Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs

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WikiProject Songs (Rated Project-class)
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Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2016 June 20[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2016 June 20. Since when do we add redirects for every song on an album? Apparently Another Believer (talk · contribs) does so regularly. Should this be an accepted practice? Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:23, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

There are other editors, including at least one other admin doing this. Another editor appears to be going through their record collection and creating redirects for all possible and impossible titles. I note one editor has created LAX (Jake Owen song), LAX (song), L.A.X. (song) and L.A.X. (Jake Owen song). Does this one album cut deserve 4 redirects? I think not.
There is a greater discussion to be had here, that is, should redirects be created and sustained with "redirects are cheap" or, because redirects are cheap every album can have every song as a redirect too? Should notification of this discussion be over at Wikipedia talk:Redirects for discussion.
Interesting to see how other editors feel about this. --Richhoncho (talk) 10:11, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I probably didn't state my case clearly on the other discussion thread, but I agree with Walter Görlitz that we shouldn't be creating redirects where no article existed in the first place, simply because we have no idea what songs of the same title may come up in the future... it may result in the redirects needing to be renamed for disambiguation purposes. Richard3120 (talk) 11:16, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Richard3120. Just to ask the question. Are you saying an editor could create articles for all the songs on an album, which would then be converted to redirects and that would be OK? --Richhoncho (talk) 11:42, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Richhoncho, no, absolutely not! It seems a hugely time-consuming and entirely pointless task because, as Walter says, the likelihood of anybody looking on Wikipedia for an article on a non-notable album track is negligible, so why create a "solution" when there's no demand for it? It renders WP:NSONGS redundant because we're effectively saying that every song is notable enough to be searched for and have its own redirect (or more than one redirect), and it creates a huge amount of potential maintenance work in future to change and disambiguate all the redirects every time another song of the same name crops up. And considering we struggle with keeping up maintenance as it is, I don't see how creating yet more unnecessary work is at all helpful to the project and Wikipedia in general. I would imagine from the amount of time you spend on PRODs and AfDs of non-notable songs that you aren't in favour either. If there really is a demand for a separate article on the album track I'm sure someone would recreate it in the future, but a deletion in accordance with WP:NSONGS seems much better than lots of redirects. Richard3120 (talk) 13:12, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
In fact, AfDs, PRODs, and speedy deletions would most likely not leave a redirect for a non-notable subject. They are only left if it would be a likely search term. That's standard in AfDs anyhow. This is just a way of avoiding that. Walter Görlitz (talk) 13:58, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Richard3120, I was asking a question only, thanks for your answer. Walter, recently, I note there is an editor redirecting all (most?) PRODS to redirects (not just song articles), and many song AfDs result in a redirect. --Richhoncho (talk) 14:02, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I'll have a talk with that editor, if you point me to them. I have not seen that behaviour with PRODs and the AfDs I've seen do not leave redirects.
Even if they did leave redirects, at least there would be a reason to do so: a likely search term. That's not the case with every song on a barely notable album. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:15, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Richhoncho, yes I know, I was just trying to clarify why I wouldn't be in favour of such a suggestion – sorry if it came across as abrasive, I didn't mean to be. :-)
Walter Görlitz: absolutely, and I can't see why a redirect would be preferred over a straightforward deletion in most cases where it is clear the song is not notable... I see there was a comment that "redirects are cheap" but in terms of time potentially spent by editors in the future to rename them, no, they're not cheap compared with a deletion. Richard3120 (talk) 14:28, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Apparently has decided that all 37 redirected song titles (should have been 38, so I missed one) are are valid redirects because they use {{R from song}}. We need a guideline now and have this reversed. If no guideline is created by the weekend, I will, as a protest, create a redirect for every song of every album article on my watch list because "it's valid". I will also add hatnotes to every possible term, because "it's valid". Yes, apparently, it's valid to waste resources. It's good to know that's the case. (talk) 17:55, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

I think it's fair to redirect songs (even non-notale songs) to album articles when such articles contain at least a reasonable amount of information on them. Redirecting to articles with nothing about what the reader was looking for, on the other hand, seems pointless to me. Victão Lopes Fala! 19:00, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
The articles in question have only track listings. (talk) 19:49, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I see SSTflyer (talk · contribs) has undone his premature closes and we can now comment there if we wish. do not, I repeat, do not create redirects for albums on your watch list at the moment, it would be disruptive. Thanks.
The problem is, as I see it, there are no guidelines to stop redirects being created, this project has a special problem, insomuch that every album contains a number of songs and there are 295,000+ album articles on WP. That, quite frankly, is too many redirects. However, without the consent of the wider non-song project members we cannot enforce a guideline "just for songs." I suspect the present nominations will be saved because of this, especially unfortunate as not only non-notable songs have been created, but all variants of title presentation, too. Perhaps the variants can be deleted as a matter of course? Also to be considered is that few song titles are unique. --Richhoncho (talk) 04:37, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for the confusion. is my work IP. I don't edit signed-in from work.
Now that the XfD has been reopened, I'll hold off. For the record, IPs can't have watch lists. Sorry if that caused confusion. Also for the record, I really do have better things to do with my time than create 50,000 ±20,000 redirects, so I'm happy to step away from that ledge. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:53, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Certification table entries for certain countries[edit]

