Discogs Database In Review: Most Prolific Artist On Discogs?

Looking at daily activity in March, the total number of contributions to the Discogs Database was flat compared with February, which is consistent with past years. The most noticeable change in monthly patterns was a big spike in the number of YouTube videos added to release pages, and a dip in the number of artist images added to the database. We’ve watched the number of videos added skyrocket in the past few years, but I couldn’t find any obvious explanation for why there was such a big drop in artist images added.

However, whilst snooping for clues, my brain addled with dreams of the countless analyses I’d like to run (it can be overwhelming to have the world’s richest musicological dataset at your fingertips). One very simple question popped in my head and I couldn’t resist being side-tracked by it:

Which Artist Has The Most Releases On Discogs?

Well, actually, it depends…

The easy answer is Lennon-McCartney, the accredited partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who wrote and published approximately 180 songs together between 1962 and 1969. Second, third and fourth place go to classical composers Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, with Bob Dylan sneaking in at fifth. This ranking ignores the Discogs “Traditional” artist listing, an entity used as a placeholder credit when the songwriter of a piece of music is not known, and the music has been handed down – usually by rote (word of mouth, copying the music by ear, etc.).

That ranking also ignores the fact that artists are often credited on releases without being the main artist. At the time of this writing, there are 7,108,343 artists in the database; 129,503 artist listings have been marked as invalid and in need of a bit of digital elbow grease (there’s already a big project for that). Filtering out all other credits except main artists, the classical trio take the lead, with Elvis Presley marginally ahead of The Beatles, and Lennon-McCartney nowhere in sight.

In other news: We’d like to give a big shout out to all the French and German translators who’ve completed translating the first few sections of the Discogs Database Guidelines, which have only ever existed in English. We now have a dedicated webpage for helping new translators get up to speed on how to help. Follow the steps in the “Join The Discogs Translators Team” section if you’d like to help make Discogs a global project.


Overview Of Database Contributions


Daily Submissions

Top Contributors

From The Database Forum

  • White Album vs. We Buy White Albums: Why are there two versions of “We Buy White Albums” on Discogs? Rutherford Chang is an artist who had an installation called “We Buy White Albums,” which featured his collection of 2,000+ copies of The Beatles self-titled album. A separate part of the artwork was a double-LP comprised of 100 unique White Albums recorded on top of each other. Four sides, same song order as the original (as that was the source) but 100 ply deep. In the beginning, the 100 copies are in sync but slowly drift out of sync into a sonic trainwreck barely intelligible as the Beatles work. This is a unique work created by Chang, and clearly not a Beatles release. So why is there still a version listed on the Beatles artist page?
  • Movies/Musical Biopics Aren’t Indexed, Right: Does the new Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, belong on Discogs? Or strictly on Filmogs?
  • The Ultimate Guide To Transcription Releases: A big effort from U2Streets, who’s guide to transcription releases has kickstarted a discussion about how best to catalog them on Discogs. Transcriptions are releases that were licensed to radio stations for public broadcast, and as such were not sold to the general public. They consisted of recordings which contain a radio program as it aired, or a pre-recorded program, which were sent to radio stations for later broadcast. Content often included artist interviews, live concert recordings, studio album tracks, commercials, PSAs, and spoken segments or introductions by a host. They generally included a cue sheet — which showed a detailed list of the exact contents of the release — to include start times and segment breaks, airplay schedules, and information about the parent label company; they were useful to the disc jockey during the broadcast.
  • Piano Rolls Reconsidered: The contributor community is never short of philosophical musings. This crops up pretty regularly. Piano rolls, NES cartridges, music boxes, organ punchcards, ROM files, sound cards — they’re all audio storage mediums, but do they all belong on Discogs? Are mechanical instructions for playback any different than the digital instructions on a CD? Pull up a copy of the guidelines and a magnifying glass, and get involved.
  • Is The UK Part Of Europe?: Topical!
  • Addition of “Pocket Rocker Cartridge” as a format: Public service announcement – anyone hoarding Pocket Rockers please add them to the database now! According to Techmoan, there were actually not that many different cartridges ever released (about 50) before these slipped into obscurity. How long before we have them all? Aerochrome just added the first 16 ever to Discogs.


Updates To The Submission Guidelines

There are no new updates to the Submission Guidelines from March 2019.



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