Talk:Tunnel of Love Express Tour

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Tunnel of Love Express Tour/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 03:02, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Hey Wasted Time R, I'll be glad to take this one. Sorry it's had to wait so long for a review--thanks in advance for your work on it! Comments to follow in the next 1-5 days (hopefully 1!). -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:02, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I have some specific comments and initial impressions so far (below). With regard to sourcing, this looks quite good, with just one or two points I've noted, and the coverage seems comprehensive. The biggest recommendations I have early on is that the prose be rewritten at points for neutrality and a more encyclopedic tone.

  • "Max Weinberg and Danny Federici, Garry Tallent and Nils Lofgren, the horn section" -- this clarification comes far enough in the sentence from "band members entered the stage two by two" that I had to look at it a few times to understand what it meant. Maybe move it back to the phrase it's clarifying and set it off with dashes?
  • I've done some rewriting in "The Show" to try to put this in more straightforward, encyclopedic prose, particularly avoiding sentence fragments; let me know if you have any objections to the changes
  • "than on any tour before" -- this refers to just Springsteen's tours, right? Or do you mean tours generally?
  • "The country-influenced rock and serious ballads of the new album were not ideal stage material" -- this opinion should be attributed to an author/authors in-text for neutrality.
  • "wrote of the sparks flying from" -- rewrite per WP:IDIOM

(moved below)

The biggest problem I see with the article in a quick skim is that it feels rather self-consciously prosy at points, in a way that's not compatible with clear and concise encyclopedic writing. A small but extreme example is the odd ellipsis in "now was ... 'Be True'"; I understand that the idea here is to try to create more of an effect for the reader, but it would be better to simply say what happened. I assume the sentence fragments in the Show section are intended to create a similar effect; the constant variation in verb tense in describing the tour's show (sometimes past, sometimes present, occasionally future conditional) probably stems from a similar problem. Other sentences jump out at me that feel more like storytelling/music criticism than straightforward encyclopedic writing:

  • "But his quest to undermine his Born in the U.S.A.-era fame with a more subdued album and smaller-scale tour had ended up in most unexpected fashion"
  • "And so the show's theme was established — an examination of relationships, often of the failed, sour variety, much as the album had been"
  • "Next came Patti Scialfa in a tight mini-skirt,[19] big hair and carrying a bunch of balloons: more foreshadowing"
  • "with immediate audience response sacrificed for what might be a slower but deeper understanding"
  • "Perhaps tame by the standards of Prince or Madonna at the time, but for Springsteen and his audience, a line had been crossed."
  • "A tabloid fever was underway"
  • "Out come Scialfa and two women from backstage, three temptresses for the six assembled men"
  • "Amplified deep breathing." -- (what is this fragment even doing here?)
  • " In tours past, this was a classic moment of Springsteen the relentless showman"
  • New York, New York is tagged as needing disambiguation.

My twin suggestions here are to revise for syntax--preferring straightforward sentences to "prosy" ones--and to attribute many of these opinions more clearly to individual authors/critics. For example, discussion of the show's theme should probably be written as something like "Critic X describes the show's main theme as ..." The Prince/Madonna/Springsteen "line has been crossed" comparison is WP:OR unless attributed to a critic.

But I don't want to start in on a significant rewrite without discussing with you first. Are these changes you're up for making? Let me know your thoughts and we can get down to more detail. And thanks again for all your work on this one! I've never been a Springsteen fan, but this was interesting to read about. -- Khazar2 (talk) 18:30, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks very much for doing the review, and the wait is no problem - it's expected for GA nominations.
Yes, I've done it a little differently this time around. The key here is the last thing you wrote. I was trying to make this interesting. For why should anyone want to read about a rock tour that happened 25 years ago? I've gotten over 40 articles to GA and I've reviewed more than that, so I know the expected WP writing style. But WP articles are often dull as dishwater. For some topics this may be appropriate but for others, such as ones on popular culture, it really misses the mark. I can't tell you how many articles I've read on music that fail to capture the spirit or the essence of an artist or a recording or a performance. And I'm not sure how much of this is comes from real WP guidelines and how much just comes from an expected norm - the "encyclopedic tone" that editors and reviewers keep making reference to. WP:TONE says "Standards for formal tone vary depending upon the subject matter, but should follow the style used by reliable sources, while remaining clear and understandable." WP:WIAFA talks about "prose [that] is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard". Well, there are no professional music writers and no published music sources whose presentation and writing is as dull as what you see in WP. So in this sense, what I am doing is in accordance with these guidelines. But am I also doing a bit of WP:IAR as well? Maybe.
Now, I don't mean to sacrifice clarity and if anything is unclear then I am happy to rework it. And if something is completely unsourced, I will source it or remove it. And it looks like an editing botch or two is in there, such as the "Amplified deep breathing" fragment, which I will take care of. But things like the 'odd ellipsis' and most of the phrases that you highlight are indeed intentional. Wasted Time R (talk) 12:41, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from, though I don't entirely agree. I found your McGovern article absolutely fascinating, for example, despite its being in standard syntax and formal language. Admittedly, much of this comes down to personal writing philosophy. My personal take is that it's the content that sells the article--the unusual, telling detail, or the wickedly funny quotation from a critic--and the best thing that the prose can do is get out of its way. Efforts to dress up prose can backfire a bit by creating the sense that the author is trying to "sell" an impression rather than the impression organically selling itself, sort of like a comedian laughing hard at her own jokes. (A crude example from when I used to teach creative writing is the way that first-year students would overuse exclamation points. "She opened the door and the murderer was right there with a knife! She ran!" I understand the temptation, but I feel like it hurts more than it helps.) And to be honest, that was my reaction as a reader at some points here; I felt like the most interesting parts of the article were those where you as the editor were most "invisible", such as chronicling different newspaper reactions to Springsteen's affair.
All that said, though, I'll make a point in this review to clearly distinguish between what seems to me GA-required and what isn't. I really appreciate all your work on this and will give you whatever slack I can to take it in your own direction. Tone and neutrality overlap, but aren't the same, and syntax is only a problem when it gets into things like switching verb tenses or interferes with clarity. Later today or tomorrow I'll sit down and list some specific action points beyond what I've already mentioned. And if at any point you feel I'm going too far in my suggestions, we can ask for a second opinion from the GAN regulars. Sound good? -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:52, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Review[edit]

