Why is Hootie & The Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Mellow, optimistic roots rock with fantastic hooting, er, vocals from Darius Rucker.
What does Hootie & The Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Over the course of close to 170 “entries,” as I like to think of them, on this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I’ve already written a lot about the visceral connection between music and specific times and places in our lives.
Sometimes, the music itself is tightly bound to the emotions of a specific moment – as with Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” off of The Second (#999 out of 1,000) – and other times it’s more about a mood, a specific time, or emotions that are difficult to define.
With Cracked Rear View, it brings me back to the summer between my junior and senior years at Binghamton University in upstate New York, as we native Long Islanders/NYC folk like to say.
It was one of the best summers of my young life. And if anything it was certainly one of the easiest and most tranquil. Because I had already served as a Resident Advisor during my junior year, I was eligible to take on the same gig over the short “summer semester,” this time for inbound freshman who were getting a jump start on their college careers and dorm life.
Most if not all of my fellow RAs took classes while attending to our super light duties. But not me. I decided to grab my free room and board, plus a modest stipend, and do very close to absolutely nothing that summer in Binghamton, New York, and it was glorious.
Well, I got into phenomenal shape, the best shape of my life really, so that’s something. I had gotten into jogging and lifting weights over the previous few years, and this training came in handy as I joined the rugby team during my senior year that fall. I also got embroiled in a mostly innocent fling, a true summer romance that faded amicably once fall semester started.
The mellow, optimistic mood of Cracked Rear View meshes with my memory of that time. It was an album that could be heard a lot that summer, and I specifically tie it to a pub that my fellow RAs and I would sometimes visit for a few beers and pizza in the evening. It was a good group of co-workers – if they could be called such – that I enjoyed but then, once again, quickly lost touch with once the camp vibe of summer gave way to the hustle and bustle of the fall and my senior year.
But Cracked Rear View brings me right back to the summer of 1995.
It’s a rock solid and consistent album through and through, but for me – and most, quite likely – “Only Wanna Be With You” is the clear favorite.
“Hold My Hand” is not really the kind of song I would naturally gravitate to, but it’s so earnest, so simple yet effective, and Darius Rucker and the band’s backing vocals so compelling that it wins me over every time.
Some stats & info about Hootie & The Blowfish – Cracked Rear View
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Music, Indie Rock, Roots Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Cracked Rear View released? 1994
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #832 out of 1,000
Hootie & The Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.