When Collective Soul started out, it was as if they were an overnight success. It was an era where rock music wasn't as prevalent as it had been in the '80s, but they were able to thrive.
Their first single, "Shine," was picked up by college radio stations and eventually became a staple on airwaves. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot Album Rock Tracks chart in 1994.
While the band is still known for their grungy, anthem-like sound, they're also capable of creating songs that are as heartfelt as they are heavy. Their latest album, Blood, is a perfect example of this; it's chock full of crunching guitar riffs and thought-provoking lyrics that make you stop and think.
The lyricist Ed Roland, along with his bandmates Ross Childress (lead guitar), Dean Roland (bass), and Shane Evans (drums) are all members of the United Church of Christ. They often have a religious theme to their music, as evidenced by the Virgin Mary, crucifix and Jesus piece references that can be found throughout their catalog.
"Heavy" was the last of Collective Soul's seven number ones on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, and it was their most successful song to date. It stayed at the top of the charts for 15 weeks and earned them their 11th RIAA gold and platinum certification.
In the aftermath of Virginia Tech's shooting rampage, Cho Sueng-Hui, a student at the school, reportedly listened to the song over and over again. He even inscribed the lyrics on the wall of his dorm room.