Car Seat Headrest Expands On Licensing Fiasco, Recall Cost Matador Over $50k

Last Friday, Car Seat Headrest released the digital version of the new LP Teens Of Denial, one of the year’s best indie rock records. It would’ve been even better if band mastermind Will Toledo didn’t have to change things around at the last second. As previously reported, the band had used pieces of the Cars classic “Just What I Needed” on the song “Just What I Needed/Not What I Needed,” going through a publishing agency to clear it. But it turned out that the publisher wasn’t authorized to clear it, and Cars frontman Ric Ocasek objected to the use of his song. So Toledo had to retool the song completely, and Matador Records had to destroy all the physical copies of the album — something that will end up costing them a whole lot.

The AV Club has spoken to Matador sales VP Rusty Clarke, who says that the label had to destroy 10,000 vinyl copies of Teens Of Denial, which will end up costing the label at least $50,000. Clarke says:

“his is definitely an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had to actually recall an album from retail before. We’d had it up for pre-order since March, so it had accrued a fair number of pre-orders at iTunes and Amazon and Google Play. We were able to switch out the audio that the artist re-recorded and we had mastered in a 48-hour turnaround, which was kind of amazing… But we had to redeliver it elsewhere. That means that we lost our pre-orders. So that was a little bit sad, too. And, of course, it’s not a great customer experience for those people who had pre-orders. Now they’ll be essentially confused as to why they’re not getting their album delivered.

For the new version of the song, Toledo ended up sampling himself, using a piece of his own song “Something Soon.” And there’s a lot more fascinating stuff in the article, including how Toledo feels about Ocasek after all this; you can read it all here. But man, what a shitty situation for Toledo and for Matador.