Okay, points to consider:

  • "reflected the ambivalence of the album" -- as a critical judgement, should be attributed in-text
  • "Max Weinberg and Danny Federici, Garry Tallent and Nils Lofgren, the horn section" -- this clarification comes far enough in the sentence from "band members entered the stage two by two" that I had to look at it a few times to understand what it meant. Maybe move it back to the phrase it's clarifying and set it off with dashes?
  • I've done some rewriting in "The Show" to try to put this in more straightforward, encyclopedic prose, particularly avoiding sentence fragments; let me know if you have any objections to the changes
  • "more foreshadowing." --foreshadowing of what?
  • "than on any tour before" -- this refers to just Springsteen's tours, right? Or do you mean tours generally?
  • "The country-influenced rock and serious ballads of the new album were not ideal stage material" -- this opinion should be attributed to an author/authors in-text for neutrality.
  • "wrote of the sparks flying from" -- rewrite per WP:IDIOM
  • "the show overall more subdued than in the past,[10] with the return to arenas making the show more accessible" -- critical opinion should be attributed in-text
  • "Yet at the same time the stage presentation was more stylized and choreographed than on any tour before" -- attribute in-text
  • "an obscure, lightweight B-side" -- "lightweight" judgement should be attributed in-text
  • "And so the show's theme was established — an examination of relationships, often of the failed, sour variety, much as the album had been" -- discussion of the show and album's themes should be attributed in-text
  • "Theatrics were up throughout:" -- what do you mean by "up"? "Present"? Or that they were at higher-than-normal Springsteen levels?
  • "A tortured rendition of the Biblical "Adam Raised a Cain", sitting on a park bench with Clemons in a long prologue to "All That Heaven Will Allow",[24] the horn section throughout swooping and swaying and doing every bit of stage shtick known to horn sections." -- the inaccurate hyperbole should be cut ("doing every bit of stage shtick known to horn sections"); the "tortured" part should be attributed in-text
  • "with immediate audience response sacrificed for what might be a slower but deeper understanding" -- again wandering into analysis; in-text attribution would be preferable for neutrality
  • "it now served to sum up a set's worth of personal struggles and counter any mistaken notions about the song's patriotic intent." --another spot where the interpretation shouldn't be placed in "Wikipedia's voice"
  • "and unlikely attempts at Roy Orbison's "Crying"" -- "attempts" seems like a clear judgement here; should be attributed in-text
  • "Amplified deep breathing.[26]" -- ???
  • " Perhaps tame by the standards of Prince or Madonna at the time, but for Springsteen and his audience, a line had been crossed." -- interpretation needs in-text attribution
  • "But his quest to undermine his Born in the U.S.A.-era fame with a more subdued album and smaller-scale tour had ended up in most unexpected fashion" -- this commentary should have in-text attribution
  • Are http://www.greasylake.org/setlists_lists.php and http://brucebase.wikispaces.com/ reliable sources? The latter seems to be a wiki.
  • I've fixed some of this, but as mentioned above, the verb tenses need to be looked at--no reason to switch between three verb tenses (past, present, conditional future) to describe the standard show. -- Khazar2 (talk) 22:38, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Needs cleanup for a few prose issues.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. "Broadcasts and recordings" should be touched on in the lead
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research. It's difficult at times to sort out what are the opinions of the cited sources and those of the article's author; at least one paragraph of interpretation lacks citation.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. The article gives extensive interpretation of the show in Wikipedia's voice.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. After giving this a fair amount of thought, it still seems to me that fairly serious revisions are needed on this article to meet GA criteria for clarity, grammar, and especially neutrality; for that reason, it seems best that revisions take place outside the GA review process. I understand that this is intended as an experimental, IAR article, but I'm not convinced that the results here justify the IAR; as a reader, I found it the more experimental sections at times difficult and opinionated. I don't mean to be excessively negative about this one, though--there's lots of great research and material here, especially in the more traditionally written sections, and I hope it gets revised and renominated for GA soon. Since it's an unusual case, I also wouldn't be at all offended if you were to seek a second opinion. -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:00, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

East Berlin Concert[edit]

The Article says 500,000, which whould be about 3.1% of the GDR's total population (then ca. 16,000,000). But I found the guardian has a headcount of 300,000 (source: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jul/05/bruce-springsteen-east-germany-berlin-wall), which whould be like 1,9%. --78.53.32.26 (talk) 10:33, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

That figure was inserted by someone else. I've reverted back to the two most common estimates – 160,000 or 300,000 – and expanded the description of the show, included the Kirschbaum hypothesis about its effects, and made this into its own section in the article. Wasted Time R (talk) 22:33, 18 April 2015 (UTC)