Collective Soul was a loose collective build around lead singer Ed Roland when their song "Shine
" got the attention of Atlantic Records in 1994. The label signed the band and pushed the single, which took off, sending them on a whirlwind journey that found them on the road for about eight months. During this time, there was tension within the band and between Roland and their manager, Bill Richardson. This all inspired the song "December," which Roland wrote.
He explained in a Songfacts interview
: "We were going through a tough time with our first manager, and I just felt like at the time, a lot of stuff happened really quickly. You've got to remember, we had a hit song before we had a label or even a true band. So, that relationship started to deteriorate. And while we were in the studio, it came pretty natural. I just wanted to talk about how I felt I was being used and whatever I did was not good enough ever."
After the album was released, the band got into a legal tangle with Richardson that froze their earnings and took over a year to resolve.