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Music / Collective Soul

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So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
'Cause it's the world I know
Oh it's the world I know
— "The World I Know"

Collective Soul are a rock band from Stockbridge, Georgia, formed by singer Ed Roland in 1992 from the ashes of his bar band, Marching Two-Step. Eager to get some material out to the public, Ed recorded a series of demos, with help from former Marching Two-Step drummer Shane Evans and their mutual friend, Ross Childress, though on most of the tracks Ed was the sole musician. Shortly after selling the demo tape to local radio, the band officially formed, with Ed, Shane and Ross joined by Ed's younger brother Dean and their friend Will Turpin joining on rhythm guitar and bass, respectively. They had their first hit with "Shine", and went on to moderate success.

"Shine" was so successful that after being signed to Atlantic Records, the company released the demo recordings as their first album, ''Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid", without giving the band time to re-record it and properly master it, which causes Ed Roland to state that their self-titled follow-up album is their real debut.

For the most part, the band avoided controversy, but also avoided much in the way of widespread enthusiasm, although in 2001, Ross Childress left the band under less than amicable circumstances. Since then, the band has gone through a number of other members, and corresponding changes in sound.


  • Ed Roland: Lead Vocals, Occasional Guitars, Occasional Keyboards (1992- )
  • Ross Childress: Lead Guitar (1992-2001)
  • Shane Evans: Drums (1992-2005)
  • Dean Roland: Rhythm Guitar (1993- )
  • Will Turpin: Bass, Backing Vocals (1993- )
  • Joel Kosche: Lead Guitar (2001-2014)
  • Ryan Hoyle: Drums (2005-2008)
  • Cheney Brannon: Drums (2008-2012)
  • Johnny Rabb: Drums (2012- )
  • Jesse Triplett: Lead Guitar (2014- )


  • Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid (originally 1993, but was re-released in 1994)
  • Collective Soul (1995)
  • Disciplined Breakdown (1997)
  • Dosage (1999)
  • Blender (2000)
  • Youth (2004)
  • From The Ground Up (EP) (2005)
  • Afterwords (2007)
  • Collective Soul (sometimes called Rabbit) (2009)
  • See What You Started by Continuing (2015)
  • Blood (2019)
  • Vibrating (2022)

Nearly all the band's members have pursued side projects as well. Ed Roland, Will Turpin and Joel Kosche have all released solo albums, while Ed formed a country band on the side known as Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project (which also features Jesse Triplett), Dean Roland joined with friend Ryan Potesta to form the duo Magnets and Ghosts, while Ed and Jesse formed the duo Alien Attitude during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speak to me in tropes and share:

  • Abusive Parents: The first verse of "She Said" implies that the mother of the song's protagonist is abusive, with the line "Her mother's to blame for the way she is today."
  • Gratuitous Panning:
    • The distorted guitar intro in "Heavy" alternates channels between riffs.
    • For the first two lines of "Energy", the vocals are on the right channel and everything else is on the left. Before the chorus, "Come on" is repeated three times, alternating channels.
  • I Am the Band: Ed Roland is the only member that has been there since 1992. This can be a little misleading, however, because Ed was literally the only member in 1992, and the first album is just him (and on a few tracks, Ross Childress and Shane Evans) recording demos in his basement (which explains the sound quality of the first album). It was only after he sent the "demo recording" around to various radio stations that the band officially got together, and by that time "Shine" was a hit, so Atlantic was ready to release it as their debut album. Ed wanted to re-record it, but the label didn't want to waste time when the existing recording was already popular.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The video for "The World I Know" depicts a White Collar Worker looking to jump off the roof of a building. The moment he's about to fall off, a bird lands on his hand. He steps down to feed it his lunch, then notices the workers on the street far below crawling around like ants. He ditches his work from his briefcase, apparently having a new attitude about life.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The title of their 2001 Greatest Hits Album, 7even Year Itch
  • Lighter and Softer: Right around Blender.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Heavy" has two two-line verses and a repetitive chorus of "And all your weight/It falls on me/It brings me down/And all your weight/It falls on me/It falls on me."
  • New Sound Album: Their first Self-Titled Album had them experiment with a pop sound and it became more obvious on Dosage and later on. Afterwords contained an indie-esque sound and their second Self-Titled Album combined the Lighter and Softer sound of Blender with the grungy sound of Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Ed does this a lot of the time.
  • Revolving Door Band: Became one after the departure of founding lead guitarist Ross Childress. Since then they've had two new lead guitarists and three new drummers (after founding drummer Shane Evans left). As said above, Ed Roland is the only founding member left, but Will Turpin and Dean Roland (Ed's younger brother) both joined before the release of their first album, and are both still there.
  • Singer-Songwriter: Ed Roland.
  • Self-Titled Album: Two of them. The 2009 one is sometimes called Rabbit.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Twice. Ross Childress wrote and sang lead vocals on "Dandy Life" from Dosage, while Joel Kosche wrote and sang lead vocals on "I Don't Need Anymore Friends" from Afterwords.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "The World I Know" and, to a lesser extent, "December". These were the two biggest pop hits off their second album. They wrote more songs in this style as their career went on.