7even Year Itch, Collective Soul Atlantic

Paul Wong
Courtesy of CBS

“Shine” is only on the CD once, yet Collective Soul”s Greatest Hits album, 7even Year Itch has 13 tracks. While the rock radio mind may not be able to readily reel off a slew of Collective Soul hits, they do exist. In fact the record boasts eight No. 1 singles. The names “Precious Declaration,” “Gel” and “Heavy” may not ring a bell, but the signature riffs of these songs are heavy enough to ring your bell and catchy enough to draw instant recognition.

The band had all the markings of a one hit wonder. Their 1994 debut disc, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid featured only one hit single, “Shine.”

Granted the song was a major success but it was the only single off the album and it seemed way too catchy for the band”s collective well being. All signs pointed to Hasbeenville for the group but their eponymous sophomore release spawned four No. 1 hit singles, including the blissfully bongo heavy “December” and string saturated “The World I Know.” By 1997 the surprise of seeing Collective Soul at the top of the rock charts had vanished as “Precious Declaration” and “Listen” from Disciplined Breakdown both went to number one. Since then the band has released two more albums, both containing a chart topper.

Quietly, but surely the brothers Roland, Ed and Dean led Collective Soul to being one of the biggest rock bands of the of the mid nineties. The band has an uncanny ability to add just the right amount of syrupy melody over their razor sharp guitar licks, pleasing the Top 40 and rock radio listener. Releasing a greatest hits album after only 7 years in the business looks a bit pretentious but releasing a double CD 14 Year Itch in 2008 didn”t seem as practical.

Grade: B

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