About different versions of the same work and merged recording titles

I’d like to open this discussion to a broader audience (move it from the edit note to the forum).

@RocknRollArchivist made a bunch of edits merging different track titles into a recording title.
So e.g. the track titles are “Title A”, “Title B” and “Title C” and he wants to call the recording “Title A (Title B, Title C)”.

I don’t think that is justified by the guidelines:


And instead to show that the different tracks are the same song should be indicated, by merging the exact same ones into the same recording, linking different versions to the same work and - if necessary - create extra works based on the original work if a large portion of music is newly composed or a large portion of the lyrics is newly written.

But @RocknRollArchivist brings up a good point: If all the track titles are different how can you tell which tracks/recordings are the same version(*) of the work.

(*) Version in this case meaning it’s the same work, because there is no newly written stuff, but there is newly improvised stuff.
To be honest I can’t really imagine how two recordings are of the same improvised version of a song unless one is an edit or similar of the other recording (in which case it could be indicated with such a relationship) or if you write down the improvised stuff afterwards to perform the same version again later (in which case I’d say it would constitute a new work).

To be honest I can’t really imagine how you can say about these things without using of notion of takes.
Not only two, but 20 or even more similar (or not so similar) takes can be recorded during one or more recording session(s).
And please, keep the edits for sound engineers, not for performers. The performers perform, the engineers edit…
Re “merged tites”: this is not my invention. This is common for an anthologies which combine different titles of the same recording from different releases using “aka” or brackets, e.g., the titles of tracks 22 on CD1, and of tracks 2, 22, 23 and 25 on CD2 on this release.
On original releases the titles were a part of these “merged” ones.

I know takes, but takes are not a difficult thing to credit correctly in MB.
Two different takes are different recordings of the same work.
If - as you explained in the edit note - you have takes numbered 1 to n in every different recording session, then just put the session into the disambiguation.
Then you can tell “Title (take 1)” (2/4/2017 session) apart from “Title (take 1)” (3/1/2018 session).

Sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about here.

Please read what is Edit of Recording
An existing recording can itself be edited to produce a new recording. For example, a “radio edit” or “single edit” may be produced by removing an intro or outro, verses, bridges or interludes to shorten the existing recording, and/or by censoring some of the content. Other examples include an edit using only a section of a recording or an “extended edit” which repeats parts of an existing recording to increase the duration.
Who make the edits? Evidently, a sound engineer, after the recording, and not a performer (vocalist, musician) during the recording.

Yes, but the MB guidelines clearly state to use the most used title of the official releases for a recording. So these merged titles should not be used.

I know what an edit is. I didn’t say that what you are talking about are edits, I just mentioned them as an example for different recordings of the same work.

As the guidelines say recording titles should generally be based on the titles of tracks using that recording.
I’m not sure I understand what @RocknRollArchivist is doing or what @chabreyflint means by vote and comment on Edit #52919179

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Exactly. But the reality is more complicated than these whishes.
E.g., these three tracks are surely the same recording

  1. Larry Williams - “Rockin’ Pneumonia”:
    on official Specialty single of 1986.

  2. Larry Williams (With Art Neville) - “Rockin’ Pneumonia”:
    on official Specialty LP of 1986, mentioned on label of single (which omitted Art Neville).

  3. Art Neville (featuring Larry Williams) - “Rocking Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie 'Flu”:
    on official Ace LP of 1986.

So, what artist and what title should be adopted in MB for this recording?

Those are not wishes, but guidelines that editors have to stick to. If a guideline doesn’t sufficiently reflect reality then the guideline should be changed, but I don’t see this to be the case here.

Hard to say without seeing track lengths for example 2 and 3 especially since example 3 seems to be a compilation/medley or similar of two songs. But let’s assume examples 1 & 2 are really the same recording.

The title should then clearly be “Rockin’ Pneumonia” and the artist should be “Larry Williams with Art Neville”, since if they are really the same recording Art Neville has to be featured (uncredited or not) on both tracks.

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I’m awaitng for this reply, because no other possible one.
Our little community of collectors has in hands all the releases (including the later reissues).
And I’m occupied (during 10 or 15 years) by comparison of different tracks in sound editors like Sound Forge Pro and Adobe Audition. Without this comparison any serious discography is not possible.
E.g., during two years we worked upon the anthologie of Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Records. Our work was based essentially on comparison of multiple studio tapes and releases.

So no doubts, it’s the same recording.
Re your suggestion: I’m agree with the artist (though “Art Neville with Larry Williams” would be equally correct), but I’m not agree with the title. Why to prefer the Specialty title to Ace one? What rule of guidelines you can give for confirm you “clear” choice?

Only if the same recording also appears on releases by Art Neville.

I’m still not convinced they are the same recording, but if they are (and these are the only 3 tracks of the recording) then the guideline clearly states:

If the recording has tracks from official releases, choose the most common title from official tracks as the basis for the recording title.

And twice is more common than once.

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Two releases vs one was simply in this example. And I don’t know, maybe the single by Art Neville also exists (I’m not expert on Art Neville).
But I can give lot of examples with “one vs one” or “two vs two”. What to do in these cases?

By the way, we found only one alternate take of this song (recorded at the same session by same artists) on two releases: of 1987 and of 1988 (ther this take 8 is edited). And on both releases this track is called “Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu” (or 'Flu). So, maybe we would take into account this long title of alternate take when we chose between two ones of master take?

Leave the title as it is (one of the two, not a merger) and search for additional official releases.
If there are just the two official releases and they use different titles you could probably also go on to the next part of the guidelines:

Otherwise, choose the most common track title.

So choose the title that is most often used by compilations & co.

Anyways you can set aliases for recordings or even add (aka Title B) into the disambiguation, so this really doesn’t seem like such a big issue to me.

I agree with using recording aliases, that’s the exact reason why we have them. Changing the recording title to a bogus one just for the sake of containing all the track titles is wrong in my opinion and isn’t exactly in agreement with our guidelines either.


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:

  1. there are the same song “Jockomo”;
  2. there are different versions of song, called differently in different times (due to commercial reasons aka profit).

Just for your thought…

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Your long story doesn’t change the answer to the question. Each track should be named as it’s printed on the album cover, each take/recording should be named after the most used track title on official releases.

If you think this is a better way to go then please suggest that as a change to the official guidelines, until then please stop editing according to your own will and stick to the guidelines as they are now.


Sorry for having harass you, but this long story came not so much for you as for others.

And again, I’m sorry, but I do not need any directives to decide what I’m going to do.

Please stop voting No to my edits without reason!
Please see these edits and try to understand what is it, before voting No.
Do you going to vote No to all my edits?

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I voted yes 51 times and no 21 times on your edits.

I made a mistake with my votes on your edits on one release. Sue me.

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Youк mathematic is of no interest for me.
Please go to edits listed on my previous message and try to understand them.

Why don’t you go to those edits and see that I already changed my votes and stop crying out to me in the forum in the edit notes and via email at once.