Collective Soul

Origin- Stockbridge, Georgia (US)

Genre- Alternative/Mainstream Rock

Active since- 1993

Labels-Atlantic, EL Music Group, Roadrunner Records(current)

Collective Soul’s official website

I’m sure we’ve all heard of Collective Soul. That’s because they are one of the most successful and skillful bands in the history of rock. They have made a significant mark in musical history, and are still recording today.

Ed Roland, Collective Soul’s founder, basically started out studying musical composition at the Berkelee College of Music in Boston, playing in the band “Marching Two-Step” with Matt Serletic, Michele R. Caplinger and Shane Evans. Caplinger would eventually go on to be a music industry publicist and she was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy in 2000. Matt Serletic, went on to become a Grammy Award-winning record producer. Although “Marching Two-Step” never really got a label deal or anything, the band’s members all moved on to become contributing members of musical society.

In 1992, the band split up, and Ed Roland couldn’t seem to make a debut with any of his recordings, until his song “Shine” became a hit on a famed college radio station in Florida in 1993. It was at this time that Roland brought Shane Evans, Dean Roland (Ed’s brother), Will Turpin, and Ross Childress together. Ed Roland came up with “Collective Soul” from a term he found in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. He is quick to say that his nomenclature has nothing to do with Rand’s views or the book. As he said, “we just dig the name.” Atlantic Records Promptly took up Collective Soul due to “Shine”‘s success.

Collective Soul has produced eleven albums in all. That’s quite a few. They’ve landed seven #1 hits. That’s almost unheard of. Collective Soul’s first album gained almost immediate fame, which is weird for a new band. Their next two albums were recorded with little money in a cabin in the middle of a 40-acre cattle farm into a computer. Collective Soul and Disciplined Breakdown contained #1 singles such as “December”, “Where the River Flows”, “Gel”, “Precious Declaration”, and “Listen”. All this was done when they didn’t even own the rights to the name Collective Soul. How admirable.

Collective Soul’s album Dosage was something of a turning point, largely because of “Heavy”, the band’s greatest hit so far. It stayed #1 for more than 15 weeks on the mainstream Rock Chart. A few other chart-toppers such as “Run”, “Needs”, and “Tremble For My Beloved” gained Collective Soul so much radio exposure that it is often said that Collective Soul was the most played band of the 90’s. Dosage was released in 1999, and the group played at the 1999 Woodstock music festival.

In 2000, the band came out with Blender, which received generally good reviews, but wasn’t the smash hitter that everyone expected. “Why, Pt.2” gained a #2 ranking, and “Vent” and “Perfect Day” both reached radio charts. The overall rating for the album was an average “good”. But in 2001, 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits was released, marking the end of Collective Soul’s contract with Atlantic Records.

For the next two years, the group took a hiatus, during which Ross Childress left left the band and was replaced by Joel Kosche. From 2004 to 2009, Collective Soul produced four albums with El Music Group. In 2005, Shane Evans, who had been with Ed Roland since the very beginning, left the band as drummer, and was replaced by Ryan Hoyle.

In 2009, Collective Soul signed on with Roadrunner Records, and produced Rabbit, their eighth album. It gained chart notice, but not quite as much as the overpowering Black Eyed Peas and other 2009 acts which I’m sure we all remember.

In September of 2009, Collective Soul was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Ed Roland invited long-time friend Shane Evans to join the band on the stage to celebrate.

Personally, this is one of my favorite bands. Collective Soul pioneered modern rock music, their clean-cut, clear and electric sound making their 90’s hits sound like cutting edge alternative rock. Ed Roland’s vocals are debated as scratchy or airy, but that’s what we call a metallic voice. No other voice would work as well with the instrumentals provided.

Collective Soul’s instrumentals are revolutionary for their time, with loops and bass themes all over the place. Shane Evans is an excellent drummer, and the guitars are truly sublime; the music, with the occasional piano or strings (still keeping the songs fast-paced) making an entrance, makes you just want to fly- it’s really that good.

I would strongly recommend any music-lover to look into Collective Soul’s music. Not one of their songs is a disappointment.

I don’t have the names-to-faces yet, but the guy in the middle is Ed Roland.
    • Frederick the Great
    • April 8th, 2010

    thanks, I love Collective Soul.

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