An overall theme that runs through The Cars seventh album, Move Like This, is that of lead vocalist and songwriter Ric Ocasek coming to terms with his lot in life and looking into the future. He explained to Spinner UK: "It was a lot of 'What's going on in the world today?' Maybe even a little sarcastic, weird look at it. It was just what I was feeling these days, this year. Just a bit about the times."
This song reflects the theme. Said Ocasek to Spinner: "The world's full of quackers. There's a lot of quackers out there. 'Stroking all the gunheads,' 'Stupefying the thinkers.' It's like a big ball of junk mail."
The song was originally previewed by the band as a 73-second sample on their Facebook page in October 2010. A full video was released February 17, 2011.
The chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" in "Lady Marmalade" is French for "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" When Labelle performed it on television, they had to change it to "Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir" (Do you want to dance with me tonight?).
Movie director Michel Gondry played live drums on the Late Registration track, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind filmmaker happened to be in the studio on a day when producer Jon Brion was setting up a drum kit