I bet that when you folks preordered Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois, you weren’t expecting to receive a collector’s item. One of the year’s best albums, yes, but not necessarily a collector’s item. However, it looks like that is now the case.
Asthmatic Kitty has posted a note on their website that says “Unfortunately we’ve had to stop selling Illinois due to an legal issue concerning the artwork. We’ll post info here on the site when we’re reasonably certain about the situation.
I first saw news of this on the Vagrant Cafe, where someone posted an e-mail sent out by the label to retailers explaining that there was a bit of a legal snafu over the album’s artwork. Specifically, the little Superman flying high over the Chicago skyline (one of the songs on the album refers to the so-called “hometown” of the Man Of Steel — Metropolis, Illinois). Seems the lawyers are concerned about possible copyright and trademark infringements, and so Asthmatic Kitty is holding off on releasing the album until these matters get sorted out.
For more info on the “controversy,” check out Pitchfork’s article. Ironically enough, Pitchfork also posted their review of the new Sufjan album, complete with naughty artwork, and gave it a rousing 9.2.