Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?)

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1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?)[edit]

The next submission from WP:KLF is 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?), about the debut album by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu. Please accept my apologies for bringing more bad language to FAC, but this should be the last such nomination for a while! :) (We have other potential candidates to work on, but they're mostly profanity free). This article is a GA; it was also submitted to peer review but didn't get much response.

I believe this article is just about as complete as it can be, and well written. To address the criteria individually:

  • Well written. I think so, but, as always, you're the judges. We're not professional writers so if there's anything below par let me know and I'll try to fix it.
  • Comprehensive. I'm fairly certain this is as complete as can be; just about the only missing info I can think of is a series of valuations for the artefact over time, but I think the one valuation is quite enough for now. - this is an enyclopedia not a fact book, and we've made the point that it became a valuable collectible. That ought to be enough.
  • Factually accurate, referenced, neutral: Yep.
  • Stable: Yes. The article was pretty much complete back in June. We were waiting to get hold of an important review (now integrated), cite another assertion (removed), and add a value for the record on the collectors market (done). Other than that it's just been the usual tweaks and copyediting.
  • MOS: Compliant I think. Lead is two paragraphs which seems about right for an album (but let me know if not), appropriate use of sections.
  • Images: All have fair use rationales. However, we currently use 3 fair use images. Two are essential: a cover scan of the album, and a cover scan of the edited version released as a single. I welcome opinion on whether the 3rd image - Image:The JAMS - 1987 (What The Fuck Is Going On?) .jpg, the back cover - should be removed or not, or indeed whether it ought to be used instead of the front cover. You'll see why just by looking.

