Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Americana Deluxe?

pinging @RoboTardis and @jpmoss, since they’ve done work here too

so… there’s an album by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy which has had it’s release group title changed back and forth for some time now, and I’d like some input from the commutity at large.

on the one hand, you’ve got the title of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the only title which appears on the outside of the release (front cover, spine, and CD label), and also the name which appears on the Matchbook Sampler released around the same time, as well as the official streaming release. (this is not to be confused with another album of the same name by the group, from before they were signed to a major label)

on the other hand, you’ve got Americana Deluxe (the current release group title), which appears inside the booklet above the credits (styled as though it were a diner menu). this is also the title it’s given by a band member in a couple YouTube videos from 2020 (see edit #108693630) as well as the file name of the cover art on the official BBVD website (which lists both the album in question and the indie debut)

I personally favor the more primary sources of the Matchbook Sampler and the streaming release, since the sources for Americana Deluxe are quite likely called that to differentiate between their indie debut and their major label debut, but I welcome input from y’all~

I will also note that other databases aren’t at all consistent with the title of this album, with Wikipedia and RYM using Americana Deluxe, AllMusic and Jazz Music Archives using Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (tho the latter has Americana Deluxe in parentheses), and Discogs having no consistent title on the releases in their master release (tho using Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as the title for the master release). I don’t think this should be a deciding factor, of course, but something worth noting

I have also tweeted at the band about the title of this release with no response as of yet (it’s been more than a month, so I’m not optimistic)

edit: I will also note that about two years back I put in edits to make the release title consistent across the release group as well as importing missing release groups


I suspect that the group name being used as the album title might originate with the label discounting the use of the name on the pre-label release since it was off-label, and not necessarily the decision of the band. The terminology used by the band members and the cover art images suggests that the band themselves consider this “Americana Deluxe”.

Personally, without some authoritative answer from the band, I would tend to lean toward the answer that causes the least amount of problems, and also think that the combination of (artist,album) should always be unique if possible. So if the consensus is that this should be “Big Dad Voodoo Daddy” then I think the album title in MB should match the AllMusic and Jazz Music Archives style and use “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Americana Deluxe)” as the release/group title to avoid confusion between the releases, as well as naming conflicts with directory structure where two different albums would incorrectly end up in the same directory for the majority of users.

I don’t particularly agree with this as a main reason, since that’s very much not how MusicBrainz typically handles situations like this (or at least how I see the situation). just look at the discographies of Weezer or Peter Gabriel for examples of how we typically handle multiple albums with the same name (this is also why I set the disambiguation on the release group to Americana Deluxe while changing the release group title to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, since it’s a commonly used name)


Well no, the cover art you have linked in the annotation shows Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, isn’t it?

Furthermore, all 4 original albums and the bootleg as well have scans of their spines, where there is only Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and no traces of Americana Deluxe.


this brings up another point that using Americana Deluxe for the titles makes this super confusing for people trying to find this album if they’ve got the CD in hand, since Americana Deluxe doesn’t appear anywhere you’d normally find an album name. in fact when I was adding this to my collection, it came up with Americana Deluxe as the name, and my first thought was Picard pulled up the wrong album. it was only after I saw the artwork that I thought something’s up


This is one of the problems with fan generated names. Some of us may only have one album by a band and try and locate them in the discography.

Look at the Beatles “White Album” - officially called “The Beatles”.

Led Zep “4” and the first four Peter Gabriel albums also fit here. Or Seal’s second album.

Generally MB sticks to the name as seen. Even though the fans know themy by other names due to how they clash in the catalogue.

Not sure why the Led Zep IV example seems to go its own way for some reason…

Is that image from one of their booklets? So that one is using the title as “Big Bad Voodoo Daddy” as seen on the cover.

Technically both versions are “correct” in all these examples, but one is what appears in discographies and the other is what fans call it.


correct, it’s from a sampler for the album (actually pictured on itself, middle left)

I added both names as aliases for the release group so that people searching for Americana Deluxe would also find this release


I like aliases as I often add all kinds of fan names \ slang \ typos in there. It seems to cover these kinds of cases well.

Following the MB conventions and guidelines that I am aware of, I would call this album:

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
With ‘Americana Deluxe’ in the disambiguation.


I agree, but perhaps the guidelines at Disambiguation Comment - MusicBrainz should be updated to explicitly mention this as a valid use of disambiguation comments. Right now, the page just says:

Disambiguation comments are used to distinguish identically or similarly named artists, labels and other entities. They are visible on entity pages, as well as in search results.

I think that something like this might work:

Disambiguation comments can also be used to provide well-known-but-unofficial names for self-titled or untitled release groups.

In addition to the examples that @IvanDobsky gave above, there’s also
Metallica (“The Black Album”).

(A cleaner approach might be to add an “alternate name” alias type and display those aliases alongside disambiguation comments throughout the UI, but I can say from recent first-hand experience that that would be a lot of work.)

I’m pretty sure this approach is covered in the guidelines, since it’s distinguishing multiple releases by the same artist with the same name

I also think that alternate names are welcome as aliases, since they follow the guidance on the aliases docs, namely:

Aliases come in two main types: {entity} name and search hint. For example, aliases for a work can either be a work name or a search hint. {Entity} name aliases show how people refer to the entity.

since people refer to these albums by these alternate names (The Black Album, The White Album, Led Zeppelin IV, and Americana Deluxe, for examples), these are welcome as release group name aliases


I might be misunderstanding, but there’s only one album named The Beatles and one album named Metallica… right? The disambiguations exist due to most people using unofficial names to refer to the albums, not to avoid confusion with other albums.

I only have a passing familiarity with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but I agree that the situation there is different and already covered by the guidelines – sorry for the topic hijack.

To bring things back on track, I’ll just observe that will become quite confusing if the RG is renamed to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy due to a Wikipedia editor’s strident argument that Americana Deluxe is the one true title:

I wish that that appeared in a separate e.g. “Album title” section in the Wikipedia article so it wouldn’t show up on the RG page. :-/

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The reason I threw in items like The Beatles White Album is showing how fans can name an album one way, but official charts and discographies use something different.

I would not worry too much about the Wikipedia item at the top of that page being different. That’s just normal Wikipedia editors. :smile: The second sentence of that text mentions the other title. And it looks like that page starts the same as MB - a big long waffle about alternate names.

I agree the MB annotation could be written a little neater. Start with a line or two saying “There are alternate names” before going into the evidence why in an unbiased way. I’d want to skim read the first sentence to get the gist of what it was about. But we are all music collectors not wordsmiths. :grin:


that’s kinda what I originally had, the first paragraph was added later

edit: put in a couple votable edits to change the release and release group names back:


FWIW I have edited the Wikipedia page a little bit - not changing the point or the argument, just removing the “strident argument” part and reducing it to the facts. Who knows if the change will stick. I definitely can’t be bothered getting into a Wikipedia argument to actually change the title, though :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve also edited the annotation to include the different sources for the release titles in the one paragraph I originally wrote, similar to the Wikipedia edits

also, back when I was originally editing the release group, I did start a talk thread about the title, with a single response in the 2-ish years it’s been up there (besides my own)


Nice. That is a bit cleaner. It is good to get the point over in the first couple of sentences.

It makes me laugh that a filename on a website is being used as “evidence” for the album name. That does not seem that official to me, but then I don’t want to open that debate :grin:.