In the age of the smart phone – and despite the wealth of information that is now available at your fingertips – it is still virtually impossible to get easy access to information about the music you are listening to. Whether you are downloading from iTunes or streaming from the likes of Spotify or YouTube, those responsible for your music's artistic and technical achievements are still going completely uncredited, unrecognised and unappreciated.
To highlight this huge oversight, the Music Producers Guild has enlisted the help of producers such as Trevor Horn, Tony Visconti, Nigel Godrich and Spike Stent to make the case for credit information. In an enlightening video filmed earlier this year at the MPG Awards in London, these enormously well respected recording professionals spell out just how important accurate credit information is to the future of the music industry.
"For the young guys out there, people starting out, credits are everything and it's really important they get the recognition," says Spike Stent, who has worked with the likes of Coldplay, Arcade Fire and Ed Sheeran.
And Trevor Horn goes even further. Speaking about his first major hit, Video Killed The Radio Star, he acknowledges that a lot of people who worked on the track were really hurt when he didn't include their names on the sleeve notes.
"It also left it wide open for four or five different people to claim that they went 'oh-ah oh," he says. "Well, I know who did it, so there's a load of people out there - stop saying you did it because you f.....g didn't, and you know it!"
The MPG's video (above) forms part of the organisation's Credit Where Credit Is Due initiative, which promotes the inclusion and accuracy of 'credit' information associated with the various roles of music recording. "We feel it is time that all those involved in the production of recorded music got the credit they deserve," says MPG director and producer Tommy D who is spearheading the initiative. "These credits were previously included and easily accessible within the sleeve notes and artwork of CDs and vinyl albums. They were an essential and standard practice, within the music business. And don't underestimate how essential they are – not just because they acknowledge the hard work and effort that had gone into making a recording, but also because they accurately define and thus allow the industry to compensate those professionals, for years to come." This information is now only accessible when online – and furthermore, what information the internet does hold is often wildly inaccurate and not properly endorsed by the industry.
The MPG feels the music industry is missing an essential marketing tool by denying consumers an easy way to cross reference and search for the work of labels, musicians, producers, engineers, etc. The industry's general apathy when it comes to solving this issue also belies a deeper disregard and disrespect for the back room staff, as a whole.
"We need to rectify this short-coming, and the best way to do that is by lobbying," Tommy D adds. "The MPG is encouraging all consumers and recording artists to make their voices heard so that the music and technology industries, responsible for the distribution of recorded music are left in no doubt that we want credit information, and that it needs to be attached and accessible at the source of the listening experience."
The MPG supports the initiative of mastering engineer and MPG member, Barry Grint, who has worked tirelessly to persuade record labels to implement industry standard ISRC codes into digital files. Embedding an accurate ISRC code guarantees the identity of the recording and thus opens the door to attaching accurate credits to a digital file.
About Music Producers Guild (UK)
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers.