Danger Mouse's EMI-killed CD will be released as a blank CD-R, just add download

EMI has told Danger Mouse that his latest CD won't see the light of day due to "legal issues," so he's responding by releasing the disc as a blank CD-R in a jewel case with art and liner notes. Fans can just download the music off a P2P site and burn it to the CD-R.

Dark Night Of The Soul, a collaboration with rock group Sparklehorse, also features Iggy Pop and The Flaming Lips, along with artwork by David Lynch.

It has already been streamed online, but Billboard magazine said a "legal dispute" with EMI derailed the project...

"Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of Dark Night of the Soul and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is."

He added that the album, which comes with a limited edition, "100+ page book" of David Lynch photographs inspired by the music "will now come with a blank, recordable CD-R".

"All copies will be clearly labelled: 'For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'"

Danger Mouse to release blank CD

Hear The Entire Album: 'Dark Night Of The Soul'

(Image: Danger Mouse 2 - Gnarls Barkley, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike image from Staxnet's photostream)


  1. So why does nothing turn up when I search for “dark night of the soul” on Pirate Bay, NowTorrents, or gPirate? Put up or shut up, mister alternative distribution method mashupper – get that “leak” out before you release your press release.

  2. #2: Agreed. There’s plenty of torrents out there of this.

    Unfortunately, most of them seem to be 128kbps rips. Where is the the FLAC version (or WAV or AIF)?

  3. “All copies will be clearly labelled: ‘For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'”

    I put it on my player and listened to it as it was purchased. I was shocked to find that John Cage’s most important composition was on it 17.58 times!

  4. Does anyone have any info on what the “legal dispute” is? If this is a big “middle finger” stunt, I bet it’s an interesting reason.

    On a related note, is it still illegal to download if the primary artist tells everyone to do it?

  5. I look forward to reading Danger Mouse’s new book on making a career out of trivialising copyright issues, too.

  6. Telecustard – Surprising that he’s relying so heavily on a single sample, isn’t it?

  7. Sorry but I don’t wanna pay for media with a fairly short life span. I’d rather download it and keep it on a USB key.

    Its clever I’ll admit, but I personally wouldn’t pay for it. It’s pretty much a convoluted way to ask for donations, I’d rather just click a paypal button.

  8. Strangely enough Dragonfrog, that’s pretty much what people thought about certain tracks on The Grey Album too.

  9. Very cool.

    I wonder how much the blank CD-R with art / liner notes is going to cost? It would be interesting if they made that “pay what you think it’s worth”…

  10. Yeah, I downloaded the Grey Album on general principle, but I found it so boring I deleted after a couple of hearings…

  11. Yes, after listening to it, I thought I liked it, but then I realized I liked the Beatle-ly stuff mostly, and that listening to THE BEATLES on vinyl was better for that.

    Video mashup is where it’s at now anyways.

  12. Heh, this instantly made me want to get/listen to the album. I dig an artist with some balls to stand up to the record industry.

  13. The man has a LOT of talent and has no need to use someone elses work to get his message across. Heck, I have a feeling that if he used his own work, it would probably be far more powerful…

    Thats the thing I don’t get with sampling others works…it cheapens the product. I understand people want a touchstone, but dammit…I want to see new works and not recycled ones.

    That said, I did like his Grey album…there would be been no way to do that without using others works…but this one? I don’t see why it was done…

  14. He has produced some good albums. And Iggy Pop and David Lynch are another plus.

    Can’t say I have listened to the Grey Album. Not a big fan of Jay-Z.

  15. Thats the thing I don’t get with sampling others works…it cheapens the product. I understand people want a touchstone, but dammit…I want to see new works and not recycled ones.

    Everything is sampled and recycled. There is a reason why Led Zeppelin or anything that even sounding like Led Zeppelin only appeared in the 70’s, and not 1930, 1830, or the other proceeding 50,000 years of modern human history. Led Zeppelin appeared in the 70’s because only because those people were inspired by and flat out stole sounds from their musical heroes and contemporaries. They added to the mix to be sure, but you can also be sure that they would never have appeared if they had grown up in China or 1930’s America.

    Culture, especially that in the form of art, is massively influenced, copied, inspired, and remixed from what came before. The only real difference is that we now have laws that smack you if anyone can definitively place where you get your inspiration.

  16. @ #25:

    Sampling has a fascinating and complicated history. Accusations that it is merely plagiarism or stems from lack of creativity seem to me to fail to understand the artistic uses to which samples are put in dance, reggae, hip hop, and other musical forms. Sampling also plays an important role in allowing for the preservation and reinterpretation of the cultural heritage of certain musical traditions.

    For anyone who’s interested and has JSTOR access, Joanna Demers had a very interesting article about how hip hop has used sampling to redepoy and build upon cultural and political concerns of the 70s, giving voice to messages about present-day issues:


    There’s also an interesting website here, which visualises how the most sample heavy records in popular music are linked to the most sampled records in popular music:



  17. HUGE props to danger mouse for coming up with this idea. can’t wait to hear his new stuff. the grey album is one of my favorites – the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

    (you heard me)

  18. Clif @ 25 –

    I don’t see why it was done…

    I think you’re supposed to hear that, not see it.

  19. When I buy something, I’d rather not see ‘use it as you will’ written on it, I’d rather that just be culturally assumed…

  20. @15: I think you’ve missed the point of the CD-R. You’re not paying $50 for a piece of blank media to record the album on to; you’re paying for the cover, sleeve notes, booklet, etc. Feel free to store the music on the medium of your choice, but be aware that your USB key won’t fit into the CD case very well.

  21. Perhaps it’s just me, but when I look at the picture, I don’t see Danger Mouse.

    I see Penfold.

  22. Revenge (Flaming Lips):

    Just War (Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals):

    Jaykub (Jason Lytle):

    Little Girl (Julian Casablancas of The Strokes):

    Angel’s Harp (Frank Black of The Pixies):

    Pain (Iggy Pop):

    Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It) (David Lynch):

    Everytime I’m With You (Jason Lytle):

    Insane Lullaby (James Mercer of The Shins):

    Daddy’s Gone (Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse and Nina Persson of The Cardigans):

    The Man Who Played God (Suzanne Vega):

    Grim Augury (Vic Chesnutt):

    Dark Night Of The Soul (David Lynch):

    After downloading the files you will need to tag them. I would suggest
    tagging them as per the names on the NPR site as this is the only
    official source. Most users up to now have downloaded from the various
    file sharing networks, which are tagged incorrectly, e.g. removing
    David Lynch’s credits.

  23. Blutec, is the amazon’s item the same of that on sale on dnots-store.com? does it includes the book, the blank CD-R and the Free Original Poster?

  24. @38: Thanks for providing the links. I was pleasantly surprised to receive my copy of the book today. I was hesitant to do so, but I flipped through it in one sitting, allowing time for each image to sink in before turning the page to the next one. David Lynch is a talented visual artist, and my favorite American surrealist. I look forward to looking through the book while listening to the music.

    It also came with a giant poster.

  25. @Zabar Yes the amazon deal is the same bookdeal incl. blank cd (and I guess with free poster as well), and you can always ask dnots to be sure (email provided at the dnots page where you can order the US/Canada book).

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