Jeff Dickens (2)

Every time someone adds a matrix variant, a puppy dies.

No matter what the genre of recording, I treat each release seriously. I try to attain the same level of detail and accuracy regardless of my appreciation of the subject matter.

Discogs is social media, and not everybody is good at social media. In fact, in my opinion, most people are not good at it, including myself.

Once you get acquainted with discogs, you may find out the real heart is in the History of each release. And here is where difficulty can arise. If you get involved with tracking down where each piece of data came from, and how reliable it is, then it becomes necessary to trace the data entries back to the contributors who provided them.

What are "the Guidelines"
When you edit, when you make a change in a release's data, there are Help tabs available which will lead you to discogs Guidelines. One of the most interesting things I read early on in my discogs experience was: The Guidelines are guidelines; they aren't rules. This is an important point to try to understand. There is a fair amount of innovation in discogs data. There is flexibility in how some of the data is to be recorded. But the Guidelines shape much of the method that should be used. Many Guidelines are vague, some seem mutually contradictory, and some are nearly universally misunderstood (such as Reissue versus Repress). Some guidelines could easily be improved, such as the proper sequence of images. And many guidelines are amended by recent discussion in the Forums, where users and staff hash out problems that the Guidelines create or fail to address.
So, it's vitally important to understand the Guidelines. And every discogs user, newbie or expert, must patiently listen when someone says that something is being done incorrectly. Very frequently, there has to be a correction.

The value of Submission Notes
By far the most neglected guideline in discogs is a "meta-guideline" regarding Submission Notes. If you find yourself faced with a long page-full of History, it can often require a daunting effort to trace each data change back to the person who entered it. Sometimes you will see other users questioning or disputing a change. And if a problem is not recognized and corrected immediately, it can often remain unresolved in the data sometimes for years. Figuring out when a wrong turn occurred is difficult when users don't bother to make a clear, even if brief, note about what they are editing.

What is a release?
The coin of the discogs realm is the "release" -- the fundamental data structure in discogs is the release. A release is a single production of a single recording, that can be distinguished from similar items that portray that original source. A well-loved performance might appear on a vinyl record, and later on a CD. Each is a unique release. This well-loved recording may appear on one vinyl record label, and on a different vinyl record label. Unique releases. It may appear on a US record, and on a UK record. Unique releases. It may appear on a certain record label, and on the exact same label with typographic changes to the album printing. Those are unique releases, each requiring their own release submission in discogs.

Discogs is evolving. I entered this social media database relatively late. I'm a newbie. But at the time I started, an important change was taking place. Releases, which previously represented fairly identical items, are now being broken out and separated into "families" of releases which may appear identical, but which have minute changes that are trackable to the production facility and even to the production event (job) from which any particular item was created.

For example, a particular record, with a particular design of its labels, was once simply seen as one release. Now, that release is being broken into multiple releases, with each new release identified by the pressing plant that manufactured it. The multiple pressing plants may all create a consistent product, indistinguishable by the average consumer. But discogs logic has decreed that each production facility is really generating a unique item, even if it looks (or sounds) the same as one from a factory across the country.

So in discogs terms, two releases of the same recording are uniquely different from each other if they are produced at different physical factories. The same distinction applies with releases produced at completely different times. If a record is produced one year, and then produced a year later, and if there is some way to distinguish them, they are considered unique from each other, and two different releases.

The second most-ignored guideline
Next up is images. Enjoy this thread post while I work on my commentary (don't trouble yourself with the tedious follow-up posts).

Tips 'n Tricks
My profile evolves from time to time, and I have had different sections come and go. But I here present a little Tip 'n Trick which is a little arcane, but potentially fulfilling for some.
Lists are an interesting part of discogs, where users can pile together items (releases, artists, or labels, or even Master Releases) that the user feels share a connection. Lists are not implemented terribly well. One of the little things I find frustrating is locating a particular item inside the list when you know it's there somewhere. Lists can be arranged in only one way: sequentially. But if a list is organized sequentially, it's fun to see where in the sequence any particular item has been placed. Here is a way that has been pretty effective for me to find something:
a) Go to the list in question
b) Copy the url of the list
c) Go to google
d) and Enter "site:" (without the quotes) and Paste the url of the list
e) Paste in front of that the Artist and Title (or whatever) of a particular release you're interested in
Try this as an example! It works!:
Ween ‎The Pod site:
f) Hit Enter
The location of your item is often the second link. The first link provided is usually the front page of the list.

