Collective Soul (1995 album)

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Collective Soul
Collective Soul Self-Titled.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 14, 1995
RecordedLate 1994
Miami, Florida
(Criteria Studios)
GenrePost-grunge, hard rock, alternative rock
ProducerEd Roland
Matt Serletic
Collective Soul chronology
Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid
Collective Soul
Disciplined Breakdown
Singles from Collective Soul
  1. "Gel"
    Released: January 1995
  2. "December"
    Released: March 1995
  3. "Smashing Young Man"
    Released: 1995
  4. "The World I Know"
    Released: November 14, 1995
  5. "Where the River Flows"
    Released: March 26, 1996

Collective Soul (sometimes referred to as the Blue Album to differentiate from the second self-titled album) is the second studio album by Collective Soul. It became the band's highest selling album to date, going Triple-Platinum, and spent 76 weeks on the Billboard 200 charts. The singles "December," "The World I Know" and "Where the River Flows" all reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, while the first two singles also became major pop hits.

Frontman Ed Roland has considered Collective Soul the band's true debut album; Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid was intended more as a promotional demo and a means of acquiring a publishing contract for Roland who in 1995 noted, "It's so funny for people to compare the two. It's like comparing one band to another band. This record is our first record, flat out."[1]


Amidst the surprise success of "Shine," taken from the Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid demo recordings, Collective Soul insisted on remixing the songs for a higher quality re-release. However, they were told the time required for this would drain their momentum. The band were instead convinced they could begin recording a new, sophomore effort immediately after finishing their tour schedule.

The recording and mixing of Collective Soul took five weeks, a strained scheduled due to added concerts in late December 1994 which finished on New Year's Eve. Ed Roland wrote thirty-five songs in 1994 and recorded fifteen of them in the studio. Four more were written in the studio which allowed the band to disregard eight of the previous tracks. Lead guitarist Ross Childress helped write "Simple" and "The World I Know" which was greatly encouraged by Roland who wanted a band effort in the studio.

By the time "Smashing Young Man" was being recorded, drummer Shane Evans was on vacation and unreachable. This forced the band to loop a drum sample of his from a DAT before hiring a second drummer to improve it. After many takes, Roland was also disappointed with the final version of "Bleed" but liked the song too much to remove it from the record.

Mixing was completed in the first week of February 1995; mastering was finished on a Friday with the plants opened and the album delivered the next day. The band then went to New York City for a week of publicity and photo sessions.[1]

Promotion and touring[edit]

Collective Soul opened for Van Halen during their Balance Tour which began on March 11, 1995 in Pensacola, Florida and ended in May 1995. The band then performed at festivals in the United States before taking a break and then continuing with their own solo tour including club shows. Seven songs from the new album were performed on tour with "Shine" being the only played track from their previous release. A new unnamed song was also performed in concert.[1]

The band's self-titled release included five singles: "December," "The World I Know," "Where the River Flows," "Gel" and "Smashing Young Man." The three former tracks reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts and the first two became major pop hits. Music videos were also filmed for some singles and aired significantly on MTV.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB[3]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[4]

In a feat similar to its predecessor, Collective Soul received positive reviews with praise handed to its strong melodies but also indifference for an alleged lack of musical innovation. Paul Evans of Rolling Stone gave the album 3 out of 5 stars. He noted "Roland's flair for McCartneyesque melodic detail" and summed up with "the band proves it has the goods to continue to shine on brightly."

Allmusic's Tom Demalon chose "The World I Know" and "Gel" as AMG Track Picks. He, too, commended the strong melodies and stated "While not exactly ground-breaking, Collective Soul delivers the goods with a dozen, hook-laden songs for which they were awarded another multi-platinum outing."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Ed Roland, except where noted.

1."Simple"Roland, Ross Childress3:45
2."Untitled" 4:01
3."The World I Know"Roland, Childress4:16
4."Smashing Young Man" 3:45
5."December" 4:45
6."Where the River Flows" 3:35
7."Gel" 3:00
8."She Gathers Rain" 4:31
9."When the Water Falls" 3:40
10."Collection of Goods" 4:14
11."Bleed" 4:03
12."Reunion" 2:35


Collective Soul:

Additional musicians:

  • Jackie Johnson - background vocals
  • Bertram Brown - background vocals
  • Becky Russell - background vocals
  • Steven Sigurdson - cello
  • David Chappell - viola
  • Geremy Miller - violin
  • John DiPuccio - violin
  • Janet Clippard - contrabass
  • Luis Enrique - percussion


  • Matt Serletic - producer
  • Greg Archilla - engineer
  • Malcolm Springer - second engineer
  • Bjorn Thorsrud - second engineer
  • Tom Gordon - assistant engineer
  • Bob Clearmountain - mixing



Year Chart Position
1995 The Billboard 200 23


  • Billboard (North America)
Year Single Chart Position
1995 "December" The Billboard Hot 100 20
Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Modern Rock Tracks 2
Adult Contemporary 14
Adult Top 40 11
Adult Top 40 19
Top 40 Mainstream 7
"Gel" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
Modern Rock Tracks 14
"Smashing Young Man" Mainstream Rock Tracks 8
"The World I Know" The Billboard Hot 100 19
Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Modern Rock Tracks 6
Top 40 Mainstream 8
Top 40 Mainstream 35
1996 Adult Top 40 18
Top 40 Adult Recurrents 1
"December" Top 40 Adult Recurrents 3
"Where the River Flows" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1


  1. ^ a b c Miller, Gerri No One Hit Wonder, CS Shines With Album #2 Metal Edge (Spring 1995). Retrieved on 2-07-10.
  2. ^ Demalon, Tom (1995-03-14). "Collective Soul - Collective Soul". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  3. ^ Jim Farber (1995-03-17). "Collective Soul Review | Music Reviews and News". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  4. ^ "Rolling Stone Music | Album Reviews". Retrieved 2012-02-10.