Car Seat Headrest LPs Destroyed over Uncleared Cars Sample
Published May 12, 2016While Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial arrives May 20 as a digital download, a copyright mixup stemming from the sampling of an old song by new wave group the Cars means that the original vinyl pressing will be recalled and destroyed. Physical copies with an alternate version of the track will be released later this summer.
A statement from Matador Records explains that they had believed to have obtained the rights to include a snippet of the Cars' "Just What I Needed" for Car Seat Headrest's "Just What I Wanted/Not Just What I Needed." Unfortunately, it turns out that the publisher they had been dealing with did not actually have the rights to the older radio hit. Furthermore, Cars songwriter Ric Ocasek isn't interested in having his song attached to Car Seat Headrest leader Will Toledo's new tune.
The label explained: "Matador had negotiated for a licence in good faith months ago, only to be told last week that the publisher involved was not authorized to complete the licence in the United States, and that Ric Ocasek preferred that his work not be included in the song."
Toledo added that they weren't trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes, and that this is a regrettable and untimely situation to be in a week ahead of the record's release.
"I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty of email chains and invested parties; suffice it to say that Matador (and I) were neither pulling a Banksy nor operating in ignorance of the law," Toledo said, "but that we truly believed we had the issue resolved months ago, until last week."
Toledo explained that he also spent the last couple of days tweaking the cut to be included on next week's digital release, and the forthcoming vinyl edition. It is now simply called "Not What I Needed," and the rearranged composition is "about half a minute longer than the original track, and goes in a much different direction." In a twist of fate, he added that the song is much stronger now.
"I've grown up accustomed to working on an album right up to its drop date, so this is not a freak-out scenario for me," he added. "The album is going to come out on time and it's going to be good."
You can read Toledo and Matador's statements in full over here.