MBS-11284: Sort case for "Artist X & The Artist Y"

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It was recently reported that the sort name guidelines and sort name code don’t really match for cases where an artist name is in the style of “Artist X & The Artist Y”. The guideline claims that:

Group artist names beginning with an article (a, an, the, etc.) have the article moved to the end of their sort name.
Where a real person’s name appears in a group artist’s name, the artist’s sort name should be the sort name for that person, followed by the remainder of the group artist’s name.

That seems a bit inconclusive (should “the remainder of the group artist’s name” be sorted too or just printed as is?), but examples are as such:

Hootie & the Blowfish has sort name “Hootie & the Blowfish”
Bob Marley and the Wailers has sort name “Marley, Bob and the Wailers”
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine has sort name “Estefan, Gloria and the Miami Sound Machine”

The sort name guessing code will consistently turn these into “Artist X &/and Artist Y, The”. This does seem like a better case for when the artist name is a combination of the names of two artists (“Marley, Bob and Wailers, The” seems more correct to me) but it does have its exceptions: “Hootie & the Blowfish” is just the full band name, so “Hootie & Blowfish, The” would probably be incorrect, and the suggested example of “Clarence Foster and The Internal Revenue Service” seems to be a band name that contains a person name and I’m not sure which version would apply better.

What do people think we should we do with this, in any case?

There are plenty of old threads on this. It would be worth linking them \ pinging them instead of starting the debate again. Especially as there seems to be no one around to answer you.

I don’t see the point in sorting anything beyond one person’s name. The point of this is to put that person into order based on their surname and tuck all of Bob Marley’s bands in between Alan Marley and Charlie Marley. There is no need to move that second “the”.

This is emphasised by the way “The Sensational Alex Harvey Band” is handled and turned into “Harvey, Alex, Sensational Band, The”. You are putting all of Mr Harvey’s bands under H. No need to sort more than that.

I didn’t realise the rules did this until reading them just now. Kinda handy when you have someone like Charlie Parker in so many different band line-ups. This gives us a very usable grouping of putting all his bands together under “P”.

Also, please remember many people use the MB data in RealLife™ in their music collections. Don’t just suddenly drop a change on them that will shuffle their collections around for no real benefit.

Isn’t the point of sorting the second part to correctly order Krauss, Alison and Union Station vs Krauss, Alison and Very Good Band, The?

Yes, but there’s a tradeoff in the sort name between readability and optimal sorting, and there are very few real world examples where the second part of the sort will make any difference.

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This is the part I agree with. Why spend valuable development hours on what is a very edge case. We could all probably name our favourite issues that cause us more hassle over a wider area.

I think changing this would cause more trouble that it needs to.

I’m not particularly interested in spending dev time in this, but it would be nice to have it all be consistent :slight_smile: So either change the guideline wording and examples a tiny bit, or change the code a tiny bit.

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