[mb-style] RFC-327: Featured Artists (attempt 2)

Ryan Torchia anarchyriot at gmail.com
Sat Jul 23 09:49:37 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 11:30 PM, Paul C. Bryan <pbryan at anode.ca> wrote:

> **
> On Fri, 2011-07-22 at 16:08 -0700, Ryan Torchia wrote:
> I would be extremely hesitant to dismiss original releases in favor of VA
> comps in determining credits, let alone to establish guidelines.  That's
> dismissing a primary source in favor of a secondary source in which artists
> has little or no say in formatting and packaging, which seems, frankly,
> somewhat irresponsible.
>  And, of course, a few compilations are absolutely fanatical about
> providing proper attributions—arguably even more stringent and extensive
> than on the original releases. Case in point: Mosaic Records, which provides
> extensive recording session information, including performance artists,
> alternate takes, matrix numbers, and so on.

That's somewhat of an exception though, isn't it?  The example provided was
from the "Now That's What I Call Music!" series, which doesn't strike me as
being as concerned with historical veracity as Mosaic.

>  Artists have plenty of ways to indicate the extent of the involvement.
> Word choice is one (i.e. using "feat." instead of "with" or "and"),
> explicitly stating the relationship ("duet with Y"), crediting as a full
> collaboration on singles, mentionioning "X feat. Y" for that specific track,
> etc. We shouldn't be basing our policies on the assumption that it's only
> that way because artists couldn't figure out a better way to do it -- they
> can, and have, and chose not to.
> And sometimes the artists have no say in the way other artists were
> involved, either because it's being performed by copywriters, or by
> contractual obligation. I would suggest that it's really a pragmatic choice
> that we should make—unless Artist Intent can be demonstrated—to use the most
> common attribution in the case that there are variances. If there is no
> prevalent attribution, then go with the most general (probably ' & ' in such
> a case).
The question isn't what join phrase to use; it's whether and when we should
use "Track (feat. Guest)" or "Artist feat. Guest".  We're assuming "feat."
is always used; what to do when different joiners or credits is a different
and more global question.

>  It'd also cause confusion when a band uses "feat." to highlight a specific
> member.  Using an AR would be just as functional, more accurate, and a
> better representation of the relationship.  I don't forsee us using "X
> remixed by Y" in the artist credits; why break that precedent here?
> I visualize the X (Y mix) ETI being retained in recordings. I don't think
> you're suggesting we drop such information the recording; why drop the
> featured artist if it's predominantly titled that way in releases?
I'm suggesting keeping the ETI in the T, not sticking it in the A.
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