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album credits

ira
album credits
June 29, 2020 09:21PM
I like the fact that i can buy or stream music without leaving my desk, that i can listen to music without so much as going down a few stairs to pull the record off a shelf. but i hate the fact that i have no reasonable way to see credits. no idea who wrote the songs, who plays what, who produced, where the band is from, what guests were involved...all the stuff i have always hoovered up to contextualize and amplify my sense of what I was hearing. Does no one care about that stuff any more? Lyrics???

Sure, i can find it all somewhere on the internet, piece by piece, but why do Spotify, Amazon, Apple, etc. shirk that responsibility? writing about Saving for a Custom Van last week, i went on Bandcamp and got what i needed by clicking individually on each of the 31 tracks and taking notes. Not really convenient.

How do you feel about it? What do you do about it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2020 09:21PM by ira.
Re: album credits
June 30, 2020 10:24AM
To start off, I don't like streaming. I'm too wrapped up in the idea of owning/curating a collection. So I don't stream music. I don't use Google services because I don't want to be the product. Sometimes, when I need to hear something I want to write about before buying, and a promo DL isn't forthcoming, I will use Soundcloud/Bandcamp, and maybe embed the player in my blogpost.

For credit information, the potential is there on Bandcamp. I just bought the single DLs from The Countess Of Fife and each track had copious liner notes/credits as much as one ever would have gotten from an album, back in the day! Thanks, Fay! That made writing reviews much better. Often that's the only way to find out who played on a recording that has no physical copy.

Then there's the Discogs.com database, which is fairly invaluable for sorting out credits. But bearing in mind that the database is crowdsourced, and that your mileage may vary. That info is only there is someone took the time [and it is work] to include it. In theory Soundcloud has text fields where all sorts of information can be presented along with the music. When I review something, I would like to have easy access to credit information to cite the musicians responsible but it is a bit more of a slog these days. But even physical goods might not have any data as the vogue for presenting an implacable branding image with no transparency is always a factor in this post-modern era.

What I really hate are physical albums that lack any typography at all. This I lay at the feet of Peter Saville/Factory Records. Now every Johnny-come-lately who wants some of that oblique mystery sauce employs has employed gambit for the last 30+ years. And the one upside to this is that I've discovered that any act doing this is absolutely not to my liking, so whenever I now run across an album with just an image [usually abstract] and no identifying marks on its packaging, I've learned to completely ignore it.

Spotify, Apple, Amazon only have one responsibility; to enrich their owners/stockholders. Any other expenditure of energy is a loss of profit under the Capitalist system. But I have noticed that iTunes does include lyrics on some downloads. As does the occasional Bandcamp DL. But it's spotty. The artist/label has to provide that with the file.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2020 10:28AM by Post-Punk Monk.
Re: album credits
June 30, 2020 10:48AM
I buy digital downloads from Bandcamp, which usually has the credits on the album page. (Not always, though.)If I'm streaming, I consult Discogs an awful lot, trusting in hardcore record nerds to be anal retentive about providing correct info (assuming a page has any info at all). Otherwise I mostly buy CDs and vinyl.

Monk has a point - the digital services don't have any interest in the artists whose work they profit from, so why bother including any identifying info?
Re: album credits
June 30, 2020 11:21AM
Bandcamp does a good job on the credits most of the time. I miss the days of skimming through the record liner notes to look for familiar names in guest slots or production; on the plus side, the Bandcamp credits and artwork can get fixed or appended if there are errors or omissions. The funniest example of this is something I can share, since it was just a few weeks ago: The Philly/DC band Br'er, which is on BLIGHT. Records, released an EP for the last Bandcamp Day (http://brerbrerbrer.bandcamp.com/album/take-away-from-me-the-noise-of-your-songs) with a Hebrew name from a line in the Torah. And, in regrettable cut-and-paste fashion, they pasted the Hebrew font and it reversed the direction of the letters. I was in touch with them on social media and helped them correct the Hebrew with the eventual fixed artwork and title, and now my name appears in the credits with a special thank you smiling smiley As a note, it's a pretty interesting band, worth checking out.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2020 11:21AM by zwirnm.
zoo
Re: album credits
June 30, 2020 11:22AM
I like having all the info one place (in the physical copy liner notes). That said, even during the '70s and '80s, we didn't always get the complete picture. How many times did we hear years later that so-and-so played uncredited (or under a pseudonym) on an album? Or that it was really McCartney playing some bit and not Ringo? I guess that's part of the charm as well.
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