I've posted here about my concerns that several of the template links originally used for various countries in the certification table no longer work – as the members of this project will use this template for their singles articles I'd appreciate any thoughts and comments. Richard3120 (talk) 16:10, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Liner notes versus PROs[edit]

What is the community/WikiProject's consensus on the liner note songwriters versus that listed in BMI or ASCAP? Just to explain more this would be in situations when the liner note does not conform to what is listed in BMI or ASCAP as songwriters. —IB [ Poke ] 18:17, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

The only example I've had any editing involvement with is "Bell Bottom Blues" by Derek and the Dominos. The sleeve notes have always credited the writing of the song to Eric Clapton, but in recent years Bobby Whitlock has said he co-wrote it, Clapton has agreed, and the BMI website now credits them both. Based on this case, the BMI credit is the more up-to-date source, so should probably take precedence, but I'd be inclined to take it on a case-by-case basis. --Nicknack009 (talk) 19:49, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
The BMI/ASCAP listing will probably be more accurate. The liner notes are a primary source and there may be other marketing considerations. Where there is a discrepancy I would refer to WP:NPV, so which suggests it is not for editors to decide what is "true" or "false" --Richhoncho (talk) 20:00, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
So Richhoncho essentially you are saying to present both sides of the story right? Like how its done in the article "Teeth"? —IB [ Poke ] 22:25, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Richhoncho Another case, "Bitch I'm Madonna" is credited to Onika Maraj a.k.a Nicki Minaj on the official album credits, but she is not credited on ASCAP (search "Bitch I'm Madonna" in the link). Minaj always wrote her rap verse, so in this case the liner note seems more accurate. I fully agree with you that it is not for editors to decide the truth. As long as it is verifiable, it's fine. Bluesatellite (talk) 22:51, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
@Bluesatellite: Your claim is very inaccurate, because the link you provided doesn't state the songwriters of any of the songs, as to BMI and ASCAP, they do, so I'm going to have to agree with @Richhoncho:, since clearly as you see, BMI and ASCAP tend to have more detailed info about a certain song. Xboxmanwar (talk) 01:19, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@Bluesatellite: @IndianBio:. I repeat, the Performing Rights Organisations (PROs) - ASCAP, SESAC, BMI, SOCAN, APRA (and others with searchable databases) are probably more accurate and discrepancies should be noted and not ignored. Only for example and without commenting, Bitch I'm Madonna, I note that Nicki Minaj is a BMI-Registered songwriter and that the song does not appear in the BMI catalogue. There are several reasons for the omissions, and I note 3 of them, 1. She didn't write anything for this song, 2. Somebody in the NM camp didn't complete the paperwork correctly, or 3. Both BMI and ASCAP have made a clerical error. As no editor can ever know what really happened, just explain the differences. --Richhoncho (talk) 03:56, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
PS. I have just searched and that also lists NM as a songwriter of Bitch I'm Madonna. On balance, we now have two sources which agree independently so I think I would go with NM as a writer of the song. NB FWIW, The reason I put additional credence on the PROs is because that's how the writer gets paid - if that's wrong you don't get paid! --Richhoncho (talk) 05:15, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@Richhoncho: Real talk right here, thank you so much for helping me support my claim. Also, I think BMI and ASCAP would be a bit more accurate as to being used as sources, but SongFile looks like it can also work too. Xboxmanwar (talk) 05:30, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@Xboxmanwar:. I wasn't supporting anybody, I was supporting WP:NPV, if any editor wishes to point out that BMI fails to list the song and ASCAP omits NM's name, that would also be "true." --Richhoncho (talk) 10:32, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm fairly certain that holding the copyrights to a song is not the same as a writing credit. For example, Michael Jackson famously owned the rights to the majority of The Beatles' catalog, but never wrote a single one of those songs. Fezmar9 (talk) 01:53, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