Another section that comes and goes. I feel sad when I have to do edits like this:
There are a definite group of users who actually enjoy the "Where's Waldo" of discogs. They know where the differences are, but they don't trouble themselves to point it out, and I conjecture, they get a rise out of knowing, while others have to struggle.

Pet Peeves
I have a lot of discogs pet peeves, and I think I have them stored in a text file so I'll bring them all here at some point if we're lucky. Meanwhile, I'll add them as they occur to me.
1) If a release is voted Correct (or Correct and Complete, of course) please, please think twice before you add a churn edit to that release. Any edit will eradicate the Correct vote. So, adding something unnecessary like, especially, a matrix number, clobbers the Correct vote. The Correct vote is important in my opinion, and should be considered like a warning sign. I look for Correct releases when I want to submit a new release, and I need a release to copy-to-draft. It makes sense to start a new release with a template that's been deemed correct by someone. Don't blithely clobber releases that have a Correct vote on them, please. By the way, send a Correct vote if you are sure a release is correct. Look at the guidelines to understand the parameters of these votes. Discoggers are very grudging about giving Correct votes. You decide why.
2) If you see a merge request where it has become plain the merge is not warranted, why not vote No? I sometimes see merges like this, and it's pointed out there is an error in the data that causes the confusion, and the interested parties are forced to wait thirty days until they can fix it? So stupid, people. Just vote No in a situation like this, and hopefully, someone can repair the data while it's still fresh in their minds. Uncanny to reflect on people's behavior on something like this. It hardly costs anything to vote No if you're already there evaluating the situation. Ethel, get me a drink.
Recent Activity
submitted Connie Smith - Connie Smith. 9 days ago
posted a comment on Variety Lights - Central Flow. 27 days ago
Though this seems to be a UK production, this is, or was, apparently a Chicago-area band. The credits reference Chicago-area studios and hotspots, as well as something about "WI" -- nearby Wisconsin. The picture of the two guys on the inner sleeve are ... See full review
posted a comment on Pedro Garcia And His Del Prado Orchestra - Cha Cha Cha. 27 days ago
It's a shame they wrecked this near-perfect cover design by pooping text blocks all over it. Less is more.
submitted Bizet* - Morton Gould And His Orchestra - Carmen For Orchestra. 28 days ago
submitted Jack de Mello - Voices In Paradise . 28 days ago
posted a comment on Chicago Transit Authority* - Chicago Transit Authority. about 1 month ago
I've got three copies of Chicago Transit Authority. A first issue Terre Haute pressing, a later Terre Haute pressing, and a Taiwanese bootleg I picked up at a yard sale in Florida when I was a kid. It's interesting to hear Side 4 start out with "the ... See full review
submitted John Milton (2) Read By Robert Speaight And Robert Eddison - Treasury Of John Milton. about 1 month ago
submitted Yngwie J. Malmsteen* And Rising Force* - Now Your Ships Are Burned: The Polydor Years 1984-1990. 2 months ago
submitted Gian Stellari And His Orchestra* - Italian Film Favourites. 2 months ago
submitted Phil Kerr's Harmony Chorus - Always Remember. 2 months ago
submitted John Prine - Pink Cadillac. 3 months ago
posted a comment on The Stranglers - The Stranglers And Friends Live In Concert. 3 months ago
Track 1 does not play on my 90's-era Denon CD player. Plays fine on my Blu-ray. Visually, the inner band about 1/4" around the hub is slightly wider than most.
submitted David Sylvian & Robert Fripp - The First Day. 4 months ago
posted a comment on Bob Denver - Where You Been / Pay It No Mind. 4 months ago
No way is right. This will never be Bob Denver imo. Please see Side B is found here: Fred York / Ed Hardin - Ask Me / Pay It No Mind. Spar and Hit found a market in putting famous artists' names on the label. Side A is found here: Charles Baker (2) / The Beasts (2) - Where You Been / Sha La La. The Side B matrix match; Side A matrix not ... See full review
submitted Static-X - Shadow Zone. 5 months ago
submitted David Lewiston - The Balinese Gamelan: Music From The Morning Of The World. 5 months ago
posted a review of Nilsson* - The Point!. 5 months ago
I remember as a child I had to go over to the neighbor's house to watch this special. I don't remember what was on the TV at our place, but it wasn't this, and this show had been hyped extensively during the previous week or so.
My neighbor friend lost ... See full review
submitted Faster Pussycat - Faster Pussycat. 5 months ago
posted a comment on Devadip Carlos Santana* & Turiya Alice Coltrane* - Illuminations. 5 months ago
You mean like this?
