Collective Soul is an American rock band from Stockbridge, Georgia. They enjoyed popularity on alternative rock and mainstream rock radio throughout the mid to late 1990s, recording seven #1 mainstream rock hits. They broke into mainstream popularity with their hit single “Shine” from their debut album Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, released in 1993.
Prior to forming Collective Soul, Ed Roland studied songwriting/composing and guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ed began working at “Real 2 Reel Studios” in Stockbridge during the 1980s and of early 1990s, which was owned by Will Turpin’s father. Ed did production and engineering work for local Atlanta artists. He also recorded his own demos and his independent solo album “Ed-E Roland” in 1991. Ed had been in garage bands and did some performing of his own. He had a pre-Collective Soul band in the late 80’s/early 90’s called “Marching Two-Step” which also included Shane Evans; they were a legitimate band for about 3 years.
Around 1992, Ed started to shift focus and began trying to secure contracts for his songwriting and publishing. However, these early attempts ended in rejection. That would change in 1993 when his song “Shine” from the Rising Storm label release of “Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid” became an underground hit on a College radio station in Orlando. It was around this time that Ed brought along Shane Evans, his brother Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Ross Childress. This would become the official line-up.
Ed Roland was reading Ayn Rand‘s The Fountainhead and come across the phrase “collective soul.” Although author Ayn Rand actually uses the phrase in a negative connotation, using the “collective soul” as a threat to the main character’s sense of individualism, Ed is quick to point out, “…we’re not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything…we just dug the name…” and “it [the band’s name] could’ve come out of a Motorcycle Magazine.
Atlantic Records took note of the popularity of “Shine” and subsequently signed the band.
Collective Soul’s notoriety grew from their hometown of Stockbridge, Georgia into international fame with 1994’s double-platinum Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid. The album, a collection of Ed Roland’s early demos, was highlighted by the #1 hit song “Shine“. The band was then invited to perform at the Woodstock 1994 festival.