Beyoncé fans are up in arms over missing tracks on 'Cowboy Carter' vinyl and CD

Beyoncé's "Cowboy Carter" was released on Friday. But those who pre-ordered the CD and vinyl complained there are tracks missing.
Beyoncé's "Cowboy Carter" was released on Friday. But those who pre-ordered the CD and vinyl complained there are tracks missing. Copyright Parkwood/Columbia/Sony
Copyright Parkwood/Columbia/Sony
By Anca Ulea
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Beyoncé fans who pre-ordered their copy of 'Cowboy Carter' say there are 4 to 5 tracks missing, fuelling speculation that Bey made last-minute changes to her groundbreaking country album.


In case you missed it (or you live under a rock), Beyoncé released her much-hyped country album 'Cowboy Carter' on Friday – and the Internet went absolutely mad over it with a flood of think-pieces and reviews.

But for the die-hard fans who received their pre-ordered physical copies, something strange was afoot. Over the weekend, many started complaining that their vinyls and CDs of the album were missing tracks that were included on the digital release.

Can @parkwood explain why the "COWBOY CARTER LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE COVER CD" is missing four songs and doesn't include a bonus track like it states on the Beyoncé website?

Fans took to social media to air their grievances, claiming there were four missing tracks on the CD and five missing tracks on the vinyl. According to their posts, the vinyls were missing the songs 'Spaghettii', 'Flamenco', 'The Linda Martell Show', 'Ya Ya', and 'Oh Louisiana'.

The CD version was missing the same tracks, except 'Flamenco', and did not include the “additional track” that was promised by Beyoncé’s e-commerce store in advertisements for the album.

Some fans called the move “dishonest” and said they were complaining to the record label and Beyoncé’s online store.

i love beyoncé & i spent all day yesterday basking in #COWBOYCARTER but it’s dishonest as hell that the store is selling cds claiming they have bonus tracks when they don’t—& selling vinyls without telling us that the vinyls are missing like 20% of the songs. i spent money :(

Those who did file complaints were told through an automated message that the e-commerce site was “experiencing a higher volume of emails than usual” and that their concerns would be addressed in three to four days.

The mysterious missing track saga has led to a flurry of speculation online that Beyoncé made last-minute changes to her album, which were reflected in the digital release but couldn’t make the deadline for the physical media.

CDs and vinyls are generally pressed months before an album’s release, while artists are often known for tweaking their albums up until the very last minute.

Ye, formerly Kanye West, notoriously changed his 2016 album 'Life of Pablo' over and over again, even after its release. He was spared the drama by never releasing the album officially on vinyl.

Other artists whose vinyls have featured discrepancies include Nicki Minaj – her 2023 'Pink Friday 2' featured 10 tracks on vinyl, compared to 22 on the digital version. Ariana Grande’s latest album 'Eternal Sunshine' featured an early version of 'Supernatural' on the vinyl that Grande added vocals to for the digital version.

Beyoncé has also had to reprint vinyls with changes before – she changed the lyrics on the song 'Heated' after the release of 'Renaissance' to remove an ableist slur, amid complaints from disabled fans.

Fans speculate 'Cowboy Carter' was originally meant to feature fewer songs (which would explain the hefty 27 tracks it features now), and that the “bonus song” advertised on the CD version was actually 'Flamenco'.

They also suspect that the original title for the album wasn’t 'Cowboy Carter' at all, since the CD and vinyl both read “Act ii: Beyincé” on the spine, a reference to Beyoncé's mum's maiden name.

But while there was a lot of disappointment online, some fans saw a silver lining in the whole situation – the original pressings would probably be valuable “limited edition” collector’s items in the future. And they could also give precious insight into Beyoncé’s creative process.

As X user @kahrazyinlove put it: "I know there’s tracks missing but I think Beyoncé allowing us to have the pressing of what act ii originally was is so special and dope. it’s literally an exclusive collector’s item."

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