The 90s spawned a generation of bands that, without any clear common markers between them, created a new genre altogether. Someone, possibly out of sheer laziness, decided to call it Alternative Rock. Boy, did this explode.
Collective Soul stood strong near the top of the Alt Rock food chain for years. They were adult-friendly, sometimes they rocked, and Ed Roland‘s unique soothing voice combined everything to produce a very, very radio friendly rock band.
Although, technically, they’re still an active band, their last album, See What You Started By Continuing (2015, Vanguard) was a bust pretty much everywhere except the United States, although it was generally quite well received by the critics.
Arguably their best work was achieved in the span of 11 years and 6 albums between 1993 and 2004. Collective Soul was a standard during my middle school years. When Why, Pt. 2 hit the waves, in 2000, it became an instant party anthem (more due to the music video than the actual song, come to think of it). I remember the cool teachers letting us play music during tests (yeah), and Disciplined Breakdown (1997, Atlantic) was a common album choice.
Growing up in a small city in Mexico, all we had access to was the radio and a few record shops. Most of the “cool” music came from friends’ holiday trips to America, from a very limited Internet access and from contact with the guys in bands at school. That was it. We had no shows, there was no real music scene (to date). To have stumbled upon Collective Soul‘s two best records: Collective Soul (1995, Atlantic), and Disciplined Breakdown (1997, Atlantic) was a combination of timing and pure luck. And both albums shaped the local scene in more ways than most will admit.
I will always hold a special place in my heart for this band.
Catch them on tour.
Listen to Collective Soul below.