After CD Baby closed their store in 2020, they revamped their licencing website, cdbabylicensing.com. This site is kind of amazing. It’s designed for people who are searching for music to licence for use in another work, so the search engine is unusually powerful and precise.
Take a look at this advanced search page. I’ve already done so many searches with this thing.
The track detail page is very data-oriented. It clearly lists things like songwriter, publisher, ISRC, and album barcode. You can preview the song, too.
I have to give you a warning about the songwriting credits, though: They are unreliable in the case of folk/traditional songs where the actual songwriter is unknown. I found several examples of songs that are labelled “original” even though there are earlier artists who performed the song before
Also note that writing credits at PROs are not reliable, because they are used to distribute royalties. It’s common for bands to blanket credit all their members so that they get an equal share, without everyone necessarily having contributed to the creative process.
This is true. But, I have found their performing-rights credits to be useful for learning the legal name of an artist when the track is not listed in CISAC’s ISWC database. In another case, I found a difference between a track’s entry on this site and CISAC’s entry. That led me to discover that the artist had legally changed their name.
For some albums, the best place to find credits is the Notes section. Here’s an example. This album has a detailed list of performance and production credits, plus a few words about the music’s cultural context. I put a phrase from this section into a web search engine. This page was the only search result.