Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs

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WikiProject Songs (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Songs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of songs on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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August Rigo link please[edit]

Hello, can we link August Rigo to his wikipedia page? He wrote this song as well as the new song Tough Love on Chris Brown's Heartbreak on a Full Moon album.

"or the mere availability of the version as downloadable or streaming audio or video" added and removed from COVER[edit]

Personally, I think the phrase is in keeping with the spirit of the guideline. Not sure why it was removed. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:31, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

As the guy who added it, I agree of course. Orojoro (who reverted the edit) and I had a brief discussion on my talk page, and I take his point that we don't necessarily want to have a lengthy list of what doesn't qualify (and I thank him for his courtesy for touching base with me prior to reverting), but I still think it's an improvement. Maybe we can reword it, but I think it's a point worth having. There are way too many edits where someone cites to a Youtube video as incontrovertible proof that the cover version exists without taking care that it meets the threshold for inclusion.
Perhaps a rewording is in order: "Mere evidence of the version's existence, such as a track listing, or a site from which an audio or video recording of the song can be purchased, downloaded or performed, is not enough to show that the version is sufficiently noteworthy for inclusion." Or something. That's off-the-cuff, and can probably be improved.
But in my experience it happens so much that it's worth expressly addressing. TJRC (talk) 22:46, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Not an unreasonable addition to the guideline, but changes should be discussed for an agreement, so removal was the correct action. I am in favour of re-adding with perhaps adding a comment saying live performances are not notable for this guideline. --Richhoncho (talk) 23:07, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I support it too. It’s not like being available for purchase or download affects anything on Wikipedia, let alone this. Sergecross73 msg me 23:09, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I also agree, and TJRC's suggestion of a rewording sounds like the best way forward. Richard3120 (talk) 23:13, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I've never seen "mere availability" used as an argument, but the current wording could be improved (obviously, many aren't getting the idea). Would including some examples of "what does not constitute evidence of being noteworthy" help? Or is it instruction creep? —Ojorojo (talk) 16:10, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
It’s kind of an variant of the “it exists so let’s mention” argument that people use all the time in their addition to Wikipedia’s ever-present “example bloat” issues. It’s definitely worth mentioning to some capacity. Sergecross73 msg me 17:10, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

OK, how about something like:

Only cover versions/renditions important enough to have gained attention in their own right should be added to song articles. The mere availability of the version from a site from which an audio or video recording of the song can be purchased, downloaded, or played is not enough to show that it is suitable for inclusion. To meet the criteria, the rendition needs to be discussed by a reliable source, such as in a review, an artist biography, or music reference book; album track listings, listings in discographies, chart listings, etc., that only confirm that the version exists do not show that it is noteworthy. Cover songs with only these types of sources should not be added to song articles, either as prose or in a list.

Ojorojo (talk) 16:15, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm OK with it, but I would make a full stop after "or music reference book". I did not notice the semicolon on my first reading and I'm not sure others will. Since it's a separate clause, we could easily make it a stand-alone sentence. Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:38, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposed style for rhyme schemes[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

A proposal has been opened at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style § Rhyme scheme patterns, that Wikipedia adopt a consistent style for rhyme scheme notation. Scansion is also mentioned.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:39, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

WP:COVERSONG violates notability guidelines[edit]

WP:COVERSONG as it stands is misleading and violates notability guidelines. Many who used it appear to think that notability guidelines apply to content in article (such as mention of covers within an article), which is a misunderstanding. Per WP:NNC - "The notability guidelines do not apply to contents of articles or lists" except for some standalone lists. Notability guidelines are meant to determine if a subject warrants an article, they are not about the content of the article.

For example, two editors cited WP:COVERSONG and both misuse notability guidelines - FlightTime claimed that a bunch of charted and sourced cover songs are not notable [1], while SummerPhDv2.0 claimed that only versions which would meet WP:NSONG should be included [2]. FlightTime claimed that the sourced charted songs are not necessarily notable, which is accurate as far as WP:NSONG is concerned, which states that a charted song may be notable, not that it is notable. However WP:NSONG cannot and should not be used to determine if a cover version is notable enough to be included, because it is only meant for determining the notability of a subject of an article, not its content.

