Do you remember when your favorite music CDs would drop and you couldn’t wait to get them? Standing in line at the record store was a treat in itself. Conversing with your peers about the latest and greatest music, building new relationships with those who had similar taste in music, and automatically loving every song before you even had a chance to hear the whole album. There was always that one person who had no clue what was going on musically, and this was your chance to educate them. Insert the CD booklet.
I vividly remember going home after buying my CDs with excitement for that booklet. It had everything you needed to know about your favorite songs. The first treat was the album art itself. Artists took their time to craft the perfect images, illustrations, and themes that fit the album. Some of my favorites include TLC’s CrazySexyCool, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and any album cover that featured the artist leaning back such as Emotional from Carl Thomas. I used to cut out the images and make a collage on my binder. Once you got past the cool images, the real magic began. Some CDs just featured the song credits, and if you’re anything like me you read every single one.
Then there were those gems that included the song lyrics. How many of us used to go home and memorize all of the lyrics? I know I did. Now we’ve all been guilty of singing one of our favorite songs and just knew we had it memorized to a tee. You’d go home and realize you’ve been singing wrong all along. Or you’d challenge your friends at lunch and had to break out the booklet to call them out.
My favorite part of the CD booklet has always been the last page that included the ‘Thank You and Dedication’ section. That was the true heartof the booklet. Some artists named all of the people who worked with them on that particular project, some sent a special thank you to their loved ones and fans, others left us with words of inspiration that have stuck with us until this day. Today, whenever an artist releases a hard copy of their CD, I get that excitement for the booklet all over again. It’s truly a feeling that never gets old.