Thursday, August 24, 2006

Album Liner Notes Books

As a teenager, I like many buyers of record albums, used to pour over the album cover devouring the artwork and learning all the lyrics for the songs - assuming they were printed on the cover. Sadly, with the advent first of the CD and now with music downloads the art of the Album cover has diminished. I have over 1,000 CDs which are all loaded into CD carousels. I have saved the liner notes that came with all the CDs but these all sit in a drawer. There is really no useful way to access these which is a shame because the content in the liner notes add a lot to the experience of the music. I have long thought that there is a different model for the written content that typically went along with music. As music is increasingly vended online would music retailers such as HMV and Virgin be interested in published products that supported the music? Selling this book could do two things - raise the average price paid per unit and possibly bring consumers to retail stores. Each album collection, when released would also be accompanied by a book that provided much more published content than just the liner notes. The book could include interviews with each band member of aspects of the recording process, interpretations of the lyrics, photos of the recording sessions and detailed session notes. Mr. Pete Townsend has been blogging about many things but also the recording process for new Who album; it would be great to include this material - and perhaps something from Roger in a complimentary published product. Lastly, back to my existing CD collection, I would purchase a book of all the liner notes from all the Neil Young albums together with (perhaps) interviews with Neil, critical essays/reviews and session notes. This to me would be a much more practical way of interacting with the music I enjoy listening to. How about it publishing folk?

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