I don't know but I am guessing Columbia licensed the records out to a record club, or some other label, and couldn't legally have the Columbia trademark shown.
posted a review of Pixx (2) - Small Mercies. 6 months ago
Pixx' music is deceptive. To a casual hearer (not a listener) there may not appear to be much here. But to open up and take this in reveals a mastery of popular song lyric, artfulness, and an immediacy that seems to have developed from improvisation ... See full review
posted a review of Various - Duskscape Not Seen. 6 months ago
This is a shockingly good album. The second half truly takes off. 4 stars, which is about as high as I ever rate.
posted a comment on E. Power Biggs, J.S. Bach*, The Gewandhaus Orchestra Of Leipzig* - The Six Organ-Concerto Sinfonias From The Cantatas. 6 months ago
The final track is quite loud compared to the rest of the album. Rather a shame really. Careless mastering.
submitted Boar / SIF* - Boar / SIF. 6 months ago
submitted The Cummies (2) - The Cummies. 6 months ago
submitted Peter Gabriel - Security. 6 months ago
submitted Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual. 7 months ago
submitted Pixx (2) - Small Mercies. 7 months ago
submitted Miles Davis - Tutu. 7 months ago
posted a comment on Yes - Drama. 8 months ago
Agreed. Sounds terrific. A lot of definition. Quite loud. My labels say Made in EU. Matrix shows Kevin Gray lacquer cut at Cohearent Audio.
posted a comment on Pixx (2) - The Age Of Anxiety. 8 months ago
On first listen, profound amount of crackle on my new item. Appears spotless (navy blue version). Needle appears to be plowing up some debris. Side B is far quieter, no noise. After another cleaning, crackles improved dramatically. MPO pressing.
As ... See full review
submitted Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail. 8 months ago
submitted Frank Pettingell - A Christmas Carol. 8 months ago
posted a comment on The Velvet Underground & Nico (3) - The Velvet Underground & Nico. 8 months ago
Practically every release has a few spoiler votes. On the one hand, it's just like real life, and someone will "hate" something to stand out and go against the herd. On the other hand, you can't please everyone. A lot of my one-star listens turn into ... See full review
submitted Aldo Nova - Aldo Nova. 9 months ago
submitted Amoeba (12) - Denatured. 9 months ago
posted a comment on Bad Company (3) - Bad Company. 9 months ago
This sounds dull and lifeless. A terrific album, packed with classic hits, but the "sound" ruins it. Seems like it's "trapped inside the speakers."
posted a comment on Galt MacDermot - New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater Presents Hair: An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. 9 months ago
Does anyone else have a black inner sleeve that promotes "Slum Cleanup Project for Harlem?" The sleeve belongs with Harry Nilsson's Duit On Mon Dei but I wonder if they used extras for this, or if my inner sleeve just got misplaced at some point in the ... See full review
posted a comment on Stan Getz / Joao Gilberto* Featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim - Getz / Gilberto. 9 months ago
One way I use is to find the promo (or promos), and the first retail version will generally have the same text layout, although of course, on different label blank stock. It's not that unusual for a "first" pressing to be execute at two or more plants ... See full review
submitted Les Barnett - Les Barnett. 9 months ago
posted a comment on Emitt Rhodes - Emitt Rhodes. 9 months ago
The initials in the runouts, HBCBKOER and KOCBHBER, are the initials of the four principal production personnel. Keith Olsen signed the banners "K.O." above "Recorded".
posted a comment on Cows - Taint Pluribus Taint Unum. 9 months ago
They just sold out this week: November, 2019. I was in the shopping queue so I apparently missed the last one.
posted a comment on Vivienne Segal And Harold Lang - Pal Joey. 9 months ago
This is the most blatant image highjack I've ever seen on discogs. Even under the OS's protests, a couple of discogs users unabashedly highjacked this to be a new release.
submitted The Archies - Jingle Jangle. 9 months ago
submitted Steely Dan - Gaucho. 10 months ago
posted a comment on Steely Dan - Countdown To Ecstasy. 10 months ago
It's an internal production number, probably showing what sequence the metal parts were produced. Some numbers might have been defective and never used at all. Some numbers might be considered a nice sound, and copied repeatedly.
submitted Betty Everett - Happy Endings. 10 months ago
submitted Heart - Magazine. 10 months ago
posted a comment on ZZ Top - The Best Of ZZ Top. 11 months ago
It is being figured out now. You might be able to weigh in; please read the History.
submitted Claudine Longet - The Look Of Love. 11 months ago
posted a comment on Various - The Story Of The Aristocats. 11 months ago
The Aristocats album has some cat-chew on the corner. Not sure what it means, but it's kind of funny.