Monday, June 24, 2013

Things Found in Liner Notes, Volume 1

If, like me, you're an advocate of buying the CD or record instead of downloading, then you've almost certainly used liner notes as an argument for the physical artefact at some point. But is an inlay booklet really worth forking out for? 90% of the time, I'd say no. But occasionally, you leaf through the liner notes and find a hidden Easter egg that makes it all worth it.

Here are some cool things I've found in my CD cases recently. This is just a smattering of stuff - the result of an afternoon's browsing - so I'll most likely share another selection of interesting inlays before too long.
  • The liner notes for Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven contain interesting snippets about the band members, including a lot of information about shoes. One anecdote tells the story of how lead guitarist Greg Lisher once "lost a shoe in the Mojave Desert". There then follows a description of this shoe (black, size nine) and an address that you can send it to should you happen upon it.

  • Some of the people whom Bikini Atoll saw fit to thank in the liner notes for Liar's Exit: 'Lynchriderlulu', 'The Porn', and 'That fat kid who loves cakes'.

  • Manowar, being Manowar, aren't satisfied with merely listing the people who were involved in an album's creation. The Kings of Metal booklet refers to the various producers and engineers as the 'Digital Death Squad'; instead of a management team, they have a 'Vanguard of the Elite'. Oh, and their live crew are credited as 'The Magnificent Soldiers of Death'. Sounds better than 'roadie', doesn't it?

  • The Young Knives have often been described as a quintessentially English group, and their first album, Voices of Animals and Men, is lined with information on such quintessentially English activities as Morris Dancing, beekeeping (see below), and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling.

  • While scanning the 'This album couldn't have happened without...' acknowledgements inside Jarvis Cocker's first solo album, I noticed that he'd mentioned someone named Joel. Since Jarvis didn't bother to include a surname, I can only assume that he was referring to me.

  •  Electro-Shock Blues gives us Eels lyrics, yes, but the booklet also contains a few black-and-white comic strips that seem faintly pertinent to some of the songs. Here, for example, is the Baby Genius comic:
Image taken from Thanks to Pacifico for uploading it.
  • Sufjan Stevens opted to embellish his 'here are the people who played on/contributed to Illinois' list with little comments about their performances. Example: "James McAllister plays all the sophisticated drum parts. Man, he's good!"

  • The lyrics booklet for Okkervil River's I Am Very Far includes the words to a song that isn't on the album. It's called Weave Room Blues, and it was the B-side to Wake and Be Fine.

  • Anyone who sprung for the CD edition of Hello Land! by the Guillemots will find this nice little poster inside the case:

As I say, there are probably loads of other cool bits and pieces hidden away in my CD collection, so I'll report back if I find anything else of interest. That's it for now, though; it takes more than a couple of hours to scale The Album Wall.

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