Earlier this week I reviewed the new Sammy Hagar disc. I mentioned that CD was packaged in an environmentally friendly way: with no book. The more I think about it, I can't help but wonder how much we're missing without those precious liner booklets.
Seriously, I've never thrown a single CD away in my life. That means no jewel cases in the landfill - and no booklets there, either. I don't know too many music lovers that just pitch CDs, cases and booklets. I think distributing albums in digipacks made of recycled materials is great. I think skipping the booklet and sending fans to a website for liner information is bad.
I've written about my love of liner notes in the past. I am absolutely bummed when I buy a new CD only to find there's no book - or just a folded insert. I like booklets that include lyrics and production credits. This might be selfish, if so, I apologize.
I'm trying to reduce my carbon footprint. I recycle at home and at work. I only wash clothes in cold water. I'm a strict vegetarian. I avoid taking plastic bags at stores when not necessary. I drive a tiny car and I don't go many places that are unplanned. I think this allows me my liner booklet.
Seriously, if we all did a little more to save the earth - like some of the stuff I just listed above - we could keep liner notes. These notes are the personal link for fans to a band. How else are we supposed to learn a band's most ardent supporters? Their family members? Their endorsement deals?
Now, if you simply buy a CD and chuck the case in the rubbish can, shame on you. That's irresponsible to the earth and disrespectful to the music. Still, I highly doubt many of you out there make this a common practice.
When a CD case says "Visit [INSERT NAME] website here for album credits" it's more a marketing ploy than fan appreciation. Sure, some fans (like me) might log on to see who produced and engineered - but a lot of people will get side tracked with artist news, forums...and crap for sale. I think the web should be used in tandem with more traditional marketing - and that includes a paper CD booklet.