Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain

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Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
Studio album by Sparklehorse
Released September 25, 2006 (2006-09-25)
Recorded 2001–2006
Length 53:14
Label Astralwerks/Caroline/Virgin/EMI Records
0946 3 70946 2 4
ASW 70946
Producer Mark Linkous
Danger Mouse
Sparklehorse chronology
It's a Wonderful Life
Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
Dark Night of the Soul

Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain is the fourth and final album by Sparklehorse before Mark Linkous' death in 2010. It was released on September 25, 2006 by Astralwerks Records.


After the release of 2001's It's a Wonderful Life, Linkous slowly began recording the tracks that would become Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain at his Static King Studio in North Carolina. He would later tell an interviewer that his depression had stalled the creation of the album, stretching the recording process out to about five years.[1] In 2006, he told Pitchfork Media that many of the songs that made up Dreamt for Light Years' track listing were actually songs that had been cut from It's a Wonderful Life:[2] "Well, I'd quit working for a while and it started to get really difficult to live and pay the rent. So it was really getting down to the wire where I had to turn a record in. I had some stuff written that I didn't put on the last album, because they were just really pop songs. They felt like anachronisms on the last record. So I saved all these little pop songs."[2]

After hearing 2004's The Grey Album, which mashed up Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album, Linkous invited the album's producer, Danger Mouse, to come to North Carolina and help him finish the tracks he had begun recording.[2]

Although it was Sparklehorse's first studio album in five years, approximately 25 minutes of the 55-minute-long record were released in some form previously, dating from the sessions for the It's a Wonderful Life album. "Ghost in the Sky" was originally released on the Japanese pressing of It's a Wonderful Life. "Shade and Honey" appeared on a joint 7" split-single with the Shins and Mates of State. "Shade and Honey" was also sung by the actor Alessandro Nivola in the 2002 film Laurel Canyon, and Nivola's version is also found on the soundtrack. "Morning Hollow" was previously found as the hidden bonus track on It's a Wonderful Life. The track "Dreamt for Lightyears in the Belly of a Mountain" was originally released in 2001 under the title "Maxine" on both the LP version of It's a Wonderful Life and on the Gold Day EP.

"Ghost in the Sky," "Don't Take My Sunshine Away," and "Knives of Summertime" were released as singles in the weeks leading up to the release of the album.

Album cover[edit]

The album cover was created by artist Robert Pokorny.[2] The image that would eventually wind up as the record cover was originally made for a promotional poster for a Sparklehorse in-store concert at Fingerprints Records in Long Beach, California.[2] Linkous later said that he "loved that image from the first time I saw it, and I just knew that was going to be the cover of the next album... {Pokorny} really has a great sense of realizing imagery from the music he listens to. I can't really describe anything about that image that represents anything specific in the music, but it just really seems to fit to me."[2]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[4]
The Guardian4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[8]

The album garnered mostly positive reviews[9] (notably from Pitchfork Media, LA Times and Entertainment Weekly)

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Don't Take My Sunshine Away" – 3:05
    • Mark Linkous – voice, guitar, bass, synthesizer, strings
    • Danger Mouse – sampler, drum programming
    • Sophie Michelitsianos – voice
    • Scott Minor – drums
    • Steven Drozd – drums
  2. "Getting It Wrong" – 2:16
    • Mark Linkous – voice, electric piano, bass, sampler, drums, pump organ, optigan
    • Danger Mouse – organ, sampler, drum programming
  3. "Shade and Honey" – 4:08
    • Mark Linkous – all instruments
  4. "See the Light" – 3:42
    • Mark Linkous – voice, guitar
    • Scott Minor – drums, electronics
    • Dave Fridmann – bass
    • Steven Drozd – echo guitar
    • Melissa Moore – violin
  5. "Return to Me" – 3:18
    • Mark Linkous – voice, classical guitar, sampler, chamberlin
    • Alan Weatherhead – pump organ, lap steel guitar
    • Johnny Hott – piano
  6. "Some Sweet Day" – 4:20
    • Mark Linkous – all instruments
  7. "Ghost in the Sky" – 3:28
    • Mark Linkous – all instruments
  8. "Mountains" – 3:42
    • Mark Linkous – voice, guitar, sampler, bass
    • Danger Mouse – organ, sampler
    • Johnny Hott – drums
  9. "Morning Hollow" – 7:23
    • Mark Linkous – voice, baritone guitar, e-Bow Guitar
    • Dave Fridmann – vibraphone, wurlitzer piano
    • Sophie Michelitsianos – voice
    • Scott Minor – drums, harmonium
    • Tom Waits – piano
    • Joan Wasser – violin
    • Jane Scarpantoni – cello
  10. "It's Not So Hard" – 2:52
    • Mark Linkous – voice, guitar
    • Dave Fridmann – bass
    • Steven Drozd – drums
  11. "Knives of Summertime" – 4:19
    • Mark Linkous – voice, guitar, sampler, tape loops
    • Matthew Linkous – guitar
    • Melissa Moore – bass, violin
    • Scott Minor – drums, electronics
    • Tim Regan – piano
  12. "Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain" – 10:35
    • Mark Linkous – piano, guitar loop, chamberlin, orchestron
    • Dave Fridmann – mellotron, chamberlin
    • Scott Minor – casio, electronics
    • Rex White – pedal steel