The use of notability criteria by editors to delete song covers is wrong in a number of ways, not just violating the notability guideline, but also ignoring other guidelines that serve as a balance when determining notability, for example WP:NEXIST which states that "the absence of sources or citations in an article (as distinct from the non-existence of sources) does not indicate that a subject is not notable", and WP:BEFORE that requires those who want to delete article to check first whether sources exist in search. By demanding sources that address the subject as the main topic (which is not even demanded by WP:GNG) must be given in article, deleting and not checking, they are actually demanding even more stringent criteria than what's in notability guidelines. The idea that a single sentence entry in an article requires more stringent criteria than the article itself is patently absurd and defies all common sense.

WP:COVERSONG should therefore be rewritten or if not, then it may be deleted as it is a misuse of the notability guidelines. As noted in WP:Notability, whether something is worthy enough to be mentioned in an article "is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies", therefore it should be rewritten with that in mind. A cover with large number of sources may warrant one section, while those with fewer sources may be limited to a sentence or two. A charted cover song with source should be considered acceptable, as is a song discussed in reliable sources. While the concern is that an article may overflow with random covers, judicious application of a few existing policies and guidelines should be sufficient to keep those random entries in check, for example, the requirement for verifiability in reliable sources per WP:V would eliminate a lot of the random covers. . Hzh (talk) 13:38, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps we should just transclude the appropriate section of NSONG into COVERSONG. That would eliminate the recurring perception of those who wish to ignore COVERSONG that it is somehow a violation to use the test from a notability guideline elsewhere for other purposes.
COVERSONG essentially says two things: 1) If a version of a song meets NSONG by itself, it should have an article. 2) If articles for more than version should exist, merge them into one (under most circumstances).
COVERSONG currently excludes, for example, a version with trivial bare mentions in sources about topics other than the song, requiring instead substantial coverage in sources about the song.
Jane Blow's recording of the "Star Spangled Banner" is mentioned in one sentence in a source about Blow. Also mentioned in the same article in single sentences are Blow's hatred of meatloaf, her townhouse in West Philadelphia and that she worked for five years as an architect. That coverage is not enough to mention her in meatloaf, townhouse, West Philadelphia or architect because its demonstrated importance to those topics is tiny. Similarly, her recording of the "SSB" shows very little significance to that song. Listing ever cover of that song that is mentioned in any source would generate a very long indiscriminate list of people who used it to pad an album, sang at a baseball game or used it to open concerts.
Sources about Joe Cocker will certainly mention (or, more likely, discuss in detail) his cover of "With a Little Help from My Friends". The detailed discussion in those sources shows the song is relevant to Cocker and should be included in Joe Cocker. Sources about the song will likely discuss Cocker's version in meaningful detail, indicating the song's article should include Cocker's cover.
Some songs are covered by thousands of artists people reading about the albums those covers were on should find it in the track listing. If sources on the album discuss the song, the album's article should probably discuss it (cf. WP:WEIGHT). If sources about the artist, record label, tour, year in music, instrument, producer, studio, city it was recorded in, etc. discuss the version in detail, articles on those topics might (to some extent). That an article about a artist briefly mentions songs, record labels, tours, years, instruments, producers, studios, cities, etc. it does not follow that the artist should be included in 1979, New York City, etc. - SummerPhDv2.0 14:16, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
You are saying that NSONG should be used when I specifically said that its use violates notability guideline when used for content, the only difference being that you are pretending not to use it. Makes absolutely no sense. Hzh (talk) 14:59, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
*Historical Note: There used to be different articles for the same song because it had charted by different artists. A group of us thought an article about a song should cover all aspects of that song and not have separate articles, they are *song* articles. This was covered in NSongs "with notable cover versions are normally covered in one common article about the song and the cover versions." (Long discussion/debate somewhere if somebody wants to find it). So far so good.
Because some editors were arguing the point, and because many song articles had meaningless long lists of cover versions played on wet Wednesdays in Wherever by unknown bands coversong was devised, not to re-write existing WP guidelines, but to clarify and support other WP guidelines and how it appears in songs.
The real problem is that every editor has their favourite acts and want to add every burp, fart and performance related to that artist. Whatever is decided here, we need to ensure some kind of relevance to the article. A cover by a relative unknown is NOT relevant for an encyclopedia.--Richhoncho (talk) 15:03, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
