• Our Album of the Week features will return in June.

Artist names and Filing

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
I checked that link. I did not expect it to be listed that way.
Thanks.
It's a sign of the dumbing down of society and our failing education system... Out of curiosity on a recent stop at my local Barnes & Noble I decide to peruse their pathetic vinyl selection. Nothing was alphabetized correctly. Al Green was in the "A" section (for "Al" I suppose) as opposed to "G" for Green. Barbra Streisand in "B" and Tom Petty in "T" -- it sickens me. I suppose I-Tunes is partly to blame since it alphabetizes in this stupid manner, and kids just follow that example. One of my kids asked me when looking for a record in my collection why Herb Alpert wasn't in the "H" section. I wept...

...One day I will tell you all the story of how the founder of a prominent clothing line and I got into a fight so bad that whenever he came to do work at the post-house I was employed (where he was producing material for the launch of his line) the bosses had to move me to the other wing of the building. In fact, when I tell the story, I am legally bound not to reveal the name of this company because I told the guy I was going to hold him responsible for creating a generation of illiterates and that if his line proved successful (which it has) I would include him in my presentations should I ever go into Comedy or Politics. "The Hell you will!" he said... and 3 days later I was served with papers saying I'd be sued if I ever did it. For 30 years I've had to use an alternate, but rhyming name for him and his company (but close enough that the astute will figure it out).

It's an amazing and amusing story... (If it was on Sesame Street, this story would be presented by the letters -- or more specifically "digraph" -- CH)

--Mr Bill
 
I'm so used to working with the letters of first names in software now that it doesn't bother me at all. I can't change it, so why should I fight it or complain about it? I don't even care, or even think about it. The Roon Player I use in my home system has the option to sort by last name...if that metadata is known and tagged properly (which in 99% of cases by now, it is). In reality though, who needs alphabetization in a computer-based system? I don't browse. I search. I type in an artist or band name, click it the second it pops up, and I'm done. (Same in the Qobuz app for that matter--search, click, done.) The albums get sorted in Roon by release date, ascending--my choice. Roon lets me choose which version to play if I don't want to play the default choice (I can pick from different CD masterings, different high res versions including downloaded files, DVD-Audio rips, or DSD rips from SACD).

BTW, friends don't let friends shop for vinyl at B&N. Or Target or Walmart. 🤣

I still have the LPs in alphabetical order by band name or artist last name, but only because I'm used to it that way. As I get older, I almost find it easier to search by first name rather than last...as I often can't remember just a last name to search by. (I sometimes stand there and repeat a first name in my head---"Dave...Dave...Daaaave....ummm...Dave....BRUBECK!" Or I get totally confused looking up records, like today, trying to find a Deodato records and failing to remember his first name--which I've know forever--only to realize I had the album filed by "Deodato" anyway, rather than under "Eumir" which I've never done.

(But that's a "me" problem. My memory and mental skills are failing me rapidly. I may have to change my filing order only because I am starting to lose records on the shelves since I can't remember where I've put them. I'd never have made these mistakes even five years ago. )
 
It's a sign of the dumbing down of society and our failing education system... Out of curiosity on a recent stop at my local Barnes & Noble I decide to peruse their pathetic vinyl selection. Nothing was alphabetized correctly. Al Green was in the "A" section (for "Al" I suppose) as opposed to "G" for Green. Barbra Streisand in "B" and Tom Petty in "T" -- it sickens me. I suppose I-Tunes is partly to blame since it alphabetizes in this stupid manner, and kids just follow that example. One of my kids asked me when looking for a record in my collection why Herb Alpert wasn't in the "H" section. I wept...

...One day I will tell you all the story of how the founder of a prominent clothing line and I got into a fight so bad that whenever he came to do work at the post-house I was employed (where he was producing material for the launch of his line) the bosses had to move me to the other wing of the building. In fact, when I tell the story, I am legally bound not to reveal the name of this company because I told the guy I was going to hold him responsible for creating a generation of illiterates and that if his line proved successful (which it has) I would include him in my presentations should I ever go into Comedy or Politics. "The Hell you will!" he said... and 3 days later I was served with papers saying I'd be sued if I ever did it. For 30 years I've had to use an alternate, but rhyming name for him and his company (but close enough that the astute will figure it out).

It's an amazing and amusing story... (If it was on Sesame Street, this story would be presented by the letters -- or more specifically "digraph" -- CH)

--Mr Bill
I do not alphabetize my music. I have it by artists that are favorites and place them right to left by catalog number so they are all together.. Each artist that I have multiple cd's of are arranged together while artists that I have only one or two of are just placed wherever I have an opening.
So all my Brasil'66 are next to the collection of 5th Dimension as they are my favorite groups of all time.
 
It's a sign of the dumbing down of society and our failing education system... Out of curiosity on a recent stop at my local Barnes & Noble I decide to peruse their pathetic vinyl selection. Nothing was alphabetized correctly. Al Green was in the "A" section (for "Al" I suppose) as opposed to "G" for Green. Barbra Streisand in "B" and Tom Petty in "T" -- it sickens me. I suppose I-Tunes is partly to blame since it alphabetizes in this stupid manner, and kids just follow that example. One of my kids asked me when looking for a record in my collection why Herb Alpert wasn't in the "H" section. I wept...