@Fezmar9: This isn't about copyright of songs, its about the sourcing of songwriting credits, that's what is being in discussion, plus BMI and ASCAP lists the songwriters and the publishing companies, not the copyright holders. Xboxmanwar (talk) 02:07, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@Fezmar9:. Michael Jackson owned the company that owned the PUBLISHING rights, whereas we have been discussing the SONGWRITING credits, which always remain with the writers. This leads on to another common example - in the WP articles for Beatle songs, for example, Yesterday, it says written by PM but credited to PM/JL. This is correct, well documented and a good template to use when there is variation in the listed songwriters, although you will be hard-pressed to find something as well-documented as the Beatles. --Richhoncho (talk) 04:07, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Widespread usage of inaccessible text[edit]

Hey. As per WP:FONTSIZE, small tags shouldn't be used in infoboxes. Since infoboxes already have small font, additional small tags cause the font size to drop below 11px, making it very difficult for those with vision impairment to read the article. I've just noticed that this markup is in widespread use within {{Infobox single}} for various purposes. For instance, in Smells Like Teen Spirit, small text is used to denote the certifying agency and the different song lengths between the album and song. How would you like to proceed? I could have a bot go through and remove small tags in certain situations (certifications, for example, which all look more-or-less the same) and then clean up any remaining unusual usages of small tags myself. They could replaced with nothing (reverting to full-sized normal text) or replaced with italics and/or a gray font color. As a more extreme alternative, we could increase the font size of the entire infobox so the small text within it is no longer an issue, but that would be a very extreme response. Thoughts? ~ Rob13Talk 20:41, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

