with the in-the know hipster crowd—grunge was big back then.
I live in the Seattle area now and remember there was some serious Nirvana blowback here over the slickly produced “Nevermind” album. Even Cobain felt like they sounded like Motley Crue😅
 

ChicknPickn

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I do have to say, though, that I've seen enough "pro" musicians starving and living in boarding houses. I may not listen to HATBF, but I hope their money is holding out.

Also, naming your band Hootie and the Blowfish is just asking for it.
 




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