What kind of liner notes do you like with a disc package?

Album cover art and liner notes are great additions to any disc format's packaging, but aside from the artwork, what kind of liner notes do you prefer?

What kind of liner notes do you like with a disc package?
Extensive notes with lots of text
54% (62 votes)
A modest amount with all the info
42% (48 votes)
Don't need any text, just art and music
1% (1 vote)
Don't care
3% (3 votes)
Total votes: 114

Al Earz's picture

I like to see a roster of all people involved and also lyrics. Other than tha,t on LP's I like artwork and on CD's it doesn't matter, as long as it's in a plastic jewel box.

Harris Haft's picture

Notes by a knowledgeable person are sometimes quite enlightening—but they are always written by someone whose viewpoint is always favorable to the artist on the album. So while I sometimes pick up knowledge I would never have known, I always take them with a grain of salt. Listen—and remember that it's the music itslf which is the true representation of the artist, or artists, that will move you, regardless of what the reviewers' insights may be.

Andrew Maher's picture

Let's look at some examples of how it should be done: BBC Legends, Testament and DG "The Originals" provide excellent notes specific to the performances on the discs. Some of the full-priced boxed classical sets also provide extensive and scholarly notes. There are also a number of jazz re-issues (eg Columbia Legacy and some of the Verve re-issues) that provide very informative material. Let's encourage this sort of thing!

Cihangir G's picture

Lyrics,stories, pictures, etc. Functional booklets which are well worth the money paid on the CDs and make the people think once more before downloading MP3s free of charge. If you pay the money, you have to get something special and different.

Daniel Emerson's picture

The more the merrier! And if the liner notes are just a load of pretentious twaddle, nobody's forcing you to read them.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

More information is better!

Gerald Neily's picture

The more info, the better. The lack of information on many packages, even recording and release dates, is shameful.

Dan Petri's picture

The biggest problem is that the notes are usually too difficult to read because of the microscopic size of the font.

Stefano Lindiri's picture

I like very much all the info about music played: lyrics, composer, year, extensive list of all instruments players and, when its relevant, also the recording gear involved

T.  O.  Driskel's picture

I always want just what I would have gotten with an LP except in itty bitty teenie weenie size.

Mike Agee's picture

I checked modest. By that I meant meaningful, concise, and interesting, not necessarily short. For classical, the historical and critical treatises on the works are interesting but less so if nothing is from or about the musicians and their interpretation of the works. For newer music, notes can be voluminous as long as they are interesting, but better perhaps if they work with graphics and art to further the sonic world created by the music. Lyrics are good if the music doesn't thrive on mystery, especially when they are difficult to make out aurally, it is interesting to participate in the creative process by waiting and comparing what you thought the music was about to what it turns out to actually be about.

SAS's picture

Why not put all of the notes directly on the disc in digital format?

Louis P.'s picture

For classical music, I would like to see proper program notes. But for rock, pictures and/or what used to be cover art on LPs (especially the inside of gatefold albums) really do add to pride of ownership. But please include lyrics.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

I like to know all musicians on a given track, along with who mastered the disc. I pride myself on brevity.

Allen's picture

Of course, the music is the most important thing, but it is nice to have all the info as well.

Glenn Bennett's picture

I appreciate what a label like Verve Records has done to recreate the look of the original LP with all the liner notes and the original LP artwork. But usually the type is so small it's very hard to read. It's always fun to compare a CD to the original LP and enjoy the 12" packaging and the great (large) photos. But those days are gone forever.

dforzano's picture

Of course, the music needs to warrant the text. The box set releases of Miles Davis have done an excellent job graphic design, package design, and liner notes. Oh, and the music is pretty good too. ;)For example the Complete Jack Johnson or Complete In a Silent Way sessions releases.

CB in NJ's picture

I'm interested in when, where, and by whom it was produced, recorded, and mastered. Lyrics are nice also.

TomLarson's picture

Large text so I can read it!

Dimitris Gogas's picture

I like reading.

Cesar De Sousa's picture

Being a musician myself, albeit a weekend warrior, I thoroughly enjoy reading any information pertaining to the artist, band, hired guns, recording session, influences—anything the artist would like to mention. I feel like I get a unique insight into the heart and mind of the artist(s).

E.  Palumbo's picture

It would be great if the artist(s) would always include the lyrics in the package. It makes me crazy when I can't pick up the words of a song. Case in point, Just picked up new CD 10,000 Dys by Tool. The music is fantastic, very powerful, but I just can't pick up the words which aren't included.

L.  Britja, La Jolla, CA's picture

I can read the specs online...

Teresa's picture

The best notes are in the Gatefold 12" LPs. I want to know a little about the music, the composer and the performers. Also want to know want equipment was used to record and, if mixed, what equipment used in mixing, etc. Also, I like three or four relevant pictures to offset the text.

Dave In Dallas's picture

I'm old enough to remember when record companies employed music critics to write liner notes. Many times these were written by someone who had a special interest in an artist and they were often informative. Too bad those days are pretty much over.

Al Marcy's picture

Just put the disk in the 400 DVD merry-go-round and wait for that magic moment.

Jim Green's picture

Info on musicians, lyrics, recording details. Print large enough to read without a microscope.

suits_me's picture

Forget any hearing loss questions—this survey on liner notes is academic in practice. Seven point white type knocked out of a hangover-like photo of a (pre-flambeau) Rhode Island nightclub is not reading material, anyway. (I'd like, "A modest amount with all the info" in most cases, with lyrics where applicable, but easily legible. At the same time I recognize this is an impossible request for a price fixing industry which can't reliably make a CD-variant disk which will necessarily play in my CD player. And heaven defend my computer from their mal-innovations.)

Raimundo's picture

I like to read liner notes while I listen to music.

J.  Richard's picture

I want to know everything about the music and the recording. I'd like to eliminate the long-winded "thank-yous" and lauditory quotes from critics and celebrities.