I wonder about the use of the certification parameter within infoboxes anyway – I think this mostly gets deprecated these days in favor of a separate section alongside the weekly and year-end charts. Makes sense, otherwise you could have certifications from many countries clogging up the infobox. I don't know what others feel about the use of small tags in infoboxes, but I have no objection to removing them. I would have thought just removing small tags and reverting the font to standard size would be the best option – I don't think we want to start messing around with infobox sizes or different text colors within articles. I think the majority of small tags are probably to distinguish between different running times (between album versions and single edits, for example) or to note the release on different record labels in different countries of the world. Richard3120 (talk) 20:50, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
In investigating this issue, I found the most common usage to be those RIAA certification notes. If you'd like to deprecate the certification parameter entirely, we could do that too and work through the articles creating a certifications section in the article text (if one isn't already there) while removing the parameter from the infobox. ~ Rob13Talk 20:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Let's see what other editors think – normally the guidelines state that if there is only one certification, the Certification Table templates should not be used and a line of text should be used instead. Richard3120 (talk) 21:50, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Many infoboxes contain superfluous information that detracts from their main purpose, which according to MOS:INFOBOX is "to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article ... The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose, allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance. Of necessity, some infoboxes contain more than just a few fields; however, wherever possible, present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content" (emphasis added). Template:Infobox single#Parameters includes:
  • "Released: This field should refer to the earliest known commercial release date, using a single occurrence"
  • "Format: The way that the single was originally released"
  • "Label: This field should refer to the label on which the single/album was originally released. Where significantly different versions have been released (featuring alternate track listings) e.g. U.S. vs. UK, the later release date and/or record label should be mentioned in the article"
The thrust is key facts about the original single and not all the permutations. Certifications (especially from multiple countries) come later and are more appropriate for the body of the article. I would also argue that chronologies, album track listings, alternative covers, music samples, etc. are unnecessary and make the infobox too long, sometimes extending it into later article sections besides the lead where it is appropriate (see WP:LAYIM). Since an infobox is a summary, the items should be discussed in the body (infobox items should not "supplant" article material). If smaller fonts are being used for secondary information, then it shouldn't be there. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:48, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Ojorojo, I agree with most of that: I don't agree with the use of the Template:Audiosample in the infobox, and I've never understood what the purpose of Template:Extra track listing was other than to provide unnecessary clutter – knowing that a song is track five on a particular album doesn't tell me anything about the song itself. I would certainly be in favour of removing this extra template from the infobox.
There are a couple of issues that need clarifying though:
  • Label: this isn't an issue these days with only four major labels releasing records worldwide simultaneously via the internet, but in the old days of physical product the problem is that a single was often released simultaneously in different countries but on different labels, which were all imprints of an umbrella company. For example, Phonogram often released songs across the world on varying labels (Mercury, Fontana, Vertigo, Polydor, etc.), depending upon which label was more established in a particular country. So which label(s) should be included?
A RS is needed to confirm that in fact it was originally released simultaneously by several labels. If this can be shown, it would require a different approach that should be determined by consensus. I think a case can be made for using the artist's home country label. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Length: do we go for the track length on the album, or the single edit? What about if the song had different edits in different countries ("I'm Not in Love"), or was released in different mixes in different countries ("Mothers Talk" – I realise in the case of this particular song the release dates were different so the UK version takes precedent, but I'm just using it as an example)?
If Template:Infobox single is being used, then the info it contains should pertain to the single release only. When there are different edits, mixes, etc., only the earliest or original should be used (if simultaneous, see above). Perhaps this wording should be added in "Parameters – Length" field explanation to make it consistent with the "Released", "Format", and "Label" field explanations. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Alternate album cover: I agree these should be used as sparingly as possible; minor changes such as the artist in a different pose from what is obviously the same photo session aren't needed. But I can see a couple of examples where you might consider making an exception – where the album cover of a well-known album is SO different from one country to another that Americans simply would not recognise the British cover, and vice versa (Only by the Night); and where the original cover was produced in limited quantities due to low initial sales, and the cover that is now used as standard on all subsequent reissues after the record has achieved worldwide recognition is in fact a later design (Trans-Europe Express). Richard3120 (talk) 00:05, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
For copyright reasons, album covers can only be used in album infoboxes and in limited non-free use situations. Single covers (picture sleeves) are much less recognizable and shouldn't be treated the same as album covers. The original should be used if one was issued. Alternate covers may be used in the body of the article if they can be justified. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. However, we run into another issue here, and some editors may be aware of the stance of the editor GeorgeHo on this subject. In the UK picture sleeves for singles were not common until the mid to late 70s, well after most other countries adopted them. GeorgeHo is of the opinion that for British artists, in the absence of a picture sleeve, a picture of the centre label of the British version of the single should be used instead. However, other editors feel that because labels had a standard design for each release by that record label, and the only difference was of course the artist name and song title, which may not be particularly readable at the resolution used in the infobox, it would be better to use the picture sleeve from another country instead, where the artist name and song title are usually more visible, and often include a picture of the artist on the cover, to help identification. Richard3120 (talk) 17:36, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Comment only: A record label is not the same as a record company. For instance, Vertigo and Fontana were labels, not record companies, both being part of the Philips group, which is a record company that also acted as a label. There is a lot of misinformation on WP because some editors do not understand the difference and I am too lazy to check and correct. In answer to the discussion, the infobox relates to key information only that relates to the song and the release that made it notable only. --Richhoncho (talk) 08:44, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Richhoncho, I know that – what I am trying to point out is that if, say, a single was released on the same day in the UK and US, but on the Vertigo label in the UK and on the Fontana label in the US, which of those two labels do we use in the infobox? Richard3120 (talk) 15:26, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Edit: here's a obvious example of what I mean. Before he set up his own Rocket Record Company, Elton John's singles were released on DJM Records in the UK, but on MCA Records in the US and Canada. If we look at the article for "Daniel", for example, both record labels are shown in the infobox, with a release date of 26 March 1973. Now, this date is not confirmed anywhere in the article, and may well be incorrect, as 26 March was a Monday, and I think standard release days at the time were Tuesday for the US and Friday for the UK. But let's assume for now that the single was indeed released on a Monday in both countries – so should we go with just DJM Records in the infobox, as the label of Elton's home country? I'm not trying to start an argument with anyone here, just pointing out some potential issues so that we can come to a consensus about what should be included. Richard3120 (talk) 17:20, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Since both would appear to be "original", it would be easy to say "list both". However, when there are several, listing them all would overload the infobox. Establishing a guideline needs to take into account the different possibilities. The home country release seems like a reasonable choice, but that can become tricky with someone like Hendrix. Probably this needs to be decided case by case by consensus. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:40, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I have no problem with establishing a consensus with a view to forming a guideline. I was simply trying to show that just stating that only one record label should be entered into this parameter is not always a cut and dried issue, and it's the reason why all these small font sizes to differentiate between "UK" and "US" releases (for example) started up in the first place. In Elton John's case this is probably quite easy to resolve, because it looks like his records were released in most of the major markets worldwide on the DJM label, and only on MCA in the US and Canada, so there are only two labels to deal with. Richard3120 (talk) 15:53, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This may be an appropriate time to open up a discussion on removing/limiting the miscellaneous fields (extra chronology, track listing, extra cover, audio sample, etc.) from both Infobox single and Infobox song. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd be happy to lend my services later on if you need any botwork related to reworking these infoboxes in general, but can we get a quick confirmation that removing the small tags from the stuff currently in the infobox is appropriate to satisfy WP:FONTSIZE? I can keep a log of all pages my bot (or myself) edits to accomplish this, which could then be used as a list of what pages may need looking at for the type of reworking you're discussing. ~ Rob13Talk 16:53, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Complying with WP:Fontsize should be OK pending a decision on eliminating fields. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:40, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Are we having that discussion on this thread, or should we start a new one? Richard3120 (talk) 15:53, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Let Rob do his thing (I don't think there are any objections). It would be better to start a new "Should miscellaneous fields/information be removed from Infobox songs and singles?" discussion. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:02, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Richard3120 (talk) 16:16, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Do feel free to discuss here if it's better not to interrupt the discussion. Sorry for steering the discussion back to my original question somewhat forcefully; I just needed a clear yes/no before the wider discussion on the infoboxes got underway so that I could bring it to BRFA. ~ Rob13Talk 22:13, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Sia's Cheap Thrills article is underperforming.[edit]

