Collective Soul’s triple-platinum, self-titled sophomore album will be commemorated with its first-ever vinyl pressing, while the deluxe CD and digital versions will include six bonus tracks.
The legendary alt-rock band’s 1993 debut, Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, will also get its first wide-release on vinyl.
Affectionately referred to as “The Blue Album”, Collective Soul followed Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and would go on to become the highest-selling title of their career. This special anniversary reissue—available on CD and across digital and streaming platforms on August 7—will include six bonus tracks, plus liner notes from music journalist Jeff Slate, with new insights from the band’s frontman and guiding creative force, Ed Roland.
Collective Soul will also be reissued in its original form on vinyl for the very first time, along with Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. The latter pressing, which will be sold across all major music retailers, follows a limited-edition 2018 Record Store Day exclusive. Both LPs are set for an August 7 release date.
The anniversary edition of Collective Soul features all 12 original tracks plus six bonus tracks. These include live recordings of “December,” “Where the River Flows,” “When The Water Falls,” and “Bleed.” Also added is a studio recording of the song “That’s All Right,” which was previously only available on the Japanese edition of the album.
Formed in Stockbridge, GA in 1992 amid the rise of the grunge music scene, Collective Soul put their own spin on the genre, injecting influences of Southern hard rock and soul. The five-piece signed their first major record deal just one year later, following the massive success of their single “Shine.” Though their debut, Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, was culled primarily from demo recordings, the album went double-platinum. Seemingly overnight, Roland, Ross Childress (lead guitarist, backing vocals), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals), and Shane Evans (drums) were skyrocketed into international stardom.
Collective Soul, meanwhile, is regarded by Roland to be the band’s true debut. The album was written during downtime amid the band’s ascension—on the tour bus, between rehearsals, and in hotel rooms across the country.
“I was writing like a fiend,” Roland recalls in the liner notes. “I would show the band new songs at soundcheck in the afternoon and we’d play them that night. That was our pre-production. And every day we had off, we were in the studio going for it, because I needed to get the band sounding the way I thought the band should sound, and get it out ASAP.”
These new songs included the single “Smashing Young Man,” inspired during the band’s time in England, and the chart-topping hit “Where The River Flows,” written about Roland’s mid-tour breakup with a girlfriend. Another fan-favorite off the record, “The World I Know,” was penned during a stop in New York City.
“I had met this girl—the first girl I’d met on the road—and I was trying to impress her,” recalls Roland. “I told her, ‘I’m going to walk around for an hour. I’ve got this chord progression and this melody in my head.’ Back then, Times Square was still kind of hard. You’d walk by homeless people, and you’d see stretch limos, with people getting out with furs on. So when I got back, I used that concept, and threw in some spirituality, too.”
Roland produced the album along with old friend and collaborator Matt Serletic, who would go on to helm best-selling titles by Matchbox Twenty, Joe Cocker and Taylor Hicks, and later serve as chairman of Virgin Records. Released in March 1995, Collective Soul proved the band’s creative prowess. The album peaked at No.23 on the Billboard 200 and spent a whopping 76 weeks on the chart. It would eventually be certified triple-platinum by the RIAA.
Collective Soul also yielded five singles, including “December,” “The World I Know,” and “Where The River Flows” – all three of which went to No.1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. “December” and “The World I Know,” meanwhile, both hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 20, and peaked at No.2 and No.1, respectively, on the Canadian pop charts.
25 years on, Roland still looks back the mid-’90s fondly, when, at 30, he was finally able to enjoy the fruits of his labors. “People always say you have your whole life to make your first record, and then the other ones are harder to write,” he says. “To me, it was the opposite. It took me my whole life to be able to get that first record out, and all of a sudden I could pay my rent. I could buy a car. That took so much pressure off.”
He adds, “I’m not afraid to say that I’m very proud of our body of work. We overcame a lot. We sustained and survived through it all, and continue to make new music. So I’m thankful to everybody who’s been supportive of us.”
To date, the Atlanta-based group has released a total of ten studio albums, and continues to actively tour and release new material—including 2019’s Blood and 2015’s critically acclaimed See What You Started by Continuing, which topped Billboard’s Alternative Album chart, and peaked at No.4 on the Rock Albums chart.
Collective Soul is out on August 7 and can be pre-ordered here.