Conflated item? Howard Barnes looks like two people

Legal name and secondhandsongs link indicate a British guy (Howard Ellington Riddiford Barnes), discogs link a yank (Howard Lee Barnes).


That is not that unusual with a common name. Just make a new one for the American and move the few links across to it. Ideally find some neat detail to differentiate the two and stick that in the disambig.

Should not take too much to untangle: Howard Barnes | Discography | Discogs

There’s 15 works already attributed to “Howard Barnes”, would probably need to go through each one to see which Howard really wrote it?

15 is a small list compared with some of the tangled ones I’ve seen in the past.

best to work out which one has the most works in that list, and then move the smaller artist.


15 is a small list compared with some of the tangled ones I’ve seen in the past.

It’s not a competition! :slight_smile:


I know it is not a competition, but generally best to cause least disruption. So if there were ten tracks for the Brit and five for the Yank I’d make the original the Brit and make a new one for the Yank.

1 Like

I Really Don’t Want To Know and How Many seem to be the US Fella. (via Discogs). Which makes 知りたくないの the US guy too. And Vertel het me liever niet

The above four have been moved to the American Barnes

The description on the Discogs Page for American Barnes names those two songs as his. And the other two are translations of those works.

Most of the rest look like the Brit. Again working from Discogs description of him especially.

A Blossom Fell is UK. Which probably means all the Nat King Cole are too. (Dreams can tell a lie)

Wikipedia is fairly barren on this, but this one helped as it describes a lot of the works we have listed: My Love and Devotion - Wikipedia

Love and Devotion, Tulips and Heather and the other Milton Carson ones.

That just leaves a few translated Works I have not fully nailed down.


When dealing with similar cases (which as you say are quite common), I think it is preferable to preserve the original purpose of the entry - i.e. to prevent/undo any MBID hijacking that may have happened.

I see how your practical approach can be appealing though, especially if the alternative is no cleanup taking place at all.


I looked at it from the angle of how many references each was linked. And therefore how many external links were likely to be disrupted.

The UK guy had many many entries linked throughout the database. A little bit of clicking on the works was leading to large lists of recordings.

The USA guy was much less prolific.

The direction we took was based not on minimal work, but on least disruption. I especially thinking of people using this data from outside of MB and having a MBID link to a composer within their data. Moving the USA guy is causing the smallest amount of MBID changes and disruption.

I do follow your “but he was first” method, but the UK guy is far more prolific and a far bigger percentage of links would have been to him.

tl;dr: I preserved the bigger artist to cause least disruption to data.