Selecting a favorite CD out of my music collection, I popped in the chosen disc and hit play. While the music cranked, I took the CD cover apart and looked closer at the contents of the case (also known as liner notes). Amongst the colorful artwork, band photos and track listings, were the lyrics for each song and of course, the credits for whoever had a hand in the creation of this CD.
Looking at an indie artist and band’s profiles online, more often than not, this simple information is not available and even if that artist did most of the work him or herself, credit information clears the air. Let’s take a closer look at music credits.
There once was a little band from Liverpool where songwriters John and Paul came to an agreement in their partnership to take shared credit in all their works, whether they were written alone or together, or one added more than the other, as Lennon/McCartney. This did work for a length of time with much success and royalties were evenly shared. There came a point where branching off and various other elements started tearing a riff in the duo. Some of these issues are still in discussion today, even though John Lennon has passed away.
It has been proven time and again to discuss legal issues with your collaborator(s), band or group before the first dollar is made on a CD or song sales begin and certainly before the hoped for record deal lands on your plate. Though it may be uncomfortable, you must tackle this subject to avoid problems long term. Not only discuss these issues but get it in writing. A letter of agreement signed by all parties involved on percentages on earnings, credits and name order is all you need and should cover every single song produced. Get ALL your bands issues with credits settled from the get go, covering all your bases. Also, work out what works best for you ALL if someone wants to do solo projects.
Those credits then should be applied online in your music Discography. Credits show upfront, in print, who owns and has rights to which parts of the song and/or music created. The listener will then know up front WHO to contact if they have a project in need of that person’s contribution.
Music Discography – your Album Credits:
Produced by, Arranged by, Recorded by
Mixed by, Mixed at
CD cover concept/artwork by, Photography by
Special thanks to
What to include for Song Credits:
Vocals, Backing Vocals, Vocals recorded by
Published by, Produced by
Mixed by, Programmed by, Engineered by
Additional by, Assistant
Special thanks to or Courtesy of
List of instruments played with who played them
Things happen in bands, just as they do in marriages, jobs and living life. Members have disagreements, leave, go solo, start new projects, and sometimes tragedies happen. Credits establish acknowledgement, recognition, and ownership of the work done as wells as give thanks to those that helped get the job done. It’s the professional way to do business.