Collective Soul -- taken from a line in Ayn Rand's book The Fountainhead, were formed in the small town of Stockbridge in the early '90s by principal songwriter Ed Roland (lead vocals/keyboards/guitars), guitarists Dean Roland and Joel Kosche, and rhythm section Will Turpin (bass/percussion) and Shane Evans (drums/percussion). Originally released in 1993 on the Atlanta indie label Rising Storm, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid proved popular enough on the local level that it was picked up the following year by Atlantic. Within months of its release, "Shine" became a modern rock and MTV staple, and Collective Soul found themselves with a platinum debut, playing everywhere from arenas with Aerosmith to Woodstock 1994.
They released the eponymous sophomore effort the following year, which featured the hits "World I Know" and "December," once again going multi-platinum, but their fan base began to wane upon the release of 1997's Disciplined Breakdown. Released in 1999, Dosage was a return to form for the group, yielding the hit singles "Run" and "Heavy," but despite their best efforts, the post-grunge genre was suffering under the weight of the emerging nu-metal scene. In 2000 they released Blender, an image-seeking misfire that saw the group attempting a clean-cut (no facial hair) image and mixing in heavily produced AOR with dance-pop, even performing a duet with Elton John. The following year, fans were treated to 7even Year Itch: Collective Soul's Greatest Hits 1994-2001. In 2004, the group returned to their roots, bringing on new guitar player Joel Kosche and releasing the stripped-down and dynamic Youth on its own El Music Group imprint. An eight song EP (From the Ground Up) arrived the following year.