This was written by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong who are best known for being founding members of the alternative Christian rock band, The Choir.
Hindalong and Daugherty originally recorded this for the 1992 worship album At the Foot of the Cross, Volume One: Clouds, Rain, Fire. Five years later The Choir recorded an acoustic version themselves for their live album Let It Fly. In 2000 they recorded a studio-recorded version on their Grammy-nominated album Flap Your Wings.
Hindalong explained to CCM Top 100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music how this song came about: "Derri gave me this handheld tape player with all these songs that he'd dem'd up, and you could hear a football game (on TV) in the background. He's watching the game and strumming his guitar… For 'Beautiful Scandalous Night' and the album it was on, we were just focusing on the death of Christ and His sacrifice. That was just a real powerful offering for us and a very special song. It was our dream, our fantasy, that (gospel singer) Russ Taff would sing it… We didn't get that to happen, but Bob Bennett did a great job."
Among the artists to cover this has been Sheila Walsh on her 2000 album Blue Waters and Sixpence None the Richer together with Bebo Norman on the 2003 set City on a Hill: The Gathering.