#5 – Collective Soul

Although I suppose someone could argue that Collective Soul is not a contemporary band, I’m going to take the liberty of putting them on my list.  For the last 12 years or so, no band has written more consistently solid rock songs.  They occasionally have some deeper meaning, and sometimes their skill is outstanding, but their consistency has been amazing.

Lead singer and songwriter Ed Roland is fantastic, even if he gets a little carried away with the dramatic sound of his voice at times.  Former lead guitarist Ross Childress was also outstanding, and it’s a shame that he’s no longer with them.  Now, their style is less driven by lead guitar, which isn’t always bad (my #1 band, as you’ll see, is much the same), but I preferred the old sound.

Collective Soul has a lot of songs under their belt and an inordinate number of single-word titles.  I still love them anyway.  Here are my 20 favorites:

  1. Shine
  2. December
  3. Heavy
  4. Gel
  5. Needs
  6. Better Now
  7. Precious Declaration
  8. The World I Know
  9. Why (pt. 2)
  10. Compliment
  11. Under Heaven’s Skies
  12. She Said
  13. Counting The Days
  14. Listen
  15. Where The River Flows
  16. No More, No Less
  17. Run
  18. Skin
  19. Blame
  20. Simple

My favorite albums:

  1. Collective Soul (1995)
  2. Dosage (1998)
  3. Youth (2004)

“Shine” and “December” always gave me trouble on this ranking.  For the longest time, “December” was by far my favorite CS song, but now I think “Shine” stands just a bit taller.  The rest of the list basically just fell into place.

One final note: For a long time, I had never seen Collective Soul live, but I finally did at the 2005 Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, so I crossed that off my to-do list.  They were great, needless to say.

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