Certain pop artists have "compositions" instead of "songs"

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I've encountered a small number of cases where a well-recorded popular artists (usually very old and/or obscure) is listed as having "compositions" instead of "songs." Here is one case:

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/arthur...

The bio notes that Collins recorded hundreds of songs (and there are plenty of items in the "Credits" page), but I have no way to see a list of his songs the way I can for other performers. By contrast, the "compositions" link has exactly one item.

I remember once upon a time there was a "show classical music entry" and "show pop music entry" link, but either it is MIA or I am blind.

Thanks,
-Zac
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Zac Bond

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Posted 6 years ago

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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Hi Zac,
When we build each page, we try to determine whether the artist is best known for their "Compositions" or their "Songs" (this is often based on whether the artist is considered to be primarily a Classical artist or a "Pop" artist).

It works nearly always but occasionally backfires on obscure or very old artists (like in the situation you illustrate here).

We'll take a look at this case to see if there is a better way to handle artists like this.
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Zac Bond

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I'm not clear why you need to choose between one of two lists, instead of just displaying both. An excellent case where such an "either/or" approach makes little sense might be Fritz Kreisler. He has lots of compositions that other performers have played, and yet also had innumerable popular recordings in his day. Right now he's listed as a composer, but there are numerous compilations of his records as well. Having both lists would benefit anyone looking at his page.
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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It is partially a space issue.
For artists that would have a Songs and a Compositions tab, we simply run out of room on the page to display all of the data elements.



The other reason is that for many Pop artists, the compositions tab is pretty superfluous. If a string quartet does a tribute album to Green Day, all of the sudden Green Day has a tab with Classical Composition credits on it. The distraction of that largely un-helpful data that would be on the page was a nuisance to many users so we went with this either/or solution which does occasionally fail but provides correct information the majority of cases.

Sorry if this is not providing the information you were looking for. There may be a better solution out there and we'll be able to show all of the data in entirety.
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Zac Bond

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I suppose what you say makes sense--most of these old artists I'm looking at don't have the number of tabs that your Vannessa-Mae example has. (My example, Arthur Collins, only has four). My only suggestion would be a small link somewhere unobtrusive inside the "Compositions" tab that would temporarily change that page to a "Songs" page (or vice versa).

Another similar problem I have noticed: artists whose songs only appear on "various artists" albums do no have a "Songs" tab at all. A good example is Ada Jones:

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ada-jo...

Here are several songs she sang alone (she is also featured on endless duets):

http://www.allmusic.com/song/under-th...
http://www.allmusic.com/song/ring-tin...
http://www.allmusic.com/song/m-i-s-s-...
http://www.allmusic.com/song/row-row-...

There are probably a dozen more, yet she doesn't even have a "Songs" tab.

This problem doesn't happen for artists who have at least one album to their name. In that case, even songs that only appear on Various Artists albums are listed in their own "Songs" list, so I strongly suspect this is some kind of bug rather than by design. An example of the latter case is this song, which appears only on one various artists compilation:

http://www.allmusic.com/song/be-my-li...

yet it dies appear in the artist's songs list:

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/billy-...

(I probably should have opened a new issue for this.)

-Zac
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Nice catch, that is a bug.

Actually, if you notice on the Ada Jones page you can listen to samples from her songs by clicking the Sample button near her name at the top, but for some reason the Songs tab is not displaying.

I've looked at the raw data and we do have songs associated with her (as you pointed out) so we'll try to track down where that is breaking.
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I'm not Futz Hookah

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Good artists, Zac! (Arthur Collins, Ada Jones).  I just posted a complaint about the same problem... two years later, I know...

My artist was Ernie Freeman, a very busy session musician with a number of hits under his own name. There is no Song tab (and exactly one entry under Compositions), and so there's no way I can check for appearances on various artists compilations even though that information is in the system.

By the way, sorry about posting a new topic. As before, I did searches for similar posts beforehand but couldn't find any.  As soon as I posted, they started showing up.  Need a better search of old topics!
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Hi Futz,
This is just an incorrect assignment in our data.

When I look at this artist, I see we have him flagged as primarily Classical (which seems incorrect).

  • name: "Ernie Freeman"
  • isGroup: false
  • primaryMedia: "Music\Classical"
We'll see about getting that corrected.
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I'm not Futz Hookah

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Why do some artists not have a Songs tab?.

I was looking for songs recorded by Ernie
Freeman on anthologies, which I thought would be easiest to find by browsing
the Songs listing for him. There is no tab, though. He does have songs in the
system... for example, on the albums listed in his discography tab.