The introduction, the commercial performance and the critical reception are all underwhelming and full of contradicting, false information. There is even no single mention to the youtube views. Sad that such a hit is treated just like any other song by a pop star. make it more interesting!Estodiantes (talk) 10:58, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

@Estodiantes: the number of YouTube views is not considered to be a vital piece of information except in the case where a record is broken or some sort of milestone is reached, for example, in the case of Psy's "Gangnam Style". If you feel you can improve the article with reliable, independent sources, please go ahead – after all, Wikipedia is free for anybody to edit. Exactly what parts are "underwhelming" and "full of false, contradicting information"? It includes a description of the song's composition, some critical reviews, a section on the accompanying promotional video, worldwide chart positions and certifications – there isn't very much missing as far as I can see. Richard3120 (talk) 14:45, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Should the infoboxes for singles and songs contain miscellaneous information?[edit]

Template:Infobox single and Template:Infobox song contain fields for miscellaneous information, such as additional chronologies, a track listing using, extra covers, and a sample of the music. A recent discussion pointed out that these are not key facts about the subject of the article, which an infobox is supposed to summarize. MOS:INFOBOX includes:

the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article (an article should remain complete with its summary infobox ignored). The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose, allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance. Of necessity, some infoboxes contain more than just a few fields; however, wherever possible, present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content. (emphasis added)

As a summary of the article (similar to the lead), an infobox should not contain information that is not discussed (and referenced) in the body of the article. Chronologies and track listings are more for navigational or background purposes. Likewise extra covers and audio samples are better included in the article sections where they are discussed. Also, details about additional releases, labels, etc. are sometimes added, when the parameter instructions specify using the original or earliest release. Again, if significant, these should be discussed in the appropriate article section. Limiting the information to key facts also helps to reduce the size of the infobox, which can easily dominate short articles. Should the miscellaneous and any other non-key information fields be removed? —Ojorojo (talk) 21:45, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

I think I've already stated my views above, but just to summarise them all in one place, I believe the infobox should not contain (a) audio samples (should be included in the article body), (b) the extra track listing template (pointless), (c) certifications (should be included in the article body). You *might* make a case for an extra cover in certain circumstances, for example, including the covers of both the original 1984 version of "Take On Me" and the re-recorded 1985 worldwide hit version as almost nobody outside of Norway will ever recognise the original cover picture, but there will be very few of these cases.
And with reference to Template talk:Infobox album#Studio parameter, take #2, I do think it would be a good idea to include separate date, studio and venue parameters in this infobox as well.
As an aside, all and more of this applies equally to Template:Infobox album, but of course that is better discussed as a separate issue at WP:ALBUMS. Richard3120 (talk) 15:53, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • An additional chronology parameter works when a single is a split release. And sometimes audio samples have no better place in an article than the infobox.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Removing audio samples from the infobox would be a major overhaul - for instance, the featured article "Like a Rolling Stone" uses one in the infobox. I don't see how additional covers are not useful. The point of debate is what is useful and what isn't. In a case such as "Round of Applause", the article is dealing with two different variants of the song, so it's difficult to determine which cover is more "important" or "useful" to include in the infobox.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 17:16, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Why do we even have separate templates for singles and songs anyway? It's like having different templates for compilations and LPs. If the infobox were to note variants of a song, such as remixes or rerecordings, maybe something like {{Extra song variants}} would be appropriate. But when distinguishing whether the song was originally released as a single — why not just use |type=single? A "variant" module could also note when a song would be later released as a single.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:22, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

