Collective Soul is an American rock band from Stockbridge, Georgia. They have enjoyed popularity on alternative rock, mainstream rock and pop music radio throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, recording seven #1 mainstream rock hits. They broke into mainstream popularity with their hit single "Shine" from their debut album Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, released in 1993. They were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 19, 2009.
Prior to forming Collective Soul, Ed Roland studied composition and guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since the mid-80s Roland had been involved in underground music, either making unpublished demos or performing. He also worked at "Real 2 Reel Studios" in Stockbridge during the 1980s and early 1990s, which was owned by Will Turpin's father. Ed's main duties were producing, mixing and engineering work for local Atlanta artists. He also recorded his own demos and released his independent solo album "Ed-E Roland" in 1991. He had a pre-Collective Soul band in the late 80s and early 90s called Marching Two-Step which included Shane Evans, Michele Rhea Caplinger, and Grammy Award winning record producer/industry executive Matt Serletic.
Caplinger would go on to be a music industry publicist and she was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy in 2000. Serletic would go on to produce albums for Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty, Blessed Union of Souls, Edwin McCain and many others.
Marching Two-Step were a legitimate band for a few years. They never managed to grow beyond the club scene. Attempts to get signed by a record label produced no results. However, the core members have all stayed active in the music industry for many years.
Around 1992, Ed decided to shift focus as he was trying to secure contracts so he could publish his songs and compose for other artists. Marching Two-Step was no longer together, and Ed continued to jam and perform with other local musicians and friends. These early attempts to be signed and published ended in rejection.
That would change in 1993 when his song "Shine" from the Rising Storm label release of "Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid" became an underground hit on an influential college radio station in Orlando. It was around this time that Ed brought along Shane Evans, his brother Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Ross Childress. This would become the official line-up, and is really when Collective Soul began as a serious band.
Ed Roland was reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and came across the phrase "collection of souls". Although author Ayn Rand actually uses the phrase in a negative connotation, using the "collective soul" as a threat to the main character's sense of individualism, Ed is quick to point out, "...we're not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything...we just dug the name..." and "it could've come out of a Motorcycle Magazine." Atlantic Records took note of the popularity of "Shine" and subsequently signed the band.
Atlantic Records (1993?2001)
Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid (1993)
Collective Soul's notoriety grew from their hometown of Stockbridge, Georgia into international fame with 1993?s double-platinum Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid. The album, a collection of Ed Roland's early demos and re-released in 1994 by Atlantic Records, was highlighted by the #1 hit song "Shine". The band was then invited to perform at the Woodstock 1994 festival. They toured extensively all across North America. They went from playing very small pubs to large amphitheaters and in some cases small arenas.
Collective Soul (1995)
The group?s self-titled second album arrived the following year, was certified RIAA triple platinum, and logged a 76-week run on the Billboard 200. Notable singles from Collective Soul included US Rock Chart #1 hits "December," "Where The River Flows," and "The World I Know", #2 hit "Gel", and a top-ten hit "Smashing Young Man". They would go on to gain heavy rotation on MTV and Much Music. This album topped the success of the previous. The band had also gained widespread radio play across all mainstream formats, reaching beyond the conventional rock radio.
Collective Soul was headlining their own club tour, their two albums had sold a combined 5 million copies, and yet, they were reportedly receiving a meager $150 a week to cover food expenses on the road. The band had allegedly received no royalties because their manager had claimed the publishing rights. ("December", off the self-titled album, was written when all of this began.) Following a nasty split with him, Collective Soul found their tour dates canceled and were called into the courtroom to face a legal battle that would last well into 1996.
During this time, funds were frozen, and Collective Soul could not tour or record in a "real" studio. For a period, they weren't sure that they even owned the rights to their own band's name. While the legal battles continued, the band went to a tiny cabin, in the middle of 40 acres (160,000 m2) of cow pasture in Stockbridge, and began recording. They recorded into a computer their impromptu rehearsals of the songs Ed wrote during this time. These songs would become known as Disciplined Breakdown, chronicling the bleak period and "directed at the emotions" they were feeling at the time. The legal case was eventually settled and both parties have been instructed not to discuss the outcome.
Disciplined Breakdown (1997)
Released in 1997, Disciplined Breakdown was inspired by the break up between the band and their manager, and did not sell as well as the band's previous records, despite being their highest debut on the charts. It eventually went platinum, and #1 singles continued with "Precious Declaration" and "Listen". The album showcased a more progressive and melodic set of songs. The band continued their extensive world wide touring, but did see a sharp decline in their overall popularity, sales, and radio play.
