Credit Where It’s Due — Please!

Move along — there's nothing to see here.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t publicize “causes” on this site, but this one has special relevance for musicians and music fans.

My pal Count, a producer/mixer who’s done work for Radiohead, DJ Shadow, New Order, the Stones, No Doubt, and many other artists, is launching an online campaign to get musicians, producers, engineers, and other contributors credited on iTunes, Pandora, and other digital music services.

Consider the absurdity of the current situation: Why, in the digital age, are we granted only a fraction of the info available in the analog age? Why should fans be denied the details of their favorite recordings? And for underpaid musicians and technicians, the credit is often the only meaningful payment for services, a possible path to future work. The current state of affairs is just plain wrong!

If you agree that this is worthy goal, check out the page for Count’s Credit Is Due Facebook campaign.

3 comments to Credit Where It’s Due — Please!

  • I think a lot of it is laziness and cheapness on the part of the recording industry. If you look back at the liner notes and other info on LPs there was a certain pride associated with the package. I spent many hours reading the covers of LPs to guide me towards more music to buy and bands to follow. When you bought LPs back then you could read the back cover and get a wealth of information including those behind the scenes like your friend Count and it would affect your purchases.
    Today things are broken as typified by the modern pop star promotion where radio stations are paid to play specific songs rather than reflecting the taste of the DJ or actual sales of product. Today you can’t even do it by sales since the big companies fudge all that with devious means. Services like Spotify, real sales at Amazon. iTunes and other digital vendors better reflect customers taste but they are still skewed by the record companies bogus tactics. Tracking listening by real consumers would make more sense especially those that can’t abide main stream radio. But the bad paradigm by the record companies is still sort of working and they haven’t figured out they are going the way of the dinosaurs. The big companies think people downloading music from the web is causing their losses rather than their crappy business practices.
    The big companies today are all intent on the bottom line and stock prices usually on a monthly (or even weekly) basis and don’t look to the future.   IMHO part of this is because these multinationals don’t have anything invested personally just financially. There used to be business owners that took pride in their business and worked to have something to pass on to their children. Today most business owners are looking to maximize the visible profits so they can go public or sell out to bigger company. We seem to have lost pride in our work and instead substitute dollars as our only measure of success. Those that take pride in their work are now artists of their trade who will never get rich but will have a happier life. Unfortunately it all seems to be a race to the bottom for many people and companies except for those of us who don’t want to be bottom feeders. I do believe that eventually it may turn around a bit as many people do value individuality and quality in their purchases but it takes effort on the part of the consumer to do so. I do believe the internet has helped this a bit with the music blogs and interest groups even the social web sites to an extent (but I see most social websites as a sort of mirror of the corporate world with their shallow quick reward model).
    It seems to me that the new app/music model could help this a bit being able to link the music directly to web based materials including videos, bios, blogs and even articles on how and where the music was created. But they need to be more universal rather than IOS apps that only run Apple hardware, this to me seems to be a possible future direction and the real heir to those wonderful LPs from the past. It would make sense to give away some tunes to start the ball rolling and then sell the rest for a reasonable price. Many people bought CDs based on hype only to have them end up at used stores or garage sales after one listen. But if you gave away a tune or two and linked it to a wealth of info you can get a sort of personal investment form people which will pay off in the long term. I also think that the money spent advertising, on extravagant music videos and paying radio to play music is mostly a waste and the giant tour mechanism is also a drain on resources that could be better spent on actually interacting with the listener. Corporate sponsorship is also a largely overlooked possibility if a company could link itself to music people dig it is great advertising as people can really become invested in their music.
    All this is starting to happen in one form or another but the biggest obstacle is the old line record companies who fortunately are slowly dying off (but not quickly enough IMHO). Once these dinosaurs are gone music may have a renaissance and provide real value to the consumers again. The record companies have been a big drag on the artists of this world by thinking they knew what the listener wanted and tried to create a mold to make it.  They are no longer serving any real purpose except to strangle the art and make it hard for the real pioneers to be heard.

  • Jimmy Havok

    The details of credit on recordings has to be contained in databases at BMI or ASCAP, so the only real difficulty is getting them to release it to an IMDB type web site.

  • Jjamie Ray

    Let us not peer back into the LP era with a wistful eye. Vinyl editions with nary a mention of the personnel involved in their nascence are legion (to wit: Frank Zappa’s battles with the biggies).

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