How Important Are Album Credits?

Posted: August 10, 2011 05:42 AM

Andy Doerschuk

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I just received copies of an album I recorded last year with a friend of mine, and was pleasantly surprised by how good the final mix sounded. But I wasn’t very happy with the fact that I didn’t receive a performance credit in the liner notes. Instead of clearly stating “Drums: Andy Doerschuk” I was just listed among the laundry list of people he thanked, alongside his mom and friends who didn’t play a note on the record.

I was blown away. I’ve probably recorded 20 albums in my life, and have always thought that performance credits were considered a standard courtesy, not just for the performers but also for listeners who want to know who played on the CD.

I recorded the entire album and accepted far less pay than I normally would ask for, since the leader was a personal friend. So tell me, in your opinion, do I have good reasons to be pissed off about this? mad

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: August 10, 2011 08:46 AM

David Pak

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as someone who always stays until the end of the credits at movies [partially because I like seeing if they list craft services] IMO yes.

Posted: August 10, 2011 11:09 AM

drumbri24

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I’ve recorded 2 albums that were sold locally in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA area-where I was born & raised (I now live in Allentown, PA). The 1st, w/ the metal band that I was in, the 4 of us were credited in the disc booklet. I was thrilled to see my name in an actual CD booklet-inlay (even though only 200 copies were printed & sold only in the area)!

The 2nd album was w/ the prog rock trio that I was in. Now, I was really proud of this particular band & consider it to be my favorite of all of the bands that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. I believe that we were quite good & our 13 track album sold very well in our area! That’s why it hurt so much to see that my name was not mentioned @ all in the disc inlay booklet!!! I played drums & percussion on all of the 13 tracks but since the name of the band was the last names of the guitarist/vocalist & bassist, they didn’t quite consider me a ‘member’, which was news to me! I played out w/ them on every single live date, recorded the album w/ them, but most importantly-I was w/ them since their conception! I had no idea that I was considered a studio drummer to them (& a live drummer for the shows). I truly believed & was led TO believe that I was a permanant member. OK, I admit the pay was equal…all 3 of us recieved the same amount of financial reinbursment for every show & the album sales, but I was (& mabye still am a little) hurt that my name wasn’t printed even 1 time!

In my humble opinion Andy, you have every right to be pissed off & even mabye a little hurt, as well!!!
Brian JeZuit

Posted: August 10, 2011 11:38 AM

Andy Doerschuk

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Sorry to hear you experienced the same thing, Brian — although, oddly, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

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Andy Doerschuk
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Posted: August 10, 2011 04:04 PM

drumbri24

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To be quite honest, & this piece of advice goes to any & all drummers that might have had the same unfortunate experience, for me I still remain very proud of the fact that I was a part of that album. I say this w/ the lack of being credited aside…I look @ it like so; I was fortunate enough to have played the instrument that I so dearly love on that album & furthermore, it gave me teriffic studio experience. Experience that I might not have had otherwise—who knows? W/ the exception of the lack of credit, it was a wonderful time & I have great memories of those sessions. I learned a lot about things that we professional drummers need to know in our vocation & I am greatful for the experience.

I’m certainly not saying that we should just lie down & accept being cheated out of credit & recognition when it is due to us. I don’t wish for anyone to think that that’s what I’m relaying here—we work darn hard & deserve our fair share of credit & monatary reinbursment, as well! All that I’m saying is that for this drummer, I’m still very proud of how the album turned out & it was a great experience-regardless of fact that my fellow band “members” felt that they needed all of the limelight, whatever their reason(s). God only knows. Thanks! & if anyone has had a similar experience, I’m sure that the “Drummies” out there would like to hear about it…I sure know that I would!

Posted: August 15, 2011 06:53 AM

bigbeat

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Ask the Funk Brothers about album credits.  More number 1 hits than any band, but not 1 credit from Motown until Marvin Gay’s Whats Going On.

As for your personal expiereince, live & learn.  You got paid to play the drums.  Next time, ask about the credits up front.  Better to know what you’re getting into than get upset afterwards.

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loud is my forte

Posted: August 23, 2011 11:45 AM

drumbri24

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Bigbeat,
I really like that you pointed out that we got paid for playing drums ; i.e., we got monetary reimbursment for doing what we love the most & that, as Steve Gadd once said, is “...a gift from God!”
Thanks for the perspective!
Brian JeZuit

Posted: April 05, 2012 10:48 AM

Zaragemca

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Greetings, I did a few projects in the 1980’s,  where the people want to have a Cassette in order to locate a Recording Label, but I did n’t see the whole project finished, ( mixing and mastering) and after the recording, they would move out of Houston. But I did a single recording for a local singer competing in the,  Mexico Festival ‘OTI’,  we went to San Antonio, where the,  bass player and the recording took place.  The song won the third place that year in the Festival,  it was not a whole project,  just one song, but could I complaint for been part of a project which won third place in an International Festival?. Gerry Zaragemca

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Posted: May 31, 2012 07:48 PM

NickMason

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I would be pissed too if the project was something I could walk away from being proud of.
I do a fare amount of studio work and album credit is always something that I make sure I get.
I have had a few sessions that, even though I know I played well, the end result was not something I ever want anyone to hear. Most of the time because the singer/songwriter who hired me for the gig is just terrible! No amount of auto-tune can help some of these people. For that kind of thing, I really don’t want my name on it.

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nickmason.org