We've become used to seeing infoboxes loaded up with so much info that they have taken on a life of their own. The original purpose of an infobox is to be a summary of the article – to provide key facts. Is the artist's (or multiple artists) singles chronology a key fact about the single itself? Or the song's sequence among album tracks? If this is important information, why is it rarely discussed or referenced in the body of an article? It is probably in the infobox because we are used to seeing it there and it has become expected. Similarly, some infoboxes contain all the information on subsequent releases: additional dates, timings, formats, B-sides, etc. The template instructions specify that only information about the original or earliest release be included in the infobox – probably to prevent them from becoming overloaded. It may be useful to look at what are the key facts to provide a summary of the article. One possibility:

  • Primary (obvious): Title, artist, writer(s), release date, from the album (as opposed to later added to the album)
  • Secondary: When & where recorded, label, format, producer(s), B-side, cover

Genre will probably remain, but it is subject to so much BS, that it is practically useless. The rest can go in the body of the article: certifications in a "Reception" or "Charts" section; different covers in a "Releases" section; a music sample in a "Composition" or "Recording" section; music video in a "Video" section; etc. Arguments about "major change" or "overhaul" should not be a determining factor – this streamlining would be in keeping with basic MOS:INFOBOX policy. The much-used "Review" field was moved out of album infoboxes a while back without significant problems; changes to infobox singles and songs could be dealt with similarly. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:14, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

3family6 does have a point though that you have to tread carefully when proposing changes to FAs, I hadn't thought of that.
Regarding singles chronology, I don't have a problem with including it in the infobox, but it can be awkward when the chronology differs from country to country: the singles from Little Earthquakes were released in a different order in the US and the UK, for example, and I think the same applies to the singles from Nightclubbing, so you would have to specify which country's chronology you are using. Of course, both the singles and albums chronologies for the Beatles differ completely between the UK and the US, so it's necessary to include both, or neither. Richard3120 (talk) 15:56, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
1) Maybe BU Rob13 could tell us if infobox fields, such as Audiosample, Certification, etc., can be relocated out of the infoboxes by an automated process without causing disruption (I don't recall FAs were an issue when this was done for album infoboxes).
2) Point taken. At some point all this extra information becomes counter productive (clutter). If a second country's chronology is added, what about a third, fourth, etc.? For re-releases? I've seen extra track listings for compilations. It's interesting that this is not usually included in the body of the article (an infobox should not have info that is not in the text). An artist's navbox at the bottom of the article provides links to other singles and albums and sometimes provides as much as a mini-discography. —Ojorojo (talk) 18:20, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


You can also argue to take out the months and days from infoboxes since most articles only ever cite the year of release, not the specific date. This is contrived. Of course a song's placement in an artist's discography is a useful, key fact. So are track list sequences. Concept albums have been ubiquitous for the last 50 years — articles like Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 will note when a track segues from (or to) another. And whoever said infoboxes can't function as navboxes? Infoboxes are sidebars, and sidebars are a type of navbox.
As with navigation templates, the purpose of the infobox is for its utility (MOS:INFOBOX).--Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:22, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
If you want to talk about removing useless, miscellaneous parameters, they should be the ones on {{Infobox song}} that were merged from {{Infobox standard}}--Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:22,20 July 2016 (UTC)
This was brought up at the time of the merger,[1] but no action was taken. Perhaps this is a good time to address it. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:02, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I'd argue that track sequences are even less useful with regards to concept albums, because the point of a concept album is that there is some kind of narrative that flows through the album, and simply seeing that "Track 4 Name" follows "Track 3 Name" tells me nothing about the storyline, or that it segues into the following track – for that you need a section of text... indeed, in the Pink Floyd example that you cite, that is exactly what the "Concept" section does.
The argument about Template:Infobox single and Template:Infobox song has been made before... I'd have to dig in the archives to find it. Richard3120 (talk) 19:44, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
A concept album is not necessarily a narrative, it's loosely defined as a collection of tracks that belong together like chapters of a book or episodes of a television series. Many song articles provide track placement info in the lead, usually in the first or second sentence. It's crucial, rudimentary information. You don't know whether certain tracks segue, but you know where they lead, which is enough.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 02:02, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Regarding extra covers for singles, editor GeorgeHo has proposed a whole host of them to be deleted at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2016 May 15, should anyone here want to express an opinion. Richard3120 (talk) 23:37, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

@Ojorojo: Could you show me an example edit of what you would want such a bot to do? Are you talking about creating a whole certifications section in the article automatically? ~ Rob13Talk 14:57, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: this explains what was done for albums. Moves out of Infobox singles and songs would probably be similar. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:55, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Singles chronologies I would consider important, in the same way that album chronologies are. Of course, the chronology should also be mentioned in the article, not just the infobox. However, I've never really understood the point of putting the album tracklist into the song infobox - I've never found that useful. With extra album covers, I can see either way. I'd think mostly you would only need it for the following types of cases a) there are multiple cover versions released simultaneously (like the album The Triptych), b) there is a subsequent, more well-known version (such as "Take on Me" as mentioned above), or c) you have an article that deals with two different versions of a song, but with a single infobox (like my example, "Round of Applause", that I listed above. Finally, regarding FAs, my contention is that not only would some of the changes affect them, but that, if the information is given in the infobox of an FA-quality article, clearly editors considered it useful (even though I personally can't find how the tracklisting field is useful).--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 22:25, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