A lot of the trivial covers can be eliminated by simply applying WP:V. Existing policy such as WP:NOTEVERYTHING also can be used to removed trivial ones even if sourced - I have no problem with discounting "album track listings, listings in discographies", etc., and we can limit entries to charted covers (once charted, they cannot be considered trivial) and those with multiple mentions in reliable sources. What is unacceptable however is to apply notability criteria for an entire article to a single sentence. Hzh (talk) 15:28, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
"Multiple mentions in reliable sources" is considerably different than "discussed by a reliable source on the subject of the song". The first would include virtually every performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" at every Major League Baseball game, "Amazing Grace" at notable people's funerals, "Happy Birthday to You", etc.
Had it not charted, Whitney Houston's "Star Spangled Banner" would still pass COVERSONG and be included. Opening this up to bare mentions would add several dozen performances a year to that article. If someone wanted to, they could spend a few hours adding hundreds of them from the past several decades, all failing COVERSONG, but passing your suggestion. - SummerPhDv2.0 15:53, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
If there are too many versions mentioned so that it skews the article, then WP:DUE will come into play, ditto WP:NOTEVERYTHING. If necessary, someone can always split it off into a separate article if these versions are considered significant enough. There are very few songs that would have such problems. I'm not sure why you mentioned Happy Birthday to You, half the performances given there can be deleted for being unsourced (as can many versions mentioned in The Star-Spangled Banner). Hzh (talk) 17:09, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
SONGCOVER does not state that in order to be included in the parent song article that all cover versions/renditions must be themselves notable or must meet NSONG. The language specifies two alternatives ("only if at least one of the following applies"): 1) "the rendition is discussed by a reliable source on the subject of the song" – OR – 2) "the rendition itself meets the notability requirement at WP:NSONGS". SONGCOVER is meant to prevent multiple articles for the same basic song (composition) and to prevent song articles from being filled up with unimportant or miscellanous covers/renditions (performances). This comes up so often that obviously the wording needs to be improved, but the basic ideas are sound. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:39, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see how NSONG has any relevance that it needs to be mentioned. If multiple articles on the same song is an issue, then simply states that it is something that should not be done. Mentioning NSONG simply creates the impression that a cover needs to satisfy NSONG (as can be see by both the editors I mentioned who appeared to believe that notability is a requirement for covers). The other criterion sounds like you require a source that deals only with the song, and as I've mentioned, this is not not even something required by WP:GNG. Hzh (talk) 18:10, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Agree on both points: mentioning NSONGS causes more problems than it helps and as long as the cover is discussed by a RS (not just listed or trivial mention) it should be OK. I suggested the following addition in the discussion above: "To meet the criteria, the rendition needs to be discussed by a reliable source, such as in a review, an artist biography, or music reference book. Album track listings, listings in discographies, chart listings, etc., that only confirm that the version exists do not show that it is noteworthy" (added Gorlitz's punctuation). —Ojorojo (talk) 18:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Surely a chart entry is in itself something noteworthy as it suggests that the cover has achieved some level of popularity? Hzh (talk) 18:38, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Now there are so many charts that an entry doesn't carry the weight that it once did (take a look at Billboard charts). If indeed a rendition is popular, it should be recognized by some commentary in a RS. —Ojorojo (talk) 18:52, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
True in some sense, but a chart entry does not merely confirm a song's existence, but gives some indication of its popularity. Some charts will always be significant, for example the main national singles chart, and in the case of Billboard, some of the genre charts. Hzh (talk) 19:21, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
At that point I imagine we'd need to establish some test for which charts are significant and which are not... DonIago (talk) 19:31, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
No, No, No, there are songs which are notable that have been around longer than charts and have never charted. Charts are merely a way of ascertaining notability, Not notability itself. --Richhoncho (talk) 19:56, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
The significance of one does not diminish the other, i.e. a cover song that has charted does not diminish the significance of an older version that has never charted but nevertheless is still important in the song's history. For example Soggy Bottom Boys' version of Man of Constant Sorrow versus Stanley Brothers' version, the latter being the inspiration for the former. Hzh (talk) 20:08, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────With only a chart listing, what is there to write about? "So & So's cover of 'X Song' reached number 39 on the Adult Top 40 airplay (spins) chart on April 1, 2018" doesn't provide encyclopedic content. If a rendition is going to be mentioned, it is more meaningful to know how it compares, what inspired it, etc. Again, if it's important, some RS probably has written about it. —Ojorojo (talk) 20:10, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

