Top 10 Collective Soul Songs

Collective Soul Songs

Photo: ​English Wikipedia user Ankured182, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Collective Soul is an American rock band formed in Stockbridge, Georgia, in 1992. The band initially consisted of Ed Roland (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), his brother Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Ross Childress (lead guitar, backing vocals), Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals), and Shane Evans (drums, percussion). Ed Roland serves as the primary songwriter and has been the band’s constant member through various lineup changes.

The band gained fame with their 1994 breakthrough single “Shine,” which was initially part of an independent collection of demos recorded in a basement studio. Due to its immense popularity on college radio stations, the song caught the attention of Atlantic Records, leading to a formal contract and the re-release of the demo collection as their debut album, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. The album was certified multi-platinum, and “Shine” won a Billboard award for Top Rock Track.

Capitalizing on this momentum, Collective Soul released their self-titled second album, often referred to as the Blue Album, in 1995. Produced by Ed Roland and Matt Serletic, the album included hits like “December,” “The World I Know,” and “Gel,” further solidifying their commercial appeal. The album went triple-platinum and cemented their reputation as a post-grunge rock act to be reckoned with.

Over the years, the band has released numerous albums, including Disciplined Breakdown (1997), Dosage (1999), Blender (2000), Youth (2004), Afterwords (2007), See What You Started by Continuing (2015), and Blood (2019), among others. Each album has showcased the band’s evolving musical style, blending elements of rock, alternative, post-grunge, and even soul. While Ross Childress and Shane Evans eventually left the band, new members such as Jesse Triplett (lead guitar) and Johnny Rabb (drums) joined the ranks.

# 10 – Gel

The song “Gel” is featured on Collective Soul’s self-titled second album, commonly referred to as the Blue Album to avoid confusion with their 1995 self-titled debut. Released in 1995, the album was produced by Ed Roland and Matt Serletic, and it was recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. The musicians featured on the album include Ed Roland (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Ross Childress (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals), and Shane Evans (drums, percussion).

On the charts, “Gel” was a commercial success. It reached the No. 2 position on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and No. 22 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, helping to solidify Collective Soul’s standing in the rock scene of that era. The music video for “Gel” also contributed to the song’s popularity. Featuring vignettes that resonated with the lyrics, the video became a staple on music channels, further driving the song’s success and making it one of the band’s signature tracks.

# 9 – Breathe

As we move along, one thing will become clear, Collective Soul is a band that lives by their classic rock sounding guitar riffs. “Breathe,” is a perfect example of that. The song “Breathe” by Collective Soul appears on their 1999 album Dosage, a record known for its departure from the band’s post-grunge roots towards a more polished pop-rock sound. The album was produced by Ed Roland and Anthony J. Resta. The musicians on this particular album were Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ross Childress (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals), and Shane Evans (drums, percussion).

# 8 – Listen

This video opens up with a view of the Twin Towers in NYC. When they shot this video they of course did not realize that just two years later those towers would be gone.  The song “Listen” by Collective Soul is featured on their fourth studio album, Dosage, released in 1999. The album was produced by Ed Roland and Anthony J. Resta. The lineup for the album consists of Ed Roland on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, Ross Childress on lead guitar and backing vocals, Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on bass and backing vocals, and Shane Evans on drums and percussion.

# 7 – Why, Part 2

Once again that killer guitar sound opens up this smoking hot tune.The song “Why, Part 2” is a track from Collective Soul’s fifth studio album, Blender, released in the year 2000. The album was produced by Ed Roland and Anthony J. Resta, continuing their collaborative relationship from the previous album, Dosage. The musicians contributing to this album were Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ross Childress (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals), and Shane Evans (drums, percussion).

# 6 – Where the River Flows

This one starts out dark and grungy echoing the sounds of early 90s bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. The song “Where the River Flows” comes from Collective Soul’s third studio album, Collective Soul, released in 1995. The album was produced by Ed Roland and Matt Serletic, marking another step in the band’s partnership with Serletic who had produced their breakout album, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. Musicians featured on this track include Ed Roland on vocals, rhythm guitar, and keyboards, Ross Childress on lead guitar and backing vocals, Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on bass, and Shane Evans on drums.

# 5 – Precious Declaration

“Precious Declaration” is a track from Collective Soul’s fourth studio album, Disciplined Breakdown, released in 1997. The album was produced by Ed Roland and Greg Archilla. The lineup for this album includes Ed Roland (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass, percussion, background vocals), and Shane Evans (drums, percussion).

As for its chart performance, “Precious Declaration” fared well. It reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and also made its way into the Hot 100, peaking at No. 65. This commercial success helped maintain the album’s visibility, proving that Collective Soul could hold their own in a market saturated with alternative and post-grunge bands. The music video for the song, often cited for its vivid imagery and storytelling, contributed to the song’s overall popularity and offered a visual interpretation that resonated with many fans.

# 4 – Heavy

The band is channeling all their musical heroes on this outrageous track. There’s a little bit of Led Zeppelin, some scoops of Black Sabbath, and a whole lot of modern 90s Pearl Jam and Soundgarden grunge all blended up pretty Heavy! The song “Heavy” was released on their fourth studio album, Dosage, released in 1999. It was produced by Ed Roland and Anthony J. Resta. The musicians involved in the recording were Ed Roland on vocals and rhythm guitar, Ross Childress on lead guitar and backing vocals, Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on bass, and Shane Evans on drums.

Upon its release, “Heavy” received widespread radio play and climbed the charts, peaking at number one on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, where it remained for a then-record-breaking 15 weeks.

# 3 – December

In the number three spot on our top 10 Collective Soul songs, we present the wonderful song “December.” The arpeggiated guitar riff that opens the song sets the mood for a ballad, but, we all know better. A few measures in and the band is grooving Collective Soul style. “December” was released on their 1995 album, Collective Soul,

# 2 – The World I Know

Upon its release, “The World I Know” received critical acclaim and achieved commercial success. It peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbed to number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart. The song’s music video, featuring a businessman contemplating suicide but ultimately finding a renewed sense of purpose, garnered attention for its narrative depth and thematic resonance with the song’s lyrics. Over the years, “The World I Know” has continued to be one of Collective Soul’s most enduring and frequently played songs, both on the radio and in live performances.

# 1 – Shine

We close out our Collective Soudl songs list with the songs that turned most of us onto the band in the first place. This is easily one of the finest moments in 1990s classic rock history.

“Shine” served as the lead single from their 1994 debut album, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. The album was initially an independent collection of demos but was later re-released after the band signed a contract with Atlantic Records. The song and the album were both produced by the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Ed Roland. Alongside him, the lineup on the album included Ross Childress on lead guitar and background vocals, Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on percussion and background vocals, and Shane Evans on drums.

Upon its release, “Shine” was met with critical and commercial acclaim. The song’s lyric “Let your light shine down” became a sing-along anthem, marking it as a cultural staple of the 1990s rock landscape. “Shine,” topped the Album Rock Tracks chart for eight weeks and also peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The accompanying music video, featuring the band performing amidst shifting shadows and light, further enhanced the song’s appeal. The video received significant airplay on MTV, solidifying the band’s place in the mainstream music scene. The song has since been covered by various artists and remains a cornerstone of Collective Soul’s live performances, attesting to its enduring popularity and influence.

Updated November 1, 2023

Top 10 Collective Soul Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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