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After landing a total of ten #1 hits, moving over 20 million records worldwide, and selling out shows everywhere with a stage, Collective Soul—Ed Roland [vocals, guitars, keyboards], Dean Roland [guitars], Will Turpin [bass], Jesse Triplett [guitars], and Johnny Rabb [drums]—staunchly and proudly remain a rock ‘n’ roll band through and through. Nowhere is that reassuring fact more apparent than on the first proper live album of the group’s 25-year career, LIVE. Fittingly, they introduce the collection with a live piano rendition of their biggest hit 1993’s “Shine”—which would be crowned #1 Album Rock Song of 1994, win a Billboard award for “Top Rock Track,” land on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the ‘90s,” and notch Dolly Parton a GRAMMY® Award for “Best Vocal Performance” on her 2001 cover. Preserving the soulful spark that established them as the “Southern Gentlemen of the Alternative Rock Scene,” Collective Soul build upon a formidable foundation. They were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2009. To date, they average over 1 million Spotify streams a month. From a classic performance at Woodstock 1994 to a notable placement on the Twilight soundtrack, their influence continues to course through generations of pop culture.
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"Live" (17 tracks; 78 min.) opens with the traditional Collective Soul concert opened, the irresistible "Heavy". From there we go to "Where the River Flows", what a 1-2 punch to kick things off! You may recall that in 2001 Collective Soul released "7even Year Itch", a wonderful greatest hits album. It's no surprise that almost all (in fact all but two) of the tracks from that compilation are also on this live release, so this really should be titled "Greatest Hits Live", even with a couple of latter day tracks towards the end of this CD that weren't hits (but they still sound pretty good). Ed Roland is in fine form throughout, although obviously the range of his voice has lowered a bit over the years. Bottom line: this is a fine live album that supplants the previous "Home" live album as the definitive Collective Soul live release. (Please note that the digital release of this comes with one extra track, the previously unreleased but non-essential "Right As Rain".)
It was early 1995 when I saw Collective Soul in concert for the first time, opening for Van Halen in San Antonio, TX as they were riding high on "Shine". I can't recall how many more times I've seen them live since, but it's been a LOT. In all those times, I've never had anything other than a wonderful concert experience, with the band giving it their all each and every time. This energy is palpable on "Live" as well. "Live" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Collective Soul are one of those bands who had so many hits, we forget. Well they are all gathered here along with a few surprises. Great sound quality and performance by the band. Nostalgic i suppose, but from the start of 'Heavy' these songs still sounds relevant and the band sounds strong ('Precious Declaration' smokes on here). Newer track 'Ayta' is a weak spot, but a minor speed bump, the energetic version of 'Why Pt.2' make up for it quickly. They stay focused on the hits and some deep tracks that most fans have loved for years.
Of course you get the classics like 'December' (which has a great guitar solo and performance), Shine' and 'The World I Know' but so much more. The rest is the mixture of hard rock w/ a light touch of grunge and pop sensibility that was so refreshing at the time. It was radio friendly and they sold a ton of CD's for a reason. These are just good songs. Some lighter, stripped down moments as well, but very strong.
5 stars because of the track list, and the Value! 18 tracks in all (a complete steal at $7 w/ auto rip this first week of release??)