Song Draft

Gel – Collective Soul

Album: Collective Soul (referred to as the Blue Album)

Written by: Ed Roland

Time: 3:00

Collective Soul was my white whale. I had tickets to see their shows in various cities multiple times, most of the time free. Even had an opportunity to see them in a tiny venue where the chances of meeting the band would have been very good, but every time something completely not on the radar caused me to cancel. I finally saw them on Labor Day weekend a couple of years ago, and I was not disappointed at all.

This is one group I have been a fan of since I first heard their songs. I was thinking about picking up their debut album ‘hints allegations and things left unsaid’ around Christmas in 93, but the only song on the album I recognized was ‘shine’. Honestly a truly fantastic song, but I follow a rule with music that is I am not buying an album if I do not like or recognize more than one song. (of course due to app store and things now, that sentence reads as ancient history to anyone younger)

I was content to hear ‘shine’ when it came on the radio or in clubs etc. It was not until this album came out that Collective Soul became known. The sophomore album had songs that became the distinctive sound of the band: Simple, December, Smashing Young Man, Where the River Flows, and Gel.

My favorite Collective Soul song is ‘Energy’ but that one was not released until their ‘7even year itch’ album, and it is rarely played. (I could not find a good version of the song on youtube, but Gel brings out the same feel).

The reason I like Gel is the memories that are evoked by this song. The group of guys I lived with in college used this as our “theme song”. It was really stupid, but we had a foyer in our building, and we would crank this song up and create a mosh pit. 15-20+ of us all jumping around and singing along. It brings back a lot of good times.

The sound and the beat are super catchy. Even now I could call up some of my buddies from back then and just say – ‘ah ha ah ha uh huh’ and I would hear ‘lets mingle’.

Here are the lyrics for Gel – I hope I do not earworm anyone with this one. To me the lyrics are about putting everything aside and focusing on everyone getting together as one.

Color me any color
Speak to me in tongues and share
Tell me how you’d love to hate me
Tell me how you’d love to care
Well I just want to shake us up

Let’s mingle
And make it well
Come together now
Yeah let’s gel

Clothe me in any fashion
Glitter to so mundane
Tell me how you’d love to change me
Tell me I can stay the same
I just want to shake us up

Let’s mingle
And make it well
Come together now
Yeah let’s gel
Well let’s bungle
And live to tell
How we came together
Yeah how we gelled


  1. Had the first two albums by them, liked them both. Interesting to hear your own connection to the song! I spent some time in Atlanta about a decade back, was surprised how big they still were in that city… like the town “house band” almost. to me they were at the top of the class of their kind of sub-genre of 90s music, falling somewhere between grunge and pop, and full of Goo Goo Dolls, and Bushes and Our Ladies Peace and son on…

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