The Dave Matthews Band’s fourth album was supposed to be their fourth with producer Steve Lillywhite, who helped steer the group to fame and its first No. 1 with 1998’s ‘Before These Crowded Streets.’ But the album they made with Lillywhite (which included some of the darkest material they ever recorded) was eventually scrapped, and they headed back into the studio with Alanis Morissette’s producer Glen Ballard.

The resulting record, ‘Everyday,’ remains one of the most divisive in Matthews’ career. The band itself (especially violinist Boyd Tinsley) had less of a presence during the sessions, which put more focus on Matthews’ voice and guitar. Ballard, who’s worked with everyone from Michael Jackson and Aerosmith to Van Halen and No Doubt, co-wrote the album’s dozen songs with Matthews and played piano on most of them. In effect, ‘Everyday’ wasn’t the Dave Matthews Band’s fourth album so much as it was Matthews’ first solo record.

Even so, the album (which celebrates its 12th anniversary today) includes a few of Matthews’ best cuts from the early ‘00s. The opening track, and first single, ‘I Did It,’ invites itself to the sort of free-roaming jam that the band excels at; ‘The Space Between,’ another single, is one of his loveliest songs; and the title tune is a breezy acoustic shuffle that culminates in a group hug/sing-along.

‘Everyday’ debuted at No. 1 and eventually went triple platinum. ‘I Did It’ went Top 5 on the modern-rock chart but stalled outside the Top 70 otherwise. ‘The Space Between’ fared better, making it to No. 22 on the pop chart – the band’s first official Top 40 hit (earlier songs charted as airplay-only album tracks). The song also climbed to the Top 10 on modern rock. The following year, the Dave Matthews Band quickly returned with ‘Busted Stuff,’ an album of rerecorded songs from the abandoned Lillywhite sessions, this time produced by Brit Stephen Harris. The year after that, Matthews released his proper solo debut, ‘Some Devil.’ ‘Everyday’ puts both of them in perspective.

Watch the Dave Matthews Band's Video for 'The Space Between'

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