The times I have said this, thanks, User:Ojorojo, this is why the articles are on songs. --Richhoncho (talk) 21:24, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
You can say it, but it doesn't really explain why an important measure of success can be ignored. You might as well argue that a significant award can be ignored because it doesn't tell you anything meaningful about the writing of the song. It is a complete non-sequitur. There are different aspects to the significance of a song, and chart entry is one way you can look at it, and there is no reason to exclude it if you prefer another way of looking at a song. Hzh (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Because a chart entry is an indication of its popularity, which is one aspect of its significance. Hzh (talk) 20:15, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I think I see a valid point that the WikiProject guidance (which is not a policy or a guideline) may be overly strict in its requirement that the cover be able to stand as its own article before inclusion, even in the covered song's article. It strikes me as questionably inline with WP:WEIGHT, because one RS writing about the cover is probably still worthy of inclusion, even if that inclusion is a bulleted list of groups covering this song because the RS lacks information particularly distinct from the main topic's encyclopedic content, whereas leaning on a notability requirement for multiple RSs is not how we decide what should be in an article. It does, however, remind me of how sometimes we limit lists to only separately-notable list items. Some thoughts. --Izno (talk) 21:29, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Bare mentions are what we are talking about here. The song that generated this section, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was performed in concert by Joan Baez, for which the LA Times, in an article about the concert, gives us one sentence. Another reliable source, Allmusic, lists several hundred other versions. WP:WEIGHT is not helpful on this point, stating that our coverage should be "in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." If a bare mention is good enough in one article, it should be good enough in all of them. - SummerPhDv2.0 00:40, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Given that trivial listing may be excluded, what exactly is your point about hundreds of other versions? If you can find hundred of other mentions of these covers in LA Times, then fine, otherwise what you are saying is irrelevant. You haven't paid any attention to what anyone said, just keep saying things that don't make any sense. Hzh (talk) 00:54, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I am saying that a single sentence about a song in an article about a concert is trivial, LA Times or not. A single sentence about a song in an album review is similarly trivial. One sentence is not "discussion". - SummerPhDv2.0 19:48, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Proposed wording[edit]

I've adapted Ojorojo's suggestion and added other bits, the significant change being the charting part because we cannot have a criterion that is more stringent than WP:NSONG (it would defy common sense otherwise) -

When a song has renditions (recorded or performed) by more than one artist, a particular artist's rendition should be included in the song's article but not in a separate article. To meet the criteria, the rendition needs to be discussed by a reliable source, such as in a review, an artist biography, or music reference book. Album track listings, listings in discographies, etc., that only confirm that the version exists do not show that it is noteworthy. A cover is assumed to be noteworthy for inclusion if it has an entry in a significant national music chart. Treatment of a cover should be proportionate to its significance.

