Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Discography Sites - Part 2 of 5

I recently introduced a new series to evaluate the best discography sites, starting with Vehicle Flips, a 90s indie band.  Let's shift now to the 50s with Lillian Briggs and see how allmusic, discogs, rateyourmusic, 45cat, wikipedia, and a new competitor, musicbrainz, stack up.

This time I'm going to start with Wikipedia.  The Lillian Briggs wikipedia page rather boldly asserts that she was the first woman to achieve super-star status at the dawn of the rock'n'roll era.  The wikipedia page also provide the year and chart position of her first single, and it closes by noting that she has a new 2013 collection on Jasmine records.  It also includes my favorite Lillian Briggs fun fact.  She owned the boat (monkey business) where Gary Hart got caught with Donna Rice, knocking him out of the presidential race.

Let's move along now to allmusic.  As of the very end of 2013, allmusic is the only source that lists the new collection on Jasmine records.  Yes, the wikipedia page mentioned its existence, but it didn't show a cover or give a track listing or provide any useful information about it.  The collection is the only record allmusic lists in the Lillian Briggs discography, but, it too mentions the monkey business fun fact.

Discogs.com fills in quite a bit more of the Lillian Briggs discography with 6 singles, an EP, a 1985 collection, and 6 compilation tracks.  The compilations include Hot Boppin Girls, Vol III, They don't have the new collection though, and that reflects a general observation I have that allmusic tends to list new releases faster than the other sites even when the other sites are otherwise more complete.

Rateyourmusic also has 6 singles, but they aren't exactly the same ones as discogs.com, and rateyourmusic has dates for all of the singles, while discogs did not.  RYM has 2 EPs, and 5 compliation appearances, but no collections, neither the new collection listed by allmusic nor the 1985 collection listed by discogs.

As you would hope, 45cat stomps the competition in the singles category.  They list 10 singles in the US alone, and most have not only the release year but even the release month.  They also have high-resolution pictures of almost all of the records.  They list 7 additional releases ex-US for a total of 17 listings.

By popular request (or maybe just a single comment on a previous blog post), I'm also consider musicbrainz.org.  They list 3 compilations and that's it.

It's hard to pick a winner this time.  It may be a 3-way tie between discogs, RYM, and 45cat, but you can't totally discount the fact that allmusic was the only site (as of the end of 2013) to list the new compilation.  On the other hand, the new compilation is easy to find on Amazon, so maybe it's not so important for it to be covered on music sites. No - I think the music sites need to cover it.  I'll need to check back during 2014 to see when any of the other sites pick it up.

This concludes part 2 of our series.  Stay tuned for part 3 because, in Lillian Briggs' words, I can't stop.

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