The band?s fourth album, 1999?s platinum-certified and critically acclaimed Dosage saw Collective Soul further its run as rock radio superstars. The first single "Heavy" set a new high mark for 15 weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Singles such as "Run", "Needs", and "Tremble For My Beloved" also gained notable positions on the rock charts. With these chart increases, Collective Soul became the most played band on the radio in the 1990s. The album displayed more of a pop-rock vibe, combining loops, electronic effects and a more polished and glossy sound, partially due to their first pairing with producer/omni-instrumentalist Anthony J. Resta, known for his work with Duran Duran and others. The band also performed at the Woodstock 1999 festival, where they performed "Heavy" and a cover of Ozzy Osbourne's song "Crazy Train"
The group released its fifth studio album, Blender in 2000. It did not fare as well as their other albums, although the first single "Why, Pt. 2" reached #2 on the mainstream rock chart. They also had additional radio hits with "Vent" and "Perfect Day," the latter being a duet between Ed Roland and Elton John. Eventually the album was RIAA certified Gold. Rolling Stone gave Blender a very positive review as did many other critics. This was their second effort with producer Anthony J. Resta. Similar to Dosage, the band decided to experiment with loops, electronic effects and computer based studio production, such as Digidesign's Pro Tools. Collective Soul was criticized, however, for the direction this album took, away from their rock roots and more toward adult-oriented pop. The song "You Speak My Language" is a remake of a song that was written by Mark Sandman, who formed the band "Morphine" in 1989. The song is on Morphine's 1992 CD titled "Good". Collective Soul did a remake of this song in memorial of Mark Sandman.
The title 'Blender' was chosen via a contest on their website inviting fans to submit title ideas. Blender was the winning title.
7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994?2001 (2001)
In 2001, Collective Soul released their greatest hits compilation, 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001, which featured the new tracks "Next Homecoming" and "Energy". The record marked the end of the group's contract with Atlantic Records.
El Music Group (2004?2009)
After completing their contract with Atlantic Records, the band went on hiatus for 2 1/2 years (2002-2004), but still played several dozen shows. This also marked the departure of original lead guitarist Ross Childress. The band then promoted their longtime guitar-tech, Joel Kosche, to be the new lead guitarist. This marked the beginning of their independent label, El Music Group.
In November 2004, they released their long-awaited sixth studio album, Youth. It was re-recorded a couple of times over two years. The album debuted at #66 on the Billboard 200. "Counting the Days" became a Top 10 rock hit. The record was still along the lines of pop/rock, but was more balanced than Blender. The second single, "Better Now" received heavy airplay on Adult Top 40 radio. The U.S. tour lasted nearly 2 years, including shows in Canada. The third single "How Do You Love" became a Top 20 hit on Adult Top 40 radio. The album sold over 225,000 copies in its first year of release, as a result of steady sales, which is considered a commercial success after a long hiatus.
From the Ground Up (2005)
In May 2005, they released an eight song acoustic EP compilation titled From the Ground Up, which had acoustic versions of past favorites, plus a new track, "Youth".
The original drummer Shane Evans left the band during this period. Session/studio drummer Ryan Hoyle has been the drummer during touring, and is credited with playing on eight of the 11 songs on "Youth". Later, Hoyle was officially named as the band's drummer on the Collective Soul website.
Collective Soul performed two shows with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra on April 23 and 24, 2005. A DVD and CD of the performances, entitled Home: A Live Concert Recording With The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra was released in February 2006.
Collective Soul's seventh studio album, Afterwords was released on August 28, 2007. The album is co-produced by Anthony J. Resta, (Duran Duran, Shawn Mullins, Nuno Bettencourt, Satellite Party).
The band made a deal with Target stores, making it the "exclusive physical retailer" of Afterwords, for one year. The album was immediately available in digital form on iTunes. The song "Hollywood" was released as the first single in May. The second single from the album, "All That I Know", was released in November.
Afterwords debuted at # 25 on the Billboard Comprehensive Albums Chart (as albums available only from a single retailer were ineligible for the Billboard 200 at the time) and # 5 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums Chart. The band made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 31 to promote the album and they performed "Hollywood". They were also the musical guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on March 4, 2008. "Hollywood" was also used as a theme on American Idol.
Roadrunner Records (2009-present)
Collective Soul (Rabbit) (2009)
Collective Soul released their eighth studio album, another self-titled, but designated by the band as Rabbit. It was released on August 25, 2009 by Roadrunner Records. The first single was "Staring Down" and the second single was "Welcome All Again". "Staring Down" peaked at #17 on the Mediabase Hot AC chart and also charted on Billboard's Adult Top 40. The album debuted at #24 on the Billboard Hot 200.
In September 2009, Collective Soul were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In their induction speech, band leader Ed Roland thanked a long list of former members and collaborators who have been involved over the past 2 decades, including Ross Childress, Ryan Hoyle and Cheney Brannon. Ed invited founding member and longtime drummer Shane Evans to the stage to celebrate with the band.
Ed Roland - (1992-present) - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Dean Roland - (1993-present) - rhythm guitar, vocals
Will Turpin - (1993-present) - bass guitar, vocals
Joel Kosche - (2001-present) - lead guitar
Cheney Brannon (2008-present) - drums, percussion
Ross Childress - (1992-2001) - lead guitar
Shane Evans - (1992-2005) - drums, percussion
Ryan Hoyle - (2005-2008) - drums, percussion