The Curious Absence of Credits in the Liner Noters of Madonna’s REBEL HEART

I buy CD albums. Sometimes I listen to the full album on Spotify first, but in the case of my favourite artists I buy the CD without listening to the album online first.

Madonna is one of those favourite artists, and I’m a completist. I bought the Deluxe CD of Rebel Heart on release day, via JB Hi-Fi Online. Then, when I found out Amazon had an exclusive Super Deluxe edition, I bought that, too.

I received the regular Deluxe edition first (since I bought it from Australia), and found it curious that NO CREDITS are in the liner notes. Really, the liner notes only consist of photos and song titles.

Which is strange, considering that Madonna recently signed with Tidal, a music streaming subscription service supposedly devoted to fully supporting artists. I haven’t tried out the free trial, and I won’t be subscribing. But that’s kind of beside the point.

So I received the Amazon-exclusive Super Deluxe edition of Rebel Heart, and opened it up to find…NO CREDITS. There’s not even a booklet of liner notes; the photos and song titles are part of the folding packaging.

Frankly, I’m confused. OK, so Tidal and CDs are totally different media run by different people. The common factors are the music and the artists. But I’m concerned about Tidal and the involved big names’ commitment to “art”.

I simply have never come across a CD album before without credits. Maybe I’m weird in that I like to know who wrote which songs, who were the producers, who played the instruments, which songs contain samples, etc? Sure, I can look everything up online, but I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BECAUSE I ACTUALLY BOUGHT THE PHYSICAL CD ALBUM.

I’m guessing the credits are on Madonna’s website. (I looked them up on Wikipedia, anyway.) But I feel it’s a terrible oversight to exclude credits.

This leads me to be suspicious that maybe Tidal isn’t about the “artists” – it’s about the PERFORMERS. The ones who receive all the attention for the songs they perform, anyway. I care about writers. I care about producers. I care about instrumentalists, engineers, mixers, and everyone else involved who makes an album possible. Yes, I also care about the performers, but I care about everyone else, too.

Maybe there was a deadline for CD production, so liner notes and credits weren’t possible. I would’ve been happy to wait longer, so they could be included.

I do not pirate. I do not illegally download. I buy CD albums – and buy them NEW, not used – and I respect the work that goes into making them. But if you don’t even include credits in your CD packaging…where’s the respect in that?

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One response to “The Curious Absence of Credits in the Liner Noters of Madonna’s REBEL HEART

  1. Thanks for verifying the fact that the new LP doesn’t have any liner notes?!? Like you I still buy actual CDs & I LUV to read thru the liner notes during my first listen thru of a new album. So I was extremely disappointed when I opened my copy of the Amazon exclusive hoping to find super deluxe liner notes & finding none at all!

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