As a practical matter for layout, infographics/images (number of extra covers, infoboxes, etc.) should not exceed the article section for which they are intended. WP:LAYIM provides guidance which is relevant to infoboxes:

Images should ideally be spread evenly within the article, and relevant to the sections they are located in ... When placing images, be careful not to stack too many of them within the lead, or within a single section; if the images in a section spill over into the next section at 1024×768 screen resolution, that may mean that the section is too short or there are too many images in that section. (emphasis added)

Too many can overwhelm an article and give it an unbalanced, amateurish look: a) alternate covers of Triptych should go in a section which discusses the artwork, not the infobox; b) the alternate cover for "Take On Me" should go in a section which discusses the subsequent release (also, an infobox is not intended for listing all the B-sides and lengths); c) the "Round of Applause" article is too short for two infoboxes (there is no separate section which discusses the remix). Many details about a song/single belong in the body of the article. There is no reason why all this extra material be added to the infobox. —Ojorojo (talk) 16:44, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I can see your point about Triptych, though in this case, how would we determine which is "alternate?" (Although that is a problem regardless of whether the "alternate" covers are given in the infobox or not. "Take on Me" - I also concede that point. With "Round of Applause," that is exactly my point - the article is two short to have separate infoboxes, so the information is combined. The alternate cover section is needed in this case to supply the cover for the other version of the song.
Regarding B-sides and lengths: I can totally see your point about B-sides, since those would be given in the tracklisting. However, how are the song lengths NOT important? Or do you mean giving multiple, different lengths, as opposed to only the earliest released version?--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 03:55, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
For ROA, are the single covers that well known? My guess is that people are more familiar with the album cover. Since the single covers are very similar, I don't think including both in the infobox is necessary; a caption may be added that identifies which cover is used. Length was an oversight on the previous list[2] – yes, it is important. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:47, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

To clarify some of my points:

  • The main parameters for Infobox single are fine – title, artist, writer(s), release date, from the album, when & where recorded (& add studio = and venue =), length, label, format, producer(s), B-side, cover, genre (ugh). As already noted in the template parameters explanation/guide, these fields should be limited to the original or earliest release. I don't think anyone is arguing against these, but the problem with multiple original releases has been pointed out.
  • There is support for the chronology parameter. I don't support extra chronologies; if they are important, they can be discussed in the article.
  • Extra covers present the same problem as multiple releases. I don't think we can come up with a one-size-fits-all. Only one cover should be used, to be determined by consensus for that article (which is used by RS? – AllMusic doesn't include multiple album covers).
  • There doesn't seem to be support for the Certification, Music sample, and Video fields. These can be moved to the body of the article.
  • Most seem to be against the Track listing field. A quick review of FAs and GAs doesn't show that a particular song's placement on a album is discussed in articles – if indeed important, it would be. This seems more important for the album article.

Template:Infobox song is in worse shape. Many parameters are carried over from the merger with Infobox standards and are completely inappropriate (do we need more areas for covers?). Should a separate discussion be started on that talk page? Ilovetopaint questioned the need for two different infoboxes. I agree, but in the past, no one has been willing to consider it. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:47, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

I can't think of a serious objection off the top of my head for separating the two infoboxes, particularly now that the definition of a "single" has become less clear, with the release of promotional radio singles, "grat" tracks, etc. making the charts. Richard3120 (talk) 16:16, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

