I regret that some MB users hold the formalistic view on discography. Just as on Discogs, the best (or worst? That depends upon a point of view) incarnation of formalistic discography. But the approach of Discogs is justified by its main commercial goal. For most of collectors (essentially on old vinyls) the discs themselves have central meaning. Two discs with different label color, of with different kind of the same printed text on label have different value. That’s why this community requests the strong description of track lists, whereas any relation between these tracks and the ones on some other release is beyond of interest. Discogs does not have a notions of “recording” and “work” as separate, self-sustained entities, whereas MB has these notions (though I remember the time of MB without recordings).
What is a recording in fact? It is one of some takes recorded during a recording session selected for release. Evidently, in fact all the takes have the same title, generally fixed on session file.
When this selected take (maybe after some edit) is released, it becomes “master”, and its title printed on release label (usually as short as possibly such as “Rockin’ Pneumonia”, due to limitations of paper label space, especially on vinyl having up to 12 titles on side label, with its writers and copyright) becomes the title of this selected take called master.
OK, it’s master, but many unreleased takes remain in the vaults of label.
After years some label (not obligatory this one which released the master) goes to release this master or one or more unissued takes of this title. If this release is a CD, there is no longer need in short titles, if in fact these titles were longer. That’s why we see “Rocking Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie 'Flu”, as that has been written on session file.
And now I ask you: what should be the title (because it is evidently unique for all the takes of recording session) of all these recordings (becoming master and alternates takes)?
From viewpoint of Discogs, no question here, as no recordings on Discogs at all, only the tracks of a release.
But for MB, I think, it would be logic to keep the original title of session file, i.e. “Rocking Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie 'Flu”. Different titles of recordings will mean different recording sessions.
One more time, a recording is that, what a performer recorded.
Larry Williams never made on this session a different recordings called now “Hey, Now”, now “Hey Now, Hey Now”, and now “Hey Now, Hey Now aka Jockomo”. He recorded on this second session simply his old song “Jockomo”, but with different lyrics version he invented just for this session (not in paper, I suggest). Next these recordings were called by one producer “Hey, Now”, by other one “Hey Now, Hey Now”, essentially for lead the customers to believe that is a new song, and not this old “Jockomo”.
Next the compiler of an anthologie, having analyze this “titles story”, releases different versions upon “merged” titles like “Iko Iko aka Jockomo” and “Hey Now, Hey Now aka Jockomo” which explain just that:
- there are the same song “Jockomo”;
- there are different versions of song, called differently in different times (due to commercial reasons aka profit).
Just for your thought…