Formed in Columbia, South Carolina in 1986, Hootie & the Blowfish is a rock band that has built nothing short of a cult following over the years.
For the majority of the band’s existence, Hootie & the Blowfish has consisted of the same four members: Darius Rucker (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mark Bryan (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dean Felber (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Jim Sonefeld (drums, backing vocals).
The original drummer, Brantley Smith left the band in 1989.
Although going on hiatus in 2008, the band came back with a bang in 2018 announcing a full reunion tour for 2019. They also released their first new studio album in fourteen years entitled Imperfect Circle, their sixth studio album in all.
By the year of their comeback tour, the band had charted sixteen singles on Billboard singles charts from their six albums.
And, do not mistake this band for being under the radar. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View, released in 1994, is actually the 19th best-selling album of all time in the United States.
Also very popular in Canada with three number-one singles, Hootie & the Blowfish have a rich selection of top-quality songs. And, in today’s blog, we are going to countdown and guide you through what we believe are their all-time top 10 greatest hits.
So, tune in as we countdown what we believe are the Top 10 Greatest Hootie And The Blowfish songs of all time!
There is no doubt that Hannah Jane is one of the band’s most iconic songs. Appearing on their critically acclaimed debut album Cracked Rear View in 1994, this song is named after a pub that was instrumental in the formation of Hootie & the Blowfish.
This pub is a very popular watering hole in Columbia, South Carolina and obviously means a lot to the band.
It is the perfect start to a perfect album. The drums kick in and the welcoming melody starts. It seems as if he is talking about a girl he was once friends with but misses very much. It’s almost as if he is reminiscing about a time gone by and missing the good old days.
Of course, the band’s famous backing vocals accompany Darius backing his messages up. A truly heartfelt and melodious song that kick-started the band’s fame.
Often ranked in the top 10 of Hootie & the Blowfish songs, today is no different for Running from an angel. Another classic from the band’s breakthrough album Cracked Rear View, this song is about a woman Darius was in love with but kept betraying him.
Even though she breaks his heart over and over again, he still loves her but he wants her to leave to stop breaking his heart. As usual, heartfelt lyrics backed up by catchy melodies. Classic Hootie & the Blowfish.
This is one of the band’s latest songs from their album Imperfect Circle in 2019. Although it may be new, it certainly recaptures the sound that made millions of fans fall in love with their music in their earlier years.
It has a feel-good vibe to it. It’s perfect for listening to in the car as you drive down the highway whether you’re on a road trip or doing errands. Its country sound is upbeat and will certainly have you tapping your feet as you listen.
Starting with a somewhat aggressive acoustic strum, this classic 1994 from their debut album has a special place in the hearts of many Hootie & the Blowfish fans. The song itself is about learning to cope with the sad loss of a loved one.
The lyrics tell us about the loss of a mother but having the belief that there is an afterlife. It’s simply about going home to a better place. Becoming a huge hit for the band, its sound is timeless and remains one of the band’s best top ten hits.
For this track, we move to Hootie & the Blowfish’s 2000 album entitled Scattered, Smothered, and Covered. Okay, you got us! This is a cover album so the reason you may recognize this song is that it was originally recorded by Led Zeppelin.
But, we had to include it because Hootie & the Blowfish really made it their own and did an amazing job at covering it. If only Darius had channeled his inner Robert Plant and pushed his voice a little more!
But, this song perfectly suits the band’s famous groove and sound. And, when the song builds up with the rest of the band joining in with a chorus of “hey hey what can I do?” and “hey hey what can I say?”, the song perfectly builds up before slowly fading out leaving you wanting more.
That’s right Hootie & the Blowfish, we want more tracks like this!
Now we have cheated and put in a cover song, let’s get back to Hootie & the Blowfish original songs.
As you can guess from this list so far, the band’s debut album Cracked Rear View is packed with incredible, quality, and catchy songs.
Another one we couldn’t miss is ‘I Go Blind’. As with most of the band’s songs, this holds a message. It calls for us, as the listener, to take a hard look around us and not ignore the social issues that are so evident. Many believe it to be about the plight of children in an oppressive world too.
This is undoubtedly one of the band’s most moving and poignant songs. A powerful track that wants us to stop ignoring the injustices and inequalities in the world. It does all this while being catchy and a perfect singalong song. Just know that what you’re singing along to has deep meaning.
Recorded for their 2000 album Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, there is so much emotion shining through in this song. It almost has a John Denver feel with the delicate acoustic guitar and heartfelt lyrics.
But, don’t get us wrong, no one could sing this song better than Darius Rucker. He simply has the perfect voice for this type of song. Somehow, he sings about bumming a cigarette and makes it sound emotional, beautiful, and romantic.
The lyrics are very clever and witty as he describes the end of the night when he can’t find his partner. So, “Well I turn around and look for you, you’re nowhere to be found, searched the place for your lost face, guess I’ll have another round.”
Then, he admits that he thinks that he just fell in love with who the song is directed to. Storytelling at its finest. So much feeling comes across from this performance and the performance from Darius Rucker is, of course, world-class as always.
Hold My Hand is yet another incredible song from the Cracked Rear View album. The lyrics in this track are what you come to expect from Hootie & the Blowfish. They can be considered heartfelt and sweet.
Darius sings about wanting to love the best that he can. He just wanted to hold his love’s hand and not let go. With the backing vocals singing hold my hand, they almost sound like a gospel choir resulting in a truly powerful song.
This was arguably the first song that turned the world’s attention to the band. It peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994 and it was considered to be a welcome getaway from the many grunge bands that dominated the music world at the time.
This number one hit single for Hootie & the Blowfish is also our number one on the list of their top 10 songs. Released on the Cracked rear View album, this was the band’s third single.
In 1995, I Only Want to be With You reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100. There is no surprise that this is the band most popular of their career and one of their most requested on the radio.
If you’re looking for nigh-on pop perfection, then you don’t need to look any further than I Only Want to be With You. Well written, well-performed, and well produced. It remains a favorite to this very day.