What constitutes a significant national music chart? DonIago (talk) 16:24, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I suppose it can be one of the acceptable charts mentioned in Wikipedia:Record charts. There are a lot more Billboard charts there, personally I would prefer to limit them to some of the major charts (hence "significant"), but listing them individually might be excessive. Hzh (talk) 17:24, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Still have a problem with charts. Would you provide a few covers/renditions that appeared in "significant charts" that have no commentary in a review, artist bio, or music reference book. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:51, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I suppose you can find this in many song articles, but for an example of a song with numerous covers, see Unchained Melody, one of the most covered songs (over 1,500 recordings). You get a wide range of covers noteworthy for different reasons, some covers are described in detail, some without any details apart from a simple chart entry (I just did a quick search for Joe Stampley's version, but I can only see sources that simply state that he recorded the song and that it charted). Based only on the sources given, I would delete Bing Crosby's version (trivial listings), otherwise most seem fine. I don't see any serious issue with the article overall for a song with so many covers. Hzh (talk) 18:47, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Several of the "Other" entries only have a chart ref and maybe one for an album, but no refs for the accompanying text. It seems that many of these are because an editor seeks notice for the artist, not that the rendition is important for the artist nor for the parent song (Stampley's version is at number 45 of 60 of his Billboard hits). Benson and Manilow reached the 20s on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart – is that "significant"? "Yesterday" takes a different approach – rather than burdening the article with long lists, it includes referenced statements about its popularity. This is a more encyclopedic approach and less likely for POV pushing and OR. —Ojorojo (talk) 19:59, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Hardly true. Given that there are so many versions of Yesterday, and the article barely mentions them, I'd say that the article does not appear to be proportionate. It gives versions by the Beatles that are not sourced, and mentions a version by Bob Dylan that's not even released. That is truly odd. The lead claims a large number of covers, but readers won't have any idea if there are any significant covers by other artists (apart from Matt Monro it seems) because the article won't tell them. Personally I don't remember any significant covers of Yesterday, and that article won't help at all, the large number of covers appears to be almost entirely meaningless. Unchained Melody on the other hand tells me how the many covers are significant, for example in the career of musicians who recorded them and even music mogul like Simon Cowell, or how even minor versions like Elvis Presley's are noteworthy. It gives a more rounded picture of the song's significance. Hzh (talk) 20:51, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────* Oppose Adding artists who have no reliably sourced discussion in the context of the artist's work or the parent song does not add useful information to a song article – it's just name dropping. No convincing examples have been presented and "significant national charts" is wide open to interpretation. Less information is preferable to bloated "Other versions" sections. Other websites are better at handling covers, such as AllMusic[3] or second hand songs. —Ojorojo (talk) 22:19, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

The "significant national charts" part is simply just shortening WP:NSONG that says "national or significant music or sales charts". I can always use the same wording if you want (unless you object to WP:NSONG as well). If you want a more stringent criterion than WP:NSONG, then you would have to explain how that can be logical. I see Yesterday as a problem article that does not deal with covers adequately, while Unchained Melody is far more rounded and informative. The entry for LeAnn Rimes is mostly about the charts, but that is enough to show its popularity. Chart entries are not mere numbers (or name-dropping) but tells us something about the popularity of a version. It is odd to deny something very fundamental about how popularity or success is assessed in the music industry. Hzh (talk) 22:30, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Second proposal[edit]

I've made a little adjustment to the chart part to try to define what is "significant" for charts (added in a note). I've also added a bit about awards. If anyone feels that the wording is wrong, or has a better idea, then do give your alternative proposal. Note however that it is unreasonable to suggest a criterion that is more stringent than WP:NSONG, although personally I think NSONG itself could be made clearer. It is also unreasonable to suggest that a chart entry is trivial - it is simply wrong to deny something fundamental about how success or popularity is measured in the music industry, and to do so would be pushing a POV.

When a song has renditions (recorded or performed) by more than one artist, a particular artist's rendition should be included in the song's article and not in a separate article. To meet the criteria for inclusion, the rendition needs to be discussed by a reliable source, such as in a review, an artist biography, or music reference book. Album track listings, listings in discographies, etc., that only confirm that the version exists do not show that it is noteworthy. A cover may be included if it has won or been nominated for a major music award,[1] or has an entry in a significant music chart.[2] Treatment of a cover should be proportionate to its significance.Hzh (talk) 01:20, 6 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Examples of major awards are Grammy, Juno, Mercury, Choice or Grammis award
  2. ^ A significant chart would be the principal singles chart of a country or one of the major Billboard charts such as Hot 100, Hot Rock Songs, Hot Country Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

"Chart Watch"[edit]

Is [4] a reliable source? It was being used in See You Again (Miley Cyrus song) to cite a platinum RIAA certification based on a sales figure listed, although the RIAA's website itself says the song was never certified gold or platinum. Jc86035 (talk) 17:34, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

