New user looking for title style guidance where it's not clear what the artist intended

Hello, new user here. I found myself here after trying to tidy up some set lists at setlist.fm. One particular song was punctuated in 3 different ways and I’m trying to consolidate them. But which of the 3 ways is “correct”? Apparently the version on musicbrainz is definitive, but … you tell me.

The song is “Mr Heartache” by Cats In Space, and the question is what punctuation goes between “Mr” and “Heartache”.

It was originally released as a single on YouTube, and the official video styles it (in both the title of the video and in the closing credits) as “Mr Heartache” with a space between “Mr” and “Heartache”.

However its first appearance on a CD was on their debut album “Too Many Gods”, and there it shows up as:

  • MR.HEARTACHE” on the album cover (and we can ignore the capitalization, but there’s a full stop and no space)
  • MR. HEARTACHE” as the track title in the booklet (again we can ignore the capitalization, but there’s a full stop and a space"
  • Mr. Heartache” on the first usage in the lyrics (a full stop and a space)
  • Mr.Heartache” on the subsequent 3 uses in the lyrics (full stop, but no space)

It’s not at all clear to me what the band intended, and it seems likely that the variations observed here could be due to the choices of the graphic designer. Any suggestions?

With that kind of mess I’d probably go for the lazy option. Recording gets named Mr Heartache as this is the first way we learnt about the track. Titles within a video.

I’d then add that YouTube video as a digital single. And set the track name as Mr Heartache

But then a different graphic designer came along and specifically tried to wind up us website pedants with their CD art madness. :smiley: As they use every combo, I’d probably title the track Mr. Heartache. I would certainly loose the capitals.

Majority vote shows they prefer a dot, a space, and lower case. So I’d name the CD track Mr. Heartache

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From https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Recording :

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

It sounds to me like “Mr. Heartache” is the most commonly used.

I would also argue that, when two variations are equally common, it makes sense to prefer the more standard of the two (which in this case would also be “Mr. Heartache”).

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I’d consider the version without a space a typographical error, which would fall under the heading of “fix errors” in any case.

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