--kingboyk 18:13, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Comment: I haven't read the article, but if the back cover is relevant to article text, then it should be kept. The Duke of Copeditting, Bow before me! You can't control me! I'm a P. I.! 05:41, 4 October 2006 (UTC)]
Thanks for the comment. The back cover, as you can see, has "1987" in big letters, whereas the front cover doesn't show the name of the album at all and is quite generic (it's just The JAMs logo). The interesting point raised in the caption to the back cover is that it uses the typeface and stark white lettering on black background that would characterise their later promotional antics, right through to the concerted (and expensive) press campaigns of the K Foundation. However, I don't think that's mentioned in the body. Without prejudice to the continuing possibility of removing the back cover scan, I'll try to work something on that theme into the body. --kingboyk 12:41, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
On reflection, I think this would be a bit fancrufty and out of context to talk about typefaces in an article on an album. We already mention it in The_KLF#Promotion and in the K Foundation articles. Therefore, my original fair use question stands :) --kingboyk 19:14, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment, The lead feels a little weak. It doesn't even mention the KLF (except by alias) or the fact that it was part of a larger pattern of releases from them that heavily used sampling. "deliberatively provocative" doesn't tell me much about the music itself; the first couple sentences of the composition section tell me far more. Also, the flow of the prose was confusing on first read through. The main body starts before the record was released with the release of a different record, and then sort of speeds through the events without signposting "hey this is the release this article is about." At first I was confused because it mentions a record that's actually the focus of a different article, and I just assumed it would begin by talking about the article's subject.Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 06:23, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the thoughtful comments. In 1987 they were The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, and The KLF name had not yet been debuted; referring to their body of work collectively as the work of "The KLF" is something that's happened over time and not necessarily with their consent, following their rise to fame under that later name. Indeed, in their last hurrah of 1997 ("Fuck the Millennium") they called themselves "the artists forever known as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu"). Nonetheless, I think for consistency and to inform readers who access this piece in isolation we ought to be referring to their more famous incarnation - and their real names - in the lead, so I'll attend to that.
  • The "Context" section is quite heavy on "All You Need Is Love", their debut single which is featured on this album. Of course, we want to set the scene so this article works in a standalone fashion, and "All You Need Is Love" is a key work on the album. Again, though, you make a fair point so I'll see if I can polish the section a little bit to address your concerns. Will post back again when it's done.
  • Thanks again for the comments, they're really helpful. --kingboyk 12:35, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Regarding "deliberatively provocative backdrop": The lead of course should be a summary. If - as you confirm - the Composition section is telling you in a satisfactory level of detail how the album is constructed and what it sounds like, I think the only thing we need to do is be sure that there's an adequate summary of that section in the lead. We don't have to provide detailed compositional info in the lead, I'm sure.
      "The album was produced using extensive unauthorised samples that plagiarised a wide range of musical works. These provided a deliberately provocative backdrop for beatbox rhythms and cryptic, political raps." I think that's a fair, concise, nicely written summary. It covers samples, plagiarism, confrontational attitude, beatbox, political messages and rapping in a mere 2 sentences. If you don't think it's a fair summary, please let me know a little more specifically what you think is missing so I can attend to it.
    • I've made some changes in the Context section, clipping a short section of text, removing a quotation about the construction of "All You Need Is Love", and (hopefully) making the narrative clearer. I've also trimmed the Drummond quote to focus entirely on the recording of the album, removing commentary on the single and his dig at the music industry, and moved it to the Composition section.
      The net result is that we have one paragraph on background, and then get straight into detailing the album release. Much better, I think so thanks for the suggestion. I'm feeling a little unwell so may not have done a perfect job; more comments are certainly welcome.
    • I'm having second thoughts about mentioning The KLF, or even the guys' names, in the lead. "All You Need Is Love (The JAMs song)" is an FA and doesn't do it. The problems with mentioning The KLF are that The JAMs is just as valid an identifier for them, and I don't want to lose the early-1987 "vibe". This album was released in June 1987. KLF Communications was "born" in October 1987, and the first record by the duo as "The KLF" didn't come until 1988 ("Burn the Bastards"). We do mention The KLF in the first sentence of the Composition section, where we contrast the styles of The JAMs in 1987 and the duo's later work as The KLF. I think that's enough. Do you agree with me or are you adamant that the lead must mention The KLF?
      With regards to slotting in "Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty" into the lead, I'm just (perhaps because under the weather) not seeing how I can do it:
    • Do you like any of those?
    • Diff for changes in response to above comments: [1] · Revision at FAC · Current Revision --kingboyk 19:14, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I've attempted to address the concerns regarding sampling and the notion that this was a continuing theme in their work (another excellent comment by the way). I've also included my favourite option from the above list for identifying Drummond and Cauty in the lead. Diff. I'm not entirely happy with the use of brackets "(included on the album)", but I think we should mention that "All You Need Is Love" is included on the album. Your comments please. --kingboyk 20:19, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose: we cannot be putting obscenities on the Main Page. Madman 19:31, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Not actionable. Going onto the front page is decided at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests. Here we simply decide if an article is of the highest standard or not, with no prejudice. Whilst I personally have no current intention of seeking a front page placement for this article, should the request ever be made you can object then. --kingboyk 19:45, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
      • Has Wikipedia become so process-bound that we are devoid of plain old common sense? I have opened a section on the Talk page to discuss this. Madman 20:05, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
        • No, it hasn't, on the contrary. Plain old common sense says that articles on Wikipedia are not censored. Plain old common sense says that articles may include profanity and still be Featured ("Fuck the Millennium"). Plain old common sense says that an article's quality as a piece of writing is entirely seperate from it's suitability for placement on the front page: an article may be an FA and never get onto the front page.
          Also, when this article was new we considered a "Did You Know" submission and were told that it could go on the front page, but would just be called 1987 (1987 (album) is a redirect. --kingboyk 20:24, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. Much of the composition section is sourceless. Hurricanehink (talk) 22:32, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Right. That's because it's mostly based on what the recording sounds like; the record is the source. (All You Need Is Love (The JAMs song) is the same). We're stuck between a rock and a hard place really - don't describe the sound in detail and folks will complain, describe it in detail and they'll say where's the sources :) Of course, there are still citations in that section for facts which might be controversial (mostly usage of samples).
      Look at it another way: No source describes the record in this much detail except the record itself. If a source did provide this much detail, we'd still have to paraphrase it otherwise we'd be copying verbatim and violating copyright.
      If there's anything which looks to you like original theory let me know or tag it with {{fact}}, please. --kingboyk 09:54, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
      • In other words, it's original research... JimmyBlackwing 12:55, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
        • I don't think so, no. That's a pretty bold accusation. This is no more original research than current FAs about songs and albums. We cite when we say a sample is used. We back up the descriptions with some cited quotations. If you think anything there needs a citation please tag it with {{fact}} rather than making sweeping generalisations. --kingboyk 13:02, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
          • Very well, I have done so. JimmyBlackwing 13:19, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
            • Blimey that was quick. Thanks very much. I was working on a breakdown on the talk page; I'll have to now see what you've marked and how it compares. --kingboyk 13:20, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
              • Fair cop. I'll attend to it. Thanks ever so much. --kingboyk 13:21, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
                • No problem. Reading through the section, the original research wasn't as bad as I had first feared. Once those things get cited, it shouldn't be a problem. I just jumped in to make sure it wasn't overlooked, so I'll just bugger off now and let the nomination take its course. JimmyBlackwing 13:33, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
                  • Yes, I think we were both about 50% right there (you were right, it needs more cites, I was right it's not an opinion piece :)), so apologies for biting your head off :) I think I can source everything you've tagged, and will work on it this afternoon. Your followup comments will be most welcome when it's done (it's not always easy to get comments on these pop culture articles). Thanks again. --kingboyk 13:40, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I've now provided the requested citations. I think it's as well referenced as a composition section on a 20 year old underground deleted album can be :) The section was written by my cowriter at WP:KLF, and whilst he clearly used the published sources he didn't fully cite them (and also left a few juicy details unincluded). I've gone through the sources again today, so am now fully confident it's comprehensive and well referenced. The Composition section will now need another copyedit and a read from top bottom with fresh eyes, which I'll do tommorow.
    • Any further comments or criticisms please let me know.
    • Diff: [2] Previous revision Current revision. --kingboyk 00:36, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - Pending two concerns...
  1. The audio samples should probably be in boxes per Wikipedia:Music samples. It makes them easier to find and doesn't disrupt the text as much.
  2. The composition section consists of many one or two sentence paragraphs. Shouldn't they be combined into fewer, longer paragraphs?