First and foremost, the RIAA would be the top authority on certifications, so they would be trumping any other website on that sort of thing. In a general sense, I think I’ve come across this “Chart Watch” before, and the premise seemed to be that it was a guy with an inside scoop on info that was not really publicly known otherwise. So I tend to use it much like websites like “Headline Planet” - not as a reliable source, but rather, as a source of ideas that could be worth looking into, and added of other sources corroborate it. Sergecross73 msg me 00:53, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Chart Watch is reliable, the author Paul Grein is a well-known writer who used to write on chart for Billboard - [5], not at all like a Headline Planet. It is hard to tell what the complaint is since the link given did not say anything about a platinum for Start All Over. However, the RIAA site is always used for certification. Other websites that claim certification not in RIAA get ignored because many people used the word platinum loosely. Hzh (talk) 01:19, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Those are good credentials in a general sense, but I’m not so sure about using him for sales info. My point was that I’ve seen him provide dubious sales info before. For instance, in the FA A Perfect Circle discography, he’s cited for the sales figures of their first 3 albums. However, these figures cannot be replicated elsewhere, and are now no longer in the source, despite the fact that people in the comments section still refer to him writing about it. That, and the fact that it was used in an FA, makes me think he added and then later removed bogus figures. Which is why I have concerns about using him as a RS for sales figures. Sergecross73 msg me 01:44, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
What makes you think the figures are dubious? Writers like him have access to Soundscan sales figures (the subscription fee is expensive though, so it is usually the companies that have the subscription). I have read his articles before, and he would often reply to requests for sales information from readers in the comment section. The problem appears to be that there was some reorganization, and a lot of the comments disappeared, you can see that all the comments have been removed in the first link. It is possible that Soundscan requested them removed, I have seen many sites with official Soundscan figures deleted, or it can just be a mess-up in the reorganization. However, in your case, it is likely that it was simply a problem of archiving because it did not archive beyond the first page of the comments. Hzh (talk) 10:04, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I see that Jc86035 has changed the song title, in which case it has nothing to do with Paul Grein, just a random editor misinterpreting sales figure as certification. In this case, the problem lies with editors not understanding the difference between certification and sales - they are not equivalent, and they are not automatic in the case of RIAA (i.e. if you sell one million, it may not be certified platinum). Some countries seem to certify automatically, others like RIAA need a request from the record company. There is therefore a disconnection between certification and sales, for example "My Life Would Suck Without You" sold nearly 3 million but was never certified by the RIAA. Personally I dislike the way certification entry is done because the assumption of certification = sales/shipment misleads many readers, worse now because streams now count toward certification. Hzh (talk) 10:52, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
That makes sense, as the RIAA certification process isn't particularly intuitive - I believe most, outside of people pretty involved in the music industry, would not be aware that it doesn't happen automatically. Sergecross73 msg me 12:43, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
The main reason songs are not automatically certified by the RIAA is that certification requires payment to the RIAA (they do an audit and charge the label for the cost of the audit). What happens is that when record labels get the songs or albums certified, they transfer the cost to the artist. Some artists get upset that they are charged, and stop the music certification. Sometimes there are disputes between labels or artists, or the artists leaving the labels. Many songs and albums have sold more copies than the certifications suggest, but if the labels do not bother to get them certified, then they don't get updated. You get cases like "Counting Stars" that sold over 5 million copies but was only certified Gold [6]. More recently the problem is the addition of streams so that a song selling only 1 million may be certified 3x Platinum. Certification simply doesn't match sales in the US (and around the world now that adding streaming is common). Hzh (talk) 13:48, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure Sergecross and other regular editors to Wikipedia music articles are aware that sales do not result in an automatic certification. Certification also won't happen if the record label isn't affiliated with the RIAA – in the past this mostly affected small and independent record labels who didn't have the money for the necessary audit, or Motown, who didn't sign up with RIAA until the late 1970s... this is why many Motown records were not certified until many years after their release, if at all. It also doesn't help that RIAA seems to be either unaware or refuses to acknowledge that certification levels were halved in 1989, so all certifications before this date on the RIAA website show half of the sales that they actually should do. Richard3120 (talk) 20:04, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't mean for that to sound like I needed an explanation on it - I'd sussed this out years back, as I imagine many of the WP:ALBUMS regulars have. I had just meant that I'm not surprised there were arguments breaking out over it, because its confusing to the uninitiated, and its not uncommon to come across similar arguments/misconceptions across other articles I maintain or encounter randomly. Sergecross73 msg me 20:13, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

show me heaven song[edit]

