Burnin' Daylight was formed in 1995 by Sonny LeMaire, Kurt Howell, and Marc Beeson. LeMaire was formerly a member of Exile, and Howell, formerly of Southern Pacific and later a solo artist for Reprise Records. Marc Beeson was a Nashville songwriter who had previously charted a solo single on BNA Records in the early 1990s. The group had originally assumed the name The Loose Cannons, but was forced to change its name to Burnin' Daylight because another band had the same name. Originally, songwriters Trey Bruce and Rob Crosby were slated to be members of Burnin' Daylight as well. However, they decided to focus on their respective solo careers instead.
Initially, Burnin' Daylight was intended to be only a live band. They eventually sent a tape to Mike Curb, head of the Curb Records label, who signed the group in 1997. In April of that year, Burnin' Daylight released its eponymous debut album. They charted three singles on the Billboard country music charts, including a Top 40 hit in "Say Yes". Robert Loy of Country Standard Time gave the album a negative review, criticizing it as formula.