...One day I will tell you all the story of how the founder of a prominent clothing line and I got into a fight so bad that whenever he came to do work at the post-house I was employed (where he was producing material for the launch of his line) the bosses had to move me to the other wing of the building. In fact, when I tell the story, I am legally bound not to reveal the name of this company because I told the guy I was going to hold him responsible for creating a generation of illiterates and that if his line proved successful (which it has) I would include him in my presentations should I ever go into Comedy or Politics. "The Hell you will!" he said... and 3 days later I was served with papers saying I'd be sued if I ever did it. For 30 years I've had to use an alternate, but rhyming name for him and his company (but close enough that the astute will figure it out).

It's an amazing and amusing story... (If it was on Sesame Street, this story would be presented by the letters -- or more specifically "digraph" -- CH)

--Mr Bill
When I type in contacts to my cell phone, it always lists them by first name alphabetically. In a couple of used book stores, I have seen Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 in both the B and M sections. Back in the day at the department and record stores, the artists were alphabetical but had a card with the artists full name for their own section. One store called Miller's had the Brasil '66 albums in a three tiered slot. One may hold a variety of titles, and I saw Look Around and Crystal Illusions multiple copies of each) in their own slots above the main grouping.
 
I got into more than one argument over artist names. I always alphebetized everything by the artist's last name, as the good Lord intended. One problem came up with groups with names that seemed like a person's name, but really weren't. "Lynyrd Skynyrd" was one of them. (The band was actually named after a phys-ed teacher named Leonard Skinner.) I would insist on putting them under L, but people would always be looking for them under S. Same thing with Molly Hatchet and a few others.

I was always torn by groups where the leader's name was part of the group name. So, using my rule above, should "Herb Alpert and the TIjuana Brass" be under H (going by the group name) or should it be under A for the leader's name? Or should it be under T for the band name? People could conceivably look in all three places. My final choice was to go by the leader's last name in those situations, since that seemed to make the most sense.
 
My LPs are in order thusly:

A&M Albums first: A-Z by last name or band name, all Alpert together in chronological order, then 12" singles and oddities, Mendes, just like Herb, then Various Artist comps.
General pop albums next, A-Z, by last name or band name, Various Artists last.
Soundtracks and Christmas and oddities reside in a different cabinet, roughly alphabetized.

CDs I've not separated the A&Ms. It's just an A-Z filed similarly to the LPs. Again the Various Artist comps follow and then soundtracks, Christmas, Classical, etc.

On the computer, I decided not to fight the system. Pop in a CD and it wants to be John Lennon, filed under J. So I left it that way. All of my Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass discs are digitized under Herb Alpert. It's helpful in Media Player to have them all in one place. Same with Sergio, and Julius. I'm just used to finding these things on the computer that way, but would find it unthinkable to do physical albums that way.
 
I was always torn by groups where the leader's name was part of the group name.
There are also isolated instances where a band name is a fictional person's name. Matt Bianco was named to sound like a spy character a la James Bond; nobody in the group has had a name even remotely close. Thompson Twins were named after an old cartoon, IIRC. Both of those I file by the first letter.

But that again reminds me of the story I heard from a used record store owner, about the picky customer who insisted that alphabetizing be very strict in his own library, yet he couldn't find Van Morrison under "V" in the record store. 🤦‍♂️

On the computer, I decided not to fight the system.
Same here. My Roon Player can alphabetize by last name, yet other apps are all sorting by the first letter of the artist field. Having worked on the technical side for so long, there really is no way for a program to magically sort by a specific part of a name--that is something that either has to happen through human processing, or there has to be a separate field to sort on. (So if a song or album is tagged with the data for the artist's last name, for instance, then it can be used for sorting. But I believe it's also a non-standard tag, so it is used rarely.) It's been an issue since databases have been around, so, decades.

I find lately that these different sorting methods are confusing me quite a bit, more with each passing month it seems. I had yet another instance last night where a record wasn't on my shelf where I expected it to be. Turns out I really screwed up. Idris Muhammad was before Lee Morgan. What I'd done last time is see the Lee Morgan album sticking out, as a rough idea of where the Idris Muhammad album should go. So instead of going after, I filed "I" before "L", rather than "Mu..." after "Mo...".

Please tell me this doesn't get worse. I may just switch to the first letter only because I keep losing things here.
 
When Van Halen was a new group, I'm sure a lot of buyers were looking under "H". 😁 Even going back to the days before they were famous, at least a few musicians thought this new guitarist's first name was Van. And they wouldn't find out for a few months that it was actually the family name, since Eddie and Alex were both in the group.
 
When Van Halen was a new group, I'm sure a lot of buyers were looking under "H". 😁 Even going back to the days before they were famous, at least a few musicians thought this new guitarist's first name was Van. And they wouldn't find out for a few months that it was actually the family name, since Eddie and Alex were both in the group.

And let's not forget Billy Crystal's "Fernando" character referring to "Eddie Van Heflin."
 
Back
Top Bottom