Some albums do not include any lyrics' sheet, but often the lyrics are officially available (for free) on artists' website. Does that means that words are considered less important than music, and in some ways superluous to be offer together with the music?

  • I recommend that edit your question to include some examples of albums you found to be without printed lyrics, so answers can be more focused. In general, there may be a number of reasons.
    – user3169
    Mar 21 '15 at 4:41
  • I always wanted to have the chords as well as the lyrics, and wondered why the music was considered less important!
    – user16
    Mar 21 '15 at 11:35
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    @user3169: I've asked a general question to cover the generic scenario of a band/artist decide to not include lyrics in the product they sell, but officially available for free on their website. Like to say "you have to pay for our hard work on the music, but we don't care about the work on the words".
    – Spaceman
    Mar 22 '15 at 21:20
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    I've voted to close this question as too-broad. 1,000 different artists will have 1,000 different reasons why they do or do not include lyrics in the insert. Mar 23 '15 at 12:50
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    Note that lyrics aren't "free" and are in fact subject to copyrights and royalties and require licenses.
    – BCdotWEB
    Mar 24 '15 at 11:00

The obvious answer (when talking about recent releases) is that lyric sheets cost money to produce. If you can put them online for free, why waste money on something that isn't as important to the core of the release?

Other bands, like Tool, don't include lyric sheets because they don't necessarily want to spell everything out for the listener. They want to make you think about the music, or interpret whatever is being said in your own way.

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    This answer really needs a reference to support such "obvious answer".
    – user3169
    Mar 22 '15 at 21:24
  • "why waste money on something that isn't as important to the core of the release?": that's the point. Why lyrics are so useless in a song/album to be excluded from the product an artist/band has worked on for months/years? And as per your example, TOOL has free official lyrics on their website. Is this really only a matter of costs?
    – Spaceman
    Mar 22 '15 at 21:30
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    @user3169 - I don't think you're going to find an official source that will admit, "Hey, we wanted to save money". But, seriously, what other reason is there short of a desire to be "green"? It's online for free, 99.99% of the music-buying market is online, why bother wasting money on it/cutting down trees to print it?
    – Johnny Bones
    Mar 22 '15 at 22:19
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    I disagree with this. Albums don't always include lyrics, but still contain artwork and credits which take up the same amount of paper that the lyrics would have. It's just the artists chose not put the lyrics on the paper. Mar 23 '15 at 12:45

It's because lyric sheets cost more money. Some bands like to put the lyrics of their songs inside the booklet for the CD, while some don't like to print their lyrics at all. It isn't like they're going 'it isn't important'. Also it frees up the space to put some cool artwork in the CD case, which (and this last bit is just my opinion) is a better addition than lyrics.

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    So "cool artwork" is free then where as it costs to print words? Bit of a contradiction. Mar 24 '15 at 11:19
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    @Roger Mellie Actually, I meant that sometimes they'd like to spend that money on print something other than lyrics, with artwork being an example. Mar 24 '15 at 12:12
  • If a hardcopy recording is produced on a budget, the booklet might just be a single sheet with a fold, and may not have room for lyrics, just the contractually required credits.
    – Steve
    Feb 15 '18 at 6:45

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