“This is definitely an unprecedented situation,” Clarke told The A.V. Club. “We’ve never had to actually recall an album from retail before.” And while the physical loss is huge, as no part of these recalled products are salvageable—which pushes the album’s physical release to July—fans that pre-ordered digital copies were also put out. “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,” says Clarke. “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.”
According to a statement issued by Matador, a license for the contentious song (“Just What I Wanted/Not Just What I Needed”) had been negotiated “in good faith months ago, only to be told last week that the publisher involved was not authorized to complete the license in the United States, and that Ric Ocasek preferred that his work not be included in the song.” Ocasek, who has also served as a record producer and worked in major label A&R teams, has yet to comment on the matter.