The Discogs Database contains the entire documented history of recorded music — or at least we’re working toward that every day, getting a little closer thanks to our dedicated community. However, raw data doesn’t always tell the whole story. It can go a long way toward understanding music history, but with so much data splayed out, you can have trouble finding an entry point or investigative path.
Sometimes releases, labels, and artists have connections or commonalities our database can’t capture: influence, friendship, contemporaneous chart success, schooling, and the list goes on.
While you might be able to find an entire accounting of every Italo-disco release in the database, you can’t necessarily tell which are important or how to trace the history of the genre and its musical development. Even popularity based on Collection and Wantlist numbers can be deceiving and related to rarity or rediscovery more than historical relevance. Enter Discogs Lists!
If you’re unfamiliar with the user-generated Discogs Lists feature, it’s a pretty straightforward concept: Every user can create lists that include artists, releases, and labels from the Discogs Database. You can even create lists that include other lists. You can also add a description of the list as a whole, and then for each entry. If you go all out with it, you could create an immersive, comprehensive article like the guide to Prince’s NPG years we compiled. Or it can simply be a collection of entries just to keep track of information, like this list of athletes who were also rappers — in case that’s a pub trivia category for next week, and you need to study for it.
Discogs users have created almost 40,000 lists over the years, but until now there was no centralized location to explore and discover interesting lists. Sure, you can find them on release/artist/label pages, but if you don’t already know about these essential ’80s deep cuts, then you won’t be looking on those artist or release pages in the first place to find that list.
That’s all changed now, with the creation of our Recent Lists page! You can search through all 39,841 (as of publication) lists, see most recently created lists, and discover some lists that we like. Whereas before, you might not have known where to start with Italo-disco, now you can use the Recent Lists page to uncover which studios were important to the evolution of the genre, a compendium of Italo-disco records by women, and the releases that influenced the Chicago house scene.
As you can see, the Discogs Lists feature is the perfect complement to the massive trove of information in the Discogs Database, and the new Recent Lists page makes that even more apparent. But unlike these creepy records about death, our database is alive — and we need more lists to complement the ever-expanding data it contains. So you should go ahead and get started on your own lists. That collection of every song about Taco Bell won’t create itself, after all!