Collective Soul (1995 album)

Collective Soul (1995 album)
Collective Soul
Studio album by Collective Soul
Released March 14, 1995
Recorded Late 1994 at Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida
Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge
Length 46:10
Label Atlantic
Producer Ed Roland, Matt Serletic
Collective Soul chronology
Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
Collective Soul
Disciplined Breakdown
Singles from Collective Soul
  1. "December"
    Released: March 1995
  2. "The World I Know"
    Released: November 1995
  3. "Where the River Flows"
    Released: 1995
  4. "Gel"
    Released: 1995
  5. "Smashing Young Man"
    Released: 1995

Collective Soul, also sometimes known as the "Blue Album," is the second and eponymous studio album by Collective Soul, first released on March 14, 1995. It became Collective Soul'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 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 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 for a week of publicity and photo sessions.[1]

Promotion and touring

Collective Soul opened for Van Halen on a tour which began in March 1995 in Pensacola, Florida and ended May 8. 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

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [2]
Entertainment Weekly B [3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 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

All songs written by Ed Roland, except where noted.

  1. "Simple" (Roland, Ross Childress) – 3:45
  2. "Untitled" – 4:01
  3. "The World I Know" (Roland, Childress) – 4:16
  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
  13. "That's All Right" (Arthur Crudup) - 2:09 *Bonus track on Japanese edition (Atlantic AMCY-803)*


  • Greg Archilla - Engineer
  • Bertram Brown - Vocals (bckgr)
  • David Chappell - Viola
  • Ross Childress - Lead Guitar
  • Bob Clearmountain - Mixing
  • Janet Clippard - Bass
  • John DiPuccio - Violin
  • Luis Enrique - Percussion
  • Shane Evans - Drums
  • Jackie Johnson - Vocals (bckgr)
  • Geremy Miller - Violin
  • Alfredo Oliva
  • Dean Roland - Guitar (Rhythm)
  • Ed Roland - Guitar, Vocals, Producer
  • Becky Russell - Vocals (bckgr)
  • Steven Sigurdson - Cello
  • Malcolm Springer - Second Engineer
  • Will Turpin - Bass, Vocals (bckgr)



  • Billboard (North America)
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" Modern 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


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