Overall, very nice work! Wickethewok 05:39, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

  • OK, I'll look at the audio boxes. The composition section was already fairly short paragraphs, but I split it into one paragraph per song after adding extra citations and a little new material yesterday when working on JimmyBlackwing's suggestions. #1 on my todo list today was to give the Composition section a further edit and to decide on the paragraphs issue. Looks like you've pre-empted me :) Will attend to it later today (and may be asking for some advice, we'll see). --kingboyk 10:53, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Done. "Composition" section consolidated into paragraphs with the following themes: Overview, Side 1, Side 2, Drummond and Cauty, postscript. --kingboyk 16:42, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Very comprehensive, well-written and well-sourced. Although I knew absolutely nothing about the band or album before reading this, I found the article particularly helpful and informative. I noted a few minor issues (a contraction outside of quotes, and some minor wording issues that occasionally caused NPOV violations), but nothing serious. Excellent article. JimmyBlackwing 10:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks. Were those problems addressed in yesterday's edits or do they still exist? I'd prefer to nail them, an FA ought to be damn near perfect. --kingboyk 10:53, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • If you want the FAC to be perfect, then here they are:
  1. "People did indeed hear about 1987, including the management of Swedish pop group ABBA" - Improper voice. Something like "However, 1987 became well-known, with the management of Swedish pop group ABBA unamused by the album" would be better.
  2. "a prostitute with a very vague resemblance to Agnetha from ABBA" - Could use a citation. Otherwise, it's kind of original research.
  3. "They were, by their own account, towed back to England by the AA." - If it's a direct quote, then "towed back to England by the AA" should be in quotation marks. Otherwise, it could use a re-wording to make it more formal.
  4. "The JAMs were not entirely sure what they would have said to ABBA if they had been able to meet them." - Minor informality issue. Something like "The JAMs were unsure of what their comments towards ABBA would have been, had they been able to meet them" would improve this.
  5. "This served Drummond and Cauty's newly-emerging legend-making aspirations well." - Minor NPOV violation. No idea how you would go about fixing this one.
  6. "1987 is built around samples of other artists' work, 'to the point where the presence of original material becomes questionable'." - Improper voice makes this seem slightly POV. Quote should be attributed to its source to fix this.
  7. "A "stunning audio collage"..." - I would assume that the inline citation at the end of this sentence takes care of this. It would be great if it could be placed directly after the quote and attributed to its source, to ensure proper voice.
  8. "NME's Danny Kelly was not so impressed." - Would be better as "was unimpressed".
  9. "Anybody who actually returned the album got rather a raw deal" - Improper voice, POV. Not sure how you would go about fixing it, though.
  • And that's all I could spot. I can't imagine that there's much more than that in the article. JimmyBlackwing 11:43, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • You're thorough man :) Thanks for taking the time to explain what you meant, I'm sure subsequent reviewers will appreciate it.
  1. That sentence has bothered me too, with your suggestions I can fix it.
  2. That one's not original research. I've never seen the lady in question and wouldn't dare suggest any resemblance if it wasn't from the source :) That's covered by the reference "Brown, J., "Thank You For The Music", New Musical Express, 17 October 1987, passim.", written by the journalist who accompanied them. Note the passim which I think (if my fading memory from school days is correct) means "used liberally throughout this block of text". If you can improve the placement of the footnote to make this clearer please go ahead, with the caveat that footnotes are preferred to be after punctuation and most preferably after a full stop.
  3. It's paraphrased from interview quotations in Melody Maker:[1]
    Rockman: "Two minutes later, we were in the outside lane doing about a hundred and there was this huge explosion - the whole engine just blew up. A bullet must have hit it. In the end we were towed all the way back to England."
    King Boy: "Luckily we'd just joined the AA the day before. We got five star cover cos I was an associate member. It cost us 40 quid and saved us 400."
    I don't (in ignorance) see how the sentence is informal, and I think that "by their own account" is the responsible thing for the article to say; I'm presenting their account not the verified account of a neutral 3rd party. (I will, however, check the NME article again by the journalist who accompanied them; if he says the same we don't need a disclaimer. Checked. As I recalled, he mentions the shooting and the breakdown, but doesn't say how they got home.) Given that info, if you can find a better wording please edit the article directly or inform me here.
