You may need somebody to hold your hand when you realize that Hootie & the Blowfish‘s mega-successful debut album, Cracked Rear View, turns 30 on July 5.

It’s sold more than 22 million copies, according to the RIAA, and produced the now-iconic hits “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.” But Hootie frontman Darius Rucker tells ABC Audio they had very modest goals when they recorded the album.

Darius says, “Honestly, grunge was so big … we were just hoping we could have a little bit of success and keep what was going on on the East Coast — we were … making a lot of money playing clubs and stuff — and maybe get to make another record.”

But the album’s runaway success is what’s allowed Hootie to continue to sell out arenas and stadiums to this day. In fact, they’re doing it this summer.

“To look at what has happened with that record is totally unbelievable,” says Darius. “I mean, for us to be — 30 years after we put it out — to be out playing the places we’re playing and selling them out … in our 50s, with a band that we started when I was 19 — y’know, it’s pretty crazy.”

But as Darius notes, Cracked Rear View came out at the height of grunge. So why did it have such an impact?

“I think they’re great songs … but they’re so relatable, and we were such a relatable band,” Darius says. “I don’t want to come down on any bands, but, you know, nobody was looking at Nirvana going, ‘I could go have a beer with them.’”

“Everybody was looking at Hootie & the Blowfish and going, ‘I could go have a beer with those guys, or play golf with those guys or hang out with those guys’ … and that helped.” 

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