Dark Was The Night

2009
TracklistError Loading File
  • Knotty Pine Dirty Projectors and David Byrne
    Play Pause
  • Cello Song The Books featuring José González
    Play Pause
  • Train Song Feist and Ben Gibbard
    Play Pause
  • Brackett, W9 Bon Iver
    Play Pause
  • Deep Blue Sea
    Play Pause
  • So Far Around The Bend The National
    Play Pause
  • Tightrope Yeasayer
    Play Pause
  • Feeling Good My Brightest Diamond
    Play Pause
  • Dark Was The Night Kronos Quartet
    Play Pause
  • I Was Young When I Left Home Antony with Bryce Dessner
    Play Pause
  • Big Red Machine Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner
    Play Pause
  • Sleepless The Decemberists
    Play Pause
  • Die Iron & Wine
    Play Pause
  • Service Bell Grizzly Bear and Feist
    Play Pause
  • You Are The Blood Sufjan Stevens
    Play Pause
  • Well Alright Spoon
    Play Pause
  • Lenin Arcade Fire
    Play Pause
  • Mimizan Beirut
    Play Pause
  • El Caporal My Morning Jacket
    Play Pause
  • Inspiration Information Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
    Play Pause
  • With A Girl Like You Dave Sitek
    Play Pause
  • Blood Pt.2 Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens & Serengeti)
    Play Pause
  • Hey Snow White The New Pornographers
    Play Pause
  • Gentle Hours Yo La Tengo
    Play Pause
  • Another Saturday Stuart Murdoch
    Play Pause
  • Happiness Riceboy Sleeps (Jónsi & Alex)
    Play Pause
  • Amazing Grace Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
    Play Pause
  • The Giant Of Illinois Andrew Bird
    Play Pause
  • Lua Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
    Play Pause
  • When The Road Runs Out Blonde Redhead & Devastations
    Play Pause
  • Love Vs. Porn Kevin Drew
    Play Pause

OVERVIEW

Red Hot considered closing its doors after Red Hot + Riot. The album was well regarded, and focused on the issue of AIDS in Africa directly for the first time; but selling music to raise money and awareness had diminished radically with the rise of the Internet and file sharing.

But during this time Aaron Dessner (and to a lesser degree his brother Bryce) was working a ‘day job’ at Funny Garbage (a successful pioneer digital design company co-founded and run by Red Hot’s co-founder) while their band The National was incubating. When the band became a worldwide success, Aaron left the company; but wanted to work with Red Hot to do a indie rock compilation album that would be his generation’s No Alternative.

dwtn_swirlcover_red_wht-copy

The spectacular result was Dark Was the Night, two hours of the best 21st century rock music including exclusive tracks by Arcade Fire, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Cat Power, The Decemberists, Feist, Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, Spoon, Sufjan Steven and of course The National. The title came from a classic Blind Willie Johnson song covered by The Kronos Quartet.

The album went on to be successful around the world, raising over a million and a half dollars for AIDS relief, including money dedicated to the people of Haiti through Partners in Health immediately after the Earthquake in 2010.

Dark Was the Night Live!

There was also a live event celebrating the album at Radio City Music Hall, featuring performances and collaboration from many of the artists including Feist, Bon Iver, The National, David Byrne and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

FACTS /
Oral History

    • This is Red Hot’s 20th compilation release, including companion records.
    • Before Dark Was The Night was Dark Was The Night, it was titled New Blood. The name was changed after the imagery used on the cover design was considered too religious.
    • As of May 2012, Dark Was the Night had raised over $1.6 million.
  • A misprint in the tracklisting on the CD case lists Cat Power’s “Amazing Grace” as track 10, and Stuart Murdoch’s “Another Saturday” as track 12. The booklet has the correct order.
  • A cover version of Queen’s “Play the Game” by Beach House was additionally released as an iTunes only bonus track.
  • Dark was the Night peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums of 2009

PRESS

PITCHFORK

8.6 – Best New Music

Charity albums all start wonderfully– with good intentions and noble causes. Alas, they frequently end poorly, entering the world as collections of outtakes, abandoned ideas, and uninspired covers.

Read More…

NPR MUSIC

In a year of great music, the Dark Was the Night compilation ranks near the top, with 31 songs by artists writing and performing original works, including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Cat Power, Andrew Bird and many more.

Read More…

EW.COM

The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Red Hot Organization’s John Carlin have plenty to be proud of. Their years of hard work not only produced Dark Was the Night, a 31-track double album featuring brand-new songs from some of the biggest names in indie rock…

Read More…

NY TIMES

During the final moments of Dark Was the Night Live, a benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday night, more than a dozen singers — members of most of the indie-rock acts on hand, including Bon Iver and Feist — huddled at one end of the stage to warble “This Land Is Your Land.”

Read More…

drowned in sound

Dark Was the Night’s raft of exclusive covers, collaborations and new material, then, is as fantastic as its roll-call suggests. The only real problem from a writing perspective (and a listening one too, I suppose) is simply where to begin.

Read More…

Doa

Everything from covers to originals is featured on here and it’s hard deciding on a place to start because this is all high-quality music. There are folk touches abound and they all sound affectingly personal.

Read More…

CREDITS

Executive Producer:
John Carlin
Produced By:
Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner