Interpretation of Last.fm's 'Overall Aim'

 
    • percy74 ha detto...
    • Utente
    • Mar 9 2011, 16:58

    Interpretation of Last.fm's 'Overall Aim'

    I was going to post this in the correction thread as a response, but decided the topic deserves its own thread.

    From the Artist and Song Correction Thread

    puresome2010 said:
    This is a correct artist Iggy & The Stooges
    I'm glad this one came up, it's one I've struggled with for a long time in interpreting Last.fm's official stance on certain items. MusicBrainz agrees that Iggy & The Stooges is a separate artist from The Stooges. For the first two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, the band went by The Stooges on both album covers. For the third album, Raw Power, the band changed the lineup slightly and switched labels. They named the new incarnation Iggy & The Stooges. This is what appears on the album cover, and MusicBrainz interprets the change as two separate artists.

    The only thing that throws me is the line that Last.fm added to its guidelines:
    The overall aim is to improve the user experience of Last.fm and make the right content easier to find, not necessarily to always be 100% discographically correct.I have voted for Iggy & The Stooges, but I never brought it up here because of that sentence. How are we supposed to interpret this "guideline"? Any thoughts?

    • Bloopy ha detto...
    • Forum Moderator
    • Mar 9 2011, 22:55
    The overall aim is rather vague. I think it's just saying that there are quirks in MusicBrainz, and a decision that makes sense to them might not make sense to Last.fm. Last.fm and MusicBrainz have different guidelines. MusicBrainz says:
    a given group changes its name at some point in time: just as above, this depends mainly on the extent of the change. When the group La Ruda Salska changed its name to simply La Ruda, the artist subscribers deemed that such a change didn't deserve the creation of a new artist entry.The longer The Stooges keep performing as The Stooges, the more insignificant the extent of their prior name change becomes. I'm not sure if MusicBrainz would see it that way though. In this thread, Last.fm's overall aim leads on to this sentence:
    If the artist name is not always consistent across releases, or the artist changed names, map to the most commonly used nameI've always preferred to keep the discographies of bands as one whole. If one of the names involved in a name change is very similar or insignificant when compared to the other name, I don't see the point in having separate pages. I see The Stooges and Iggy & The Stooges as one band for a lot of reasons:

    - Three quarters of the band members who played on Raw Power also played on Fun House. The Stooges still perform songs from Raw Power, including performing the album in its entirety at a concert in 2010.

    - The Stooges and Iggy & The Stooges were made separate artists on MusicBrainz well before The Weirdness was released. So at the time the MusicBrainz decision was made, the name change would've seemed more permanent, but then the band changed their name back for the latest album.

    - They didn't completely change their name. They expanded upon the one they already had.

    - Wikipedia treats The Stooges as one band.

    - The Stooges are still sometimes billed as Iggy & The Stooges on festivals now, so it's used as an alias for promotional reasons rather than referring to a separate band.

    - What happens when compilations are released with material from both eras all mixed up? It can get messy.

    Having said that, I scrobble it all as The Stooges, so whatever's happening on the Iggy & The Stooges page doesn't really affect me.

    • percy74 ha detto...
    • Utente
    • Mar 10 2011, 17:01
    Great explanation, Bloopy, thanks. I think you've convinced me to change my tags.

    You mentioned how compilations can really get muddled in situations like this. When I read this, I was immediately reminded of Jimi Hendrix and the absolute mess that catalogue is (this might be a can of worms best left unopened): Jimi Hendrix, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Band of Gypsys and how all of them appear on posthumous, muddied Jimi Hendrix compilations. On the one hand, I can easily see why Last.fm might wish to list everything under Jimi Hendrix (they wouldn't be the only ones who did.) On the other hand, the pedantic in me shudders at the thought of re-mapping The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys to Jimi Hendrix. To my recollection, everything I've heard on Last.fm radios plays as Jimi Hendrix, which further muddies the waters.

    It is these types of situations (I'm sure there are many others) where I am unsure of which to use. Last.fm suggests using MusicBrainz style guidelines, but also to make things easy to find, which seems to be contradictory in many cases. MusicBrainz separates The Jimi Hendrix Experience era albums from the Band of Gypsys album and everything else falls under Jimi Hendrix (which often include the recordings from both of those bands, but are now credited to just Jimi Hendrix.) Bleh. Why did I even bring this up?

    Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm just trying to understand this "Overall Aim" of last.fm to keep things simplified. The Stooges, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc. - I could see having them tagged separately on my computer and being merged under one title on Last.fm to simplify things. Or maybe it should just be left alone.

    • Bloopy ha detto...
    • Forum Moderator
    • Mar 10 2011, 22:53
    In the case of people (such as Jimi Hendrix), if Last.fm's aim is to make the content easier to find, then they've got a bit of work to do. Perhaps they could link to that person's bands more prominently on their artist page, or add a section showing some of the albums of each band they've been in. Only a small minority of users would say that The Jimi Hendrix Experience doesn't deserve a page of its own.

    As for muddled releases, I've come across cases where it makes sense to tag as a different artist to what the album cover might suggest. I tagged the last song on The Craving as Megadeth, because it's performed by Megadeth. The last 7 tracks of Messin' With The Boys are Cherie solo tracks added as bonus tracks, but you wouldn't know it looking at the back cover. Jimi Hendrix is an extreme example in terms of all those compilations... it would be better if that crap just ceased to exist, haha.

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