Then: Hootie and the Blowfish are a great cautionary tale for what happens to a band when it gets too big too fast. A backlash is just inevitable. They started off at the University of South Carolina as a bar band, back in 1986, and slowly built up a loyal following. In 1994 Atlantic released their debut LP Cracked Rear View. Nobody expected what happened next: Hootie-mania broke out all over America. Their songs "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry" and "Only Wanna Be With You" were everywhere. They were a band equally loved by children and their parents. The label couldn't print the record fast enough. It's sold over 10 million copies. By the time their follow-up Fairweather Johnson hit in 1996, people had had enough.
Now: The crowds got smaller and smaller over the years, but Hootie kept plugging away until 2008. At that point frontman Darius Rucker released his solo country album Learn To Live. Once again, he surprised skeptics by scoring huge hits. The success didn't mean the end of the Blowfish, but Rucker only played with them from time to time as his focus was firmly on his solo career. Rucker has pledged to make another Hootie album at some point soon, but it's unclear when that's going to happen.