On the Wikipedia site, it says that Maria McKee wrote the song, and that it debuted as a sound track in 1990. I'm a big fan of hers btw. It also says that other artists subsequently covered it. but those dates start in like 1995. So when did it really first come out? thanks Zoe

I'm not sure what you're asking, Zoe. Everything in the Wikipedia article is correct – in the 1980s McKee was the leader of a band called Lone Justice, before she went solo. She co-wrote "Show Me Heaven" for the soundtrack of the 1990 film Days of Thunder, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The song reached no. 1 in the UK, Norway and the Netherlands, and since then it has been covered by many other artists – of course the cover versions are going to be recorded after the original song. Richard3120 (talk) 19:54, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Single release dates[edit]

Is a random radio station's this website usable as a release date for a single which was released in 2008 (and whose article was promoted to GA in 2009)? (The original release date shown was cited to AllMusic at the time of the GA review.) Jc86035 (talk) 17:21, 7 August 2018 (UTC) edited 11:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

That website - FMQB -isn't so much a "random radio station" as much as it's a trade magazine about the music industry that was founded back in 1968. Looking at their about page, I would think they would be pretty reliable in a general sense. Conversely, while Allmusic is a reliable source in its prose (the artist bio and album review stuff) much of their equivalent to "infoboxes" are not really considered the best source. The boxes have historically had errors in them. So I don't know for sure, but AM isn't the end authority for this sort of thing at least. Sergecross73 msg me 17:32, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
The FMQB "About" page only mentions the founder, Kal Rudman (now about 90), and nothing about the current staff or how or where they get their info.[7] AllMusic should only be considered RS for their staff reviews – I've seen many problems with the "box" info, track listings, songwriters, etc. If the artist, management, or record company don't give a release date, Billboard sometimes includes announcements of new releases. Otherwise, if a song first charted on July 1, 2008, it would probably be safe to say that it was released in 2008 (with an explanation in a hidden note). —Ojorojo (talk) 15:08, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the FMQB "About Us" is currently a bit lackluster, but just about any publication that started/existed as a print magazine is going to have had to be professional enough to be considered a reliable source, especially one that has existed since the 1960s. It was founded by an industry veteran. They publish national radio series and music/video specials. They have a "client relations department". This is a professional business, not some rando blogger who set up a Wordpress blog a year back. Unless they host user blogs or a wikia or something like that, its a pretty safe bet that they're content is going to be reliable. Sergecross73 msg me 16:23, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Radio industry sources usually give add date, i.e. the date when radio stations are supposed to start adding the song to their playlist. Some sources give the date when the songs are available for sale. They are therefore both correct, depending what you are looking at. Different countries also release the song at different dates. I have no idea what the AllMusic one refers to [8], it also gives a different digital release date - [9], I'm therefore inclined to dismiss the AllMusic one because it is not clear what the first AllMusic date is. Often people cite iTunes or some such, but iTunes can be unreliable, because they may delete an earlier version with an earlier date, and gives a later date for a later version. These day, a track from an album can also chart without it being release as a single, therefore chart date may be an unreliable guide. I'm not sure if this has ever been discussed here, but perhaps this needs to be mentioned in song project guideline. Hzh (talk) 18:32, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Should album track listings be removed from infobox song?[edit]

Consensus during a recent discussion was to remove partial track listings from song infoboxes. Some editors also felt that all track listings (full album track lists) should also be removed (Template:Infobox song#Track listing examples addresses their use). Since the album is linked in the infobox, are these needed? Many have already been replaced with album navboxes outside of the infoboxes. Please indicate Keep or Remove followed by your reasons. —Ojorojo (talk) 17:19, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

MTV Adds & Rotation re: Flashdance videos[edit]

I'm planning to add information to the pages for the Flashdance soundtrack, "Flashdance... What a Feeling", and "Maniac", and I've been going through old issues of Billboard to confirm that the Irene Cara song was never included on their lists for MTV adds and rotation while the Michael Sembello song was. I came across a source that said that videos for those two songs as well as Donna Summer's "Romeo" and Laura Branigan's "Imagination" from the album were submitted to the cable channel, but only the Sembello and Summer videos were listed as being in rotation in the magazine.