BU Rob13, Richard3120, Richhoncho, Ilovetopaint, 3family6: It's been over a week. Is there enough interest for removing the Certification = and the use of Misc = for {{Audiosample}}, {{Extra track listing}}, {{External music video}}? Anything else before bringing it to a vote on Template talk:Infobox single? —Ojorojo (talk) 16:25, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't see a clear consensus regarding audio samples. The extra track listing and external music video templates seem to have garnered more support for their removal. I would put it to a vote, though, because far too few editors have commented so far.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 18:32, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Just to respond to the above, moving out certifications, etc. probably can't be automated because an editor has to check if they're already discussed in the article body, etc. It requires editor discretion. Moves of things like {{External music video}} are more likely to be possible for automation. I'd need to see the exact instructions written up for this conversion before being able to say for sure. I'd go for consensus at an RfC first, write up the instructions, let project members comment on the instructions and make changes as necessary, and then follow up with me. I'll take a look to see what, if anything, can be automated. (Also, in response to the edit conflict above, the RfC should be structured with separate sections for each proposed change to make things easy.) ~ Rob13Talk 18:33, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Been meaning to join the discussion for a while – this seems as good a place as any to jump in … Although I appreciate the concerns raised about disruption to past FAs (and disruption to GAs, solid Bs, also), I don't think the infobox is any place at all for audio samples and sales certifications.
I see a good argument for retaining alt covers, as long as they really are important for visually identifying the work. The thing with your suggestion, Ojorojo, about moving alternative covers to a section in main text, is that then the fair-use rationale would need to address an image's usefulness in the article – there needs to be critical commentary on the image, whereas if it's in the infobox, any image is there simply to provide visual identification of the subject.
I'm pretty ambivalent about the release chronologies. But if we lose them from Infobox Single, then we should do so in Infobox Album also (which, for some reason, I find unthinkable).
I disagree with a lot of the comments here about track listings, though. I think they're very useful, because an album track is defined by its place on the album, particularly in the case of songs first released during what's considered to be rock/pop's classic era, mid 1960s through to the early '70s. I hasten to add: I'm most certainly not talking about those before-and-after, partial track lists (trivial stuff); I mean the full track listings that I see used quite a bit – for solo Beatle song articles, along with the Stones and Dylan (e.g. here and here). The same template was used in all Beatles song articles until quite recently, when they were picked off at TfD or whatever it's called. Richard3120, I think the full track listings might avoid the pointlessness you referred to, re the situation with songs that are part of a concept album. And both the full and partial listings (that is, either of the two) are still permitted, according to Infobox Song. I realise that the basis of this discussion is to determine what should or should not be retained, but if we're talking about usefulness and what details are really pertinent to a song, I can't help thinking its sequencing on an album is vital. Perhaps that's partly because I pretty much only work on songs from the '60s and '70s, I don't know … JG66 (talk) 01:19, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong keep for |misc= – for several reasons I've already stated
  1. Some extra chronologies are necessary for collaborative releases. Plus for singles, there is no way to append an album track list chronology without it.
  2. The infobox is sometimes the only appropriate spot for a sample to be located, particularly for stub articles.
  3. Video fields are also useful, they're similar to |website= on other infoboxes.
Also, I don't understand this logic:
  1. "[X] might not be stated in the article, thus it doesn't need to be in the infobox."
  2. "[X] could be stated in the article, thus it doesn't need to be in the infobox."
Why have an infobox at all? This could apply to every field except the title, artist, and year of release. Why is it so difficult to consider that there are some things you can't adapt to prose? Why would anyone want to read
"'Daddy's Car' is a split single by Brian Eno and Karl Hyde. The last Brian Eno single before 'Daddy's Car' was 'Strange Overtones' (2008) and the one after is 'The Ship' (2016). The last Karl Hyde single before 'Daddy's Car' was 'The Boy With The Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers' (2008) and the one after is 'DBF' (2014)."
--Ilovetopaint (talk) 23:05, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Using infoboxes as repositories for miscellaneous details that don't work well in prose goes against their intended purpose. As any summary, infoboxes are not supposed to introduce information that is not in the body of the article (MOS:INFOBOX uses "not supplant"). To take your point to the next step, why have prose at all? Song "articles" can be one big template where editors can fill in the blanks and add links to everything. Encyclopedia articles are based on prose and not collections of graphs, images, and charts. —Ojorojo (talk) 15:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
You are sorta right, but that's not "next step" of my point - that's the "next step" of a totally different point. My point is that infoboxes impart key facts better than the body ever could. It's impossible to reasonably summarize "chronologies" in prose (WP:BECONCISE).--Ilovetopaint (talk) 01:41, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with 3family6, it probably needs a vote to be able to make a clear decision on each extra template, because clearly opinion is more split on some of them than on others. I do think the extra chronology should probably stay though, for the reasons Ilovetopaint states: sometimes you do need it for collaborations (duets or split singles) where it's not clear that there is a primary artist, like the 1991 version of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".
Ilovetopaint: if we kept the certification parameter, would you limit the number of regions listed in the infobox, to stop it becoming too long? For example, how would we choose what certifications to list from "7 Years"? Richard3120 (talk) 23:56, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
It's a Danish band, so I'd think the only organization it should list is IFPI Denmark. If not that, then perhaps whichever lists the most units sold.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 00:41, 25 July 2016 (UTC)