Collective Soul, who took their name from a line in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, grew up together in Stockbridge, Georgia with lead singer Ed Roland and drummer Shane Evans first playing music together in 1989 as the group Marching Two Step. Before the final line-up of Roland, Evans, guitarists Dean Roland and Joel Kosche, and bassist Will Turpin solidified, all of the members had been involved, musically, together in some form or another for many years. Their first album, Hints, Allegations & Things Left Unsaid was originally released in 1993 on the indie label Rising Storm Records, but Atlantic Records signed the band and reissued it in 1994, sending the album, with its hit single "Shine," to platinum status. After playing Woodstock '94, the band recorded its eponymous sophomore album, which was even more successful than its predecessor, going triple platinum and spawning the hits "World I Know" and "December." After management difficulties, the band recorded and released the much darker album, Disciplined Breakdown, which didn't achieve the success they were used to. But their follow up, 199's Dosage (comprised of much more pop sounding tracks than they've ever done before), saw the band rebound with the number one hit "Heavy". They continued this trend with the poorly reviewed Blender in 2001. With their contract with Atlantic almost over, original member and guitar player Ross Childress left the band, leaving fans stunned and confused. In 2004 Collective Soul released their sixth album, Youth, on their own indie label, but as the band embarked on their tour, original drummer Shane Evans left the band.
As the popularity of early '90s dissonant, angry grunge groups began to fade, the mid-'90s brought us a more listener friendly bands such as Live, Silverchair and Bush. Collective Soul fit more into this mold, still harboring the angst that fit with the early '90s sound, but set to softer backgrounds and even acid-rock guitar riffs. With their lighter sound and by not taking themselves too seriously, Collective Soul help bring fun back to rock and roll. Some criticized their decision to go overtly pop with their albums in the late '90s, but it's a bit of an unfair criticism looking at the performance of those albums versus their darkest release, Disciplined Breakdown, which sold poorly and made it appear that many of their fans had abandoned them. Their latest release, 2004's Youth, showcases the bands diversity, with emotional songs such as "Under Heavens Skies" and catch pop tunes like "Perfect To Stay."