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Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” arrived on Friday to critical acclaim, ushering listeners into her new era. But some fans who received their physical copies were confused that tracks included on the digital release were missing, with four omitted from the CD and five from the LP.

Throughout the weekend, fans have been complaining online that their “Cowboy Carter” vinyls were missing the songs “Spaghettii,” “Flamenco,” “The Linda Martell Show,” “Ya Ya” and “Oh Louisiana.” On the CD, “Flamenco” was included but the other four were not. Some pointed out that Beyoncé‘s e-commerce store promised an “additional song” on the CD version of the album, but no additional track was included on the disc; fans think that “Flamenco” may just be that “additional song.”

Those who have complained directly with the album’s retailer were met with an automated response that they were “experiencing a higher volume of emails than usual” and that their concerns would be addressed in three to four days.

Fans speculate that Beyoncé initially met the deadline for CD and vinyl pressing, which can often be months before an album’s release, but decided to add in more songs after manufacturing began. This has likely been a wrinkle in recent vinyl pressings for other pop stars: Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday 2” vinyl only came with 10 songs (the streaming version has 22 tracks), and Ariana Grande’s “Eternal Sunshine” featured a version of “Supernatural” missing some vocals.

But what confuses this theory is that musicians who contributed to “II Most Wanted,” a duet with Miley Cyrus, said they were working on the song last month. One Nickel Creek member posted a story on Instagram that they were asked to play on the tune “a month or so ago,” putting the recording timeline somewhere in February. “II Most Wanted” appears on the vinyl in the same form as the digital version, so it’s unclear if new pressings were issued to include it or if pressings first began in the month leading up to release.

Regardless, the case of the missing songs led fans to sniff out other clues that suggested Beyoncé continued to work on “Cowboy” after the pressing deadline. Some believe that the album was originally titled “Beyincé,” a reference to her lineage and how a clinical error led to some family members receiving birth certificates with that spelling.

On the CD and limited edition vinyl pressings of the album, the spine reads “Act II — Beyincé — Beyoncé,” and the covers show a picture of the singer wearing a sash embroidered with “Beyincé.” The only mention of “Cowboy Carter” is a sticker placed on the packaging. The album itself has two mentions of “Cowboy Carter”: Once by Beyoncé on “Ya Ya,” which was excluded from the vinyl edition, and another by Dolly Parton on the introduction to “Tyrant,” which was included.

While of course, this is all speculation — Beyoncé and her team keep their cards close — some are holding out hope that an additional bonus track might end up on the Target edition of the album. For now, physical media enthusiasts will have to settle for a shorter listening experience.



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