Is it OK for me to indicate that the Cara and Branigan videos were not on these lists (as opposed to just saying the videos never got played)? And, if so, how do I cite several issues of the magazine in which they would have appeared? Thanks! Danaphile (talk) 01:34, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Well, I would say no, because that would be WP:SYNTH, adding something that's not explicitly stated in the source, but arrived at by personal deduction, which is to be avoided.
On a wider issue, I'm not sure MTV adds are considered a particularly important piece of information to include in a song article - I realise MTV had only been going a couple of years at this point (and actually played music still), so being included on the MTV playlist was more of a big deal back then. But it still doesn't strike me as particularly noteworthy information to include. Richard3120 (talk) 11:35, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

Help request with making articles on number one songs[edit]

Hello. I was wondering if anyone would like to help make articles on missing number one songs. To name a few:

There are also a lot of templates in the Category:Record chart templates that I haven't checked yet. If anyone is interested in making articles for #1 singles in a specific country/chart please let me know. Thanks :) --MrLinkinPark333 (talk) 01:42, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Record charts are proliferating. Sometimes with a very narrow focus (apparently "Smooth Jazz Songs" is based on airplay on 14 smooth jazz radio stations), being a number one isn't always an indicator of notability. Maybe articles for many of these haven't been created because they don't meet the second part of the WP:NSONGS criteria: "Notability aside, a standalone article is appropriate only when there is enough material to warrant a reasonably detailed article; articles unlikely ever to grow beyond stubs should be merged to articles about an artist or album." —Ojorojo (talk) 16:46, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Eh, sometimes, but that's really more of the mantra about charting in a general sense. Topping a chart is a bit different - getting to number 1 on a chart is generally enough to scrape by the bottom of the WP:GNG at least. At least on the rock music side of things, which is where I've been spending much of the last 2 years on, anyways. Could be different for things like Jazz, but rock isn't exactly at the zenith of its popularity in 2018 either... Sergecross73 msg me 17:01, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
@Ojorojo: Not necessarily. I think it's more they just haven't been made in general. For example I made I'm Making Believe which charted at #1 on the National Best Selling Retail Records chart, a precursor of the Hot 100 Billboard chart. There are a lot of redlinks which suggests that articles creation haven't been attempted yet. And yes, I've seen articles been redirected even if they've reached #1 i.e Open Your Eyes (Disturbed song) but that's because there was only one source listed. If more sources were found/added to pass GNG then it should be fine. Either way, I think there should be more encouragement of article creation to have them pass the GNG, especially if they hit the big charts. --MrLinkinPark333 (talk) 17:07, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't think "Open Your Eyes"[10]] was reverted because it only had one ref. It was a non-article – an infobox, two sentences, and a chart table (maybe a track listing table would have helped). "I'm Making Believe" has the appearance of a "reasonably detailed article", but it doesn't tell much: is it swing or more pop, big band or combo, fast or slow, are the lyrics significant to the movie storyline, how does the Ink Spots version compare, why are the Three Suns, etc., versions important? WP should try to provide encyclopedic content. —Ojorojo (talk) 02:06, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
I mean, your points are valid in a general sense, but I think you’re misunderstanding a bit - no one is particularly advocating the creation of these barebones one sentence type articles. “Open Your Eyes” was meant to be an example of the type of thing to fix. The point would be to develop them into encyclopedic content. It’s not that they’re impossible, it’s more that no one has put the work in to develop them, and the fact that they were chart toppers could be an argument that they’re the sort of thing worthy of more of an effort. While not chart toppers, articles like 3 Libras or Blue (A Perfect Circle song) come to mind as examples - while initially redirected for being a sentence or so and under-sourced, were expanded out of stub status with a bit of research for sources and effort into writing. That would be more of the end goal here. Sergecross73 msg me 03:28, 23 August 2018 (UTC)