  4. I think "comments" is unneccesarily formal. We are, after all, discussing the attempts of 2 slightly unhinged, and at this time obscure, plagiaristic DJs who had driven to Sweden on a whim (in a vintage American police car) in an attempt to "reason with" one of the most successful (and therefore, in industry terms, powerful) pop groups in history. We're not talking about a meeting between Gorbachev and Reagan :) However, looks like you've identified a punctuation issue. I'll add the missing comma and see if I get any insipiration to improve the wording without making it dull.
  5. It's paraphrased from the source, but it's not perfect. I'll attend to that. Removed that line; I wonder if the whole paragraph should go? Or should it be beefed up with a quotation from the source to replace what I zapped?
  6. That quotation style (original writing leading into a quote, with the source of the quote being only in the footnote) has IIRC been used in our 3 other FAs in similar contexts without comment, and I think it's appropriate here. The article is brimming with citations saying this album is chock-a-block with samples; it's not my opinion it's a recurrent theme in the sources and, with citations, the article. The quotation itself is cited and it takes one click for the reader to see where it came from. I'll pass on this one for now but will amend it if others think it's incorrect.
  7. The entire sentence, including the quotation, is sourced from ""All You Need Is Love" review, Sounds, 14 March 1987.", the footnote for which appears at the end of the sentence (the generally preferred location). I think that's the correct placement.
  8. If an article is to be "brilliant prose" it needs to take a little poetic licence. If we just go review, quote, review, quote, it's rather dull. I try to get a little narrative going by contrasting Kelly's opinion (slight disappointment) with the hugely enthusiastic Sounds (Sounds compared the work to T.S. Eliot; Kelly thought it didn't even bear comparison with other contemporary DJs.) The reader then gets Kelly's actual words, so they can see for themselves that Kelly was (largely) unimpressed. I think these little touches, providing narrative, gently guiding the reader but then giving them the direct quote so they can make up their own mind are something which seperates brilliant articles from the merely good. I might be wrong; I usually am :)
  9. Again, poetic licence backed up by the sources. Anybody who'd held on to their original (as was their right, consumers can't be forced to return an album) would now be in possession of a valuable collector's piece. The figures quoted bear this out. That said, whilst I think the statement should stay it might be a little better worded. It's not a big deal but if anyone has better wording then (to quote The JAMs), "OK let's hear it...".
--kingboyk 12:25, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. ^ Smith, M. E., "The Great TUNE Robbery", Melody Maker, 12 December 1987 (link).
  • I see what you mean about "poetic license". The articles I write tend to be extremely formal, but unfortunately dry. No big deal about the things you disagreed with me on, since they're so excessively minor that I had to do some deep digging to find them. Good luck on the rest of the nomination, but it's hard to believe that an article this good won't get through. JimmyBlackwing 13:20, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the support and for the detailed analysis. This diff reflects changes resulting from these last suggestions and a few other tweaks. --kingboyk 18:36, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. This is your typical GA, nothing more nor less. --Ghirla -трёп- 13:03, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Having reviewed GAs, I think this is well above that standard and heartily disagree; this is as comprehensive a piece as can be found anywhere on this subject, it seems to me to read very well indeed, and it's fully referenced. You're entitled to disagree of course but it would help if you could be a little more specific about what's wrong with it? --kingboyk 13:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • In my opinion Ghirla's objections aren't actionable. He / she must make specific FA criteria concerns to make his / her objection valid. Having said that, I'm voting Support for this article as I feel it meets FA criteria. LuciferMorgan 11:25, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The subject does not pass my notability criteria, but this is hardly actionable (except by having it prodded). What may be changed is prose (only teenagers would find it "compelling") and lack of illustrations. --Ghirla -трёп- 07:43, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
      • Lol. If you're not interested in articles on popular culture why did you even read it?! And as for not being notable that's just laughable. It's the debut album by a chart-topping band and has 40 citations! FAs don't need images and I fail to see what images are missing anyway: it's an article on an album, and we have the album cover illustrated. --kingboyk 09:17, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
        • The last time I checked FA criteria, it didn't mention anything regarding notability. Illustrations don't matter. This thus means all those points aren't FA requirements. The only FA requirement is "compelling" prose (1. a.) which I feel the article meets - I invite anyone to provide actual examples from the text of where the article fails in this. LuciferMorgan 12:50, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support I think this article is well-written. It has excellent sources and makes good use of inline citations. I also found it very informative, as I had no knowlege on the sunject prior to reading the article. Good job. Jay32183 03:01, 19 October 2006 (UTC)