The first three Dave Matthews Band albums were produced by Steve Lillywhite, who encouraged improvisation in the studio to simulate their live sound. This approach worked very well until they went to work on their fourth album, which turned into a slog. Matthews wasn't happy with the songs they worked up, so he scrapped them and brought in producer Glen Ballard to start work on a new set of songs.
Without the band, Matthews flew to Los Angeles (not his favorite place) to create songs with Ballard in the same studio where Ballard worked with Alanis Morissette on her albums Jagged Little Pill
and Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
. They were hoping to get one or two songs written to kickstart the album, but the pair clicked and wrote the entire album - 12 songs - in a span of 10 days. When the band came to LA from their home base of Charlottesville, Virginia, to record them, Matthews and Ballard already had the songs demoed, so they knew exactly what to play. This took their usual jamming out of the process but made them much more focused and efficient, with every song clocking in around four minutes long.
"The Space Between" was the album's second single, following the crunchy "I Did It
, like the previous DMB album, Before These Crowded Streets
, went to #1 in America and also lifted the cloud that had formed over Matthews as he struggled to make the album with Lillywhite. The following year, that abandoned album was revived and released as Busted Stuff
. It also went to #1.