Formed in Stockbridge, Georgia in 1992, Collective Soul is the musical brainchild of singer, songwriter, and musician Ed Roland. After an unsuccessful solo career – as Ed-E Roland – and a few attempts at forming various groups in order to perform his songs, he finally clicked with audiences when he formed Collective Soul in 1992. The group of musicians that he brought together were initially there to lay down demos in 1992 and 1993 for songs that Ed was going to sell to a publishing company. However, fate stepped in when the demo reached several college radio stations, and they began playing the song “Shine,” which became a hit with listeners. Encouraged to play live, Ed Roland, his guitar-playing brother Dean Roland, bassist Will Turpin, and several other musicians took their show on the road and became a popular live act. And then things took off…
Due to the popularity of “Shine” and the positive reaction to Collective Soul’s live shows, the group was signed by Atlantic Records, who re-released the album length demo, ALLEGATIONS, AND THINGS LEFT UNSAID, in 1994. The album became an international hit, reaching #15 in the US, #5 in Canada, and charted will in several other countries. Their 1995 self-titled release was another success, reaching the #1 position in New Zealand. Their hit streak continued with 1997’s DISCIPLINED BREAKDOWN, 1999’S DOSAGE, and BLENDER (2000), which was their last album for Atlantic Records. The group moved away from the major label machine, took more control over their career, and began releasing their albums independently: YOUTH (2004), AFTERWORDS (2007), COLLECTIVE SOUL aka RABBIT (2009), SEE WHAT YOUR STARTED BY CONTINUING (2015), and BLOOD (2019). While the band’s line-up has changed over the years, the core trio of Roland-Roland-Turpin remained firmly in place.
In 2022, Collective Soul returns with their first post-pandemic album VIBRATING. While the band wAS unfairly compared to their Grunge and post-Grunge contemporaries in the ‘90s, Ed Roland’s songwriting has more in common with classic Tom Petty than it does with Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, or Chris Cornell. However, Collective Soul’s riff-heavy rock adds plenty of brawn to his melodic Pop tunes, making VIBRATING a refreshing listen that will remind longtime fans about the band’s musical charms and introduce new listeners to a group that has a rich catalog of great Pop tunes and a muscular sound that continues to evolve. The band has already released three singles from the album – “Back Again,” “All Our Pieces,” and “Cut the Cord” – but there are plenty more great tracks to be heard on VIBRATING including “Take,” “A Conversation With,” and “Just Looking Around” just to name a few. This is an album that proves that Ed Roland and Co. have plenty of creative life left in them and should still be considered a relevant contemporary band and not just part of the ‘90s revival movement.