Cover versions

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fe3d0e8b4b0>


Can’t seem to find any guides on cover versions… a search of the docs for “cover” ends up mainly pulling in cover art stuff. Basic issue: if an artist writes/co-writes a song for one band, then plays it later for a different band/solo - is it a cover version?

I’ve been adding some albums by “Peter Hook & The Light” - who are, for the uninitiated, a vehicle for the ex-Joy Division and New Order bassist to play the songs he co-wrote when in those bands. Setting them as cover versions seems slightly odd to me, as he’s playing songs he wrote. In comparison, Paul McCartney has several Beatles tracks on his live albums, and they aren’t flagged as covers.

Another to ponder are the songs Lemmy wrote in Hawkwind, Motörhead and Lost Johnny. Both were later recorded by Motörhead (the band). And Lost Johnny was also recorded by co-writer Mick Farren with his band The Deviants. Currently, they’re sometimes flagged as covers and sometimes not.


Your guess is as good as anyone else’s (that we know of). This is a know grey area, and there’s no consensus on what to do in cases like this.


This seems like a problem area on every music DB I’ve been on. has a separate attribute for this (although it’s poorly implemented) that marks the performance as by an author (or co-author) but not by the band that originally recorded it. They just use @Song instead of @Cover, but I think we could come up with better terminology.


Presumably though, there was an initial reason for adding the cover flag?

Do we make much use it ourselves? I could see the Stones’ works page looking a little less busy if cover versions were filtered in some way…


[quote=“chiark, post:4, topic:167953”]
Presumably though, there was an initial reason for adding the cover flag?[/quote]
Because it’s interesting/useful information for users? Or am I missing something.


[quote=“aerozol, post:5, topic:167953, full:true”]

That’s correct, it is interesting to me.
I like to see the percentage of original works / cover works in an album.
And if I like a work, I like to be able to trace down its original performer and to distinguish them from the cover performers. :slight_smile:


You are thinking too much about rare edge cases. The flag exists because it is useful for many normal, unambiguous cases.


You’re thinking too much about the edge cases - I’m saying there’s no documentation. The edge cases were why there might be a need for it.


I agree, and I don’t even think they’re really edge cases. A live recording of a song by a former band member is really common, and some versions straddle the line between a cover and a parody (which warrants a separate work). What if it’s a performance of a standard, traditional or Classical work – do we still want it marked as a cover? It’s never a bad thing to seek out more clarification.


What do you suggest for those.
I do not consider these as covers.
I don’t mark self-covers as covers.


@chiark if an artist composes a song that then is performed by his current band, in later versions/releases when the artist performs the song solo or with another band, the credits for the artist/composer indeed should be “composer” and not “cover”. Therefore, the settings for Paul McCartney are right :slight_smile:

In my opinion, to reach what have been reached for Paul McCartney, you could give credits like this:

  1. At the first release of the artist’s own composed song, played with a band, you probably best could credit the composer-artist as the “artist” and the band as supporting artist and when you do that, the “work” (composition) will be added to that particular artist’s “works”. Because, when you mention the band as the artist and as an attribute give credits to the particular artist as composer, the song won’t show up at the artist-composer’s works, it will even not show up at his “relationships” only the band will show up, and then clicking on the band who performed it, the band is mentioned as the artist which is not right at all.
  2. At a second release when the particular composer-artist goes solo or with another band, when having done what I said at 1. nothing odd will happen, the work stays credited as original work by that particular artist! :slight_smile: and you only have to link the new recording to the original work!

I hope I could explain what I wanted to explain! It always is difficult explaining in English while not my native language, at least I hope this helps you!