Dark Night of the Soul is a studio album by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse. Its release was postponed due to a legal dispute with the album's distributor EMI and was finally released in July 2010, about a year after it had been leaked to the internet and Danger Mouse had released a blank CD-R as a way of working around the dispute.
The album was the subject of a legal dispute with the project's record labelEMI. It was initially reported in early 2009 that there was a possibility that the album might never see release. However, the book was made available for sale on the official website of Dark Night of the Soul, bundled with a blank recordable CD-R. All copies were clearly labeled as follows:
For legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.
The audio portion of the album was widely leaked around the same time.
Without going into detail, EMI acknowledged the legal dispute and released the following statement:
Danger Mouse is a brilliant, talented artist for whom we have enormous respect. We continue to make every effort to resolve this situation and we are talking to Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) directly. Meanwhile, we need to reserve our rights.
Both parties of the dispute remained silent about the particulars, but it is believed that the problems with distribution centered around a record deal that Danger Mouse signed with Lex Records.
In early 2010, it was announced that Dark Night of the Soul was slated for a tentative summer 2010 release, even though the CD-R version had been available since the previous May. A Lex Records logo appears next to the Capitol Records logo on the final version.
The full album was officially released July 12, 2010, in multiple formats.
This was the final album that Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkous completed before his suicide on March 6, 2010, although In the Fishtank 15—recorded in 2007—was released later, and Linkous was working on another LP at the time of his death. It was also one of the final works recorded by Vic Chesnutt before his suicide.