Rock Music Album Names In Essays

by Jeff Hume-Pratuch

It’s December 22, the date on which I traditionally panic about the holidays. Cards sit unwritten, unaddressed, and unstamped on my desk. Cookies are unbaked, gifts are unbought, and the house is distinctly underdecorated!

But this year I am as cool as a cup of eggnog, for I have come up with the perfect holiday playlist to accompany my last-minute flurry of activity. Don’t tell my colleagues, but certain people may be finding a mix tape in their stockings (accompanied by a reference list, of course—we are the APA Style Experts.)

The Basics
In a previous post, I showed you some examples for citing sheet music in APA Style. The format for a recorded song is similar, but it resembles a chapter rather than a book. The name of the songwriter goes in the author position:

Writer, A. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by B. B. Artist].
    On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Date of

So, for example, where the songwriter and performing artist are the same, the reference would look like this:

Baron Cohen, E. (2010). My Hanukkah (Keep the fire alive). On
    Songs in the key of Hanukkah [MP3 file]. Burbank, CA:
    WaterTower Music.

Fuchs, G. (2004). Light the menorah. On Eight nights of Hanukkah [CD].
    Brick, NJ: Kid Kosher.

Lehrer, T. (2000). (I’m spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica. On The
    remains of Tom Lehrer
[CD]. New York, NY: Rhino.

Variations on a Theme
If the song is recorded by someone other than the songwriter, include the information about the recording artist(s) in brackets after the song title.

Lavin, C. (2003). A Christmas/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Chanukah/Ramadan/
    Boxing Day song [Recorded by C. Lavin & the Mistletones]. On The
    runaway Christmas tree
[CD]. West Chester, PA: Appleseed Recordings.

Page, S. (2010). Hanukkah blessings [Recorded by Barenaked Ladies].
    On Barenaked for the holidays [CD]. London, England: Raisin Records.

If the recording identifies the lyricist and composer, include their roles in parentheses after the name:

Geisel, T. (Lyricist), & Hague, A. (Composer). (1966). Welcome
    Christmas! On Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas &
    Horton hears a Who
[CD]. New York, NY: Rhino.

Wesley, C. (Lyricist), & Mendelssohn, F. (Composer). (2006). Hark! The
    herald angels sing [Recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio]. On A
    Charlie Brown Christmas
[CD]. Beverly Hills, CA: Fantasy Records.

However, it’s not necessary to note the species if performers are non-Homo sapiens:

Bagdasarian, R., Sr. (1962). The chipmunk song [Recorded by D. Seville
    & The Chipmunks]. On Christmas with the Chipmunks [CD]. Los Angeles,
    CA: Capitol Records. (2002)

Burland, S. (1963). The chickens are in the chimes [Recorded by
    S. Burland, M. Adams, & The Skipjack Choir]. On The chickens are in
    the chimes
[Vinyl record]. New York, NY: RCA Victor.

Hayes, B., & Johnson, J. W. (1948). Blue Christmas [Recorded by S. Swine
    & The Squeelers]. On John Boy and Billy’s Christmas album [Audio
    cassette]. Nashville, TN: Arista Records. (1998)

Particularly with traditional holiday music, the author may be unknown. In that case, the title of the song moves to the author position:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen [Recorded by Jars of Clay]. (2007). On
    Christmas songs. Vancouver, Canada: Nettwerk.

I have a little dreidel [Recorded by Sister Hazel]. (2007). On Santa’s
    playlist. Newark, NJ: Rock Ridge Music.

Text Citations
For music recordings, the text citation consists of the songwriter(s) and date, along with the track number (or side and band, for vinyl records):

Lehrer (2000, track 11) noted that East St. Louis was not the optimal
spot for a celebration of Shavuot.

If the copyright date and recording date are different, use both dates in the text citation:

Bernard, F. & Smith, R. B. (1934). Winter wonderland [Recorded by
    The Eurythmics]. On A very special Christmas [CD]. Santa Monica,
    CA: A&M Records. (2006)

“Winter Wonderland” (Bernard & Smith, 1934/2006, track 5)

A Very Special APA Holiday
To all of our readers, we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous new year! You can listen to the entire playlist for this article on Spotify at APA Holiday.

This is the Album article style guide, which documents recommendations by the members of Wikiproject Albums. It is intended only as a guide, to assist in writing well-developed articles. There will be occasional reasons to modify or ignore some of the suggestions here and there are many sections which will not apply to many articles. Just use your best judgement and work together with other editors trying to improve coverage of albums.

General guidelines[edit]


Main page: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (music) § Bands, albums and songs

The article name should be the title of the album, disambiguated if necessary. Do not pre-emptively disambiguate. When there is no other encyclopedic use of the album title, the article should reside at the normal name, e.g. London Calling, not London Calling (album). In cases where disambiguation is needed, the term (EP) should be used for EPs, (video) for video albums and (album) for other albums, e.g. Help! (album) and Gas Food Lodging (EP). For multiple albums with the same title, use the artist name to distinguish the different albums, e.g. Down to Earth (Rainbow album) and Down to Earth (Ozzy Osbourne album). For artists who release multiple albums with the same name, disambiguate by year, e.g. Weezer (1994 album) and Weezer (2001 album) (unless the albums were released the same year, in which case they can be disambiguated by some commonly accepted convention).

For split albums of which there is no single official title, use the two artist names separated with two spaces and a forward slash, such as Isis / Pig Destroyer. The artist that is on the A-side (or whose tracks come first on a CD) should be placed first in the article name. If two bands release more than one split together and occupy the same sides on each release, disambiguate normally by year, adding, for example, (2000 album). If the split has two titles, one per side, use the same forward-slash formatting, such as Jihad / Freezing Moon.

If the album title uses the Latin alphabet, the article name should be at that title. Translations of titles in languages other than English should not be used as titles unless such a translation is commonly used as a title for the album in the English-speaking world. For example, Født til å Herske, not Born to Rule, Swanesang, not Swan Song, but Chant, not Canto because the album was marketed as "Chant" in most English-speaking countries.

If the album title does not use the Latin alphabet, the article name should be the transliterated form of the title using Latin characters. For example, Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, not Βρίσκω Το Λόγο Να Ζω (the name written in the Greek alphabet) or I Find the Reason to Live (the name translated from Greek into English), and Boku no Miteiru Fūkei, not 僕の見ている風景 or The Scenery I'm Looking At, but Common Jasmin Orange, not Qi li xiang, 七里香, or Seven Mile Fragrance because the English name "Common Jasmin Orange" appears on the album cover along with the Chinese name. The original language title should appear in parentheses (like this) in the opening line of the article following the transliteration.

See also: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)


Songs and singles are placed in "quotation marks", album titles are italicized and artists are left alone, with punctuation outside quotation marks, for example,

The songs "Taxman", "Eleanor Rigby", and "Yellow Submarine" are included on the Beatles' album Revolver.


For fuller information on this topic, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Composition titles and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music#Capitalization.

In titles of songs or albums in the English language, the Wikipedia standard is to capitalize:

  1. The first word and last word in the title.
  2. All other words except for:
  • Coordinating conjunctions – and, but, or, nor.
  • Prepositions shorter than five characters – of, to, in, for, on, over, with, than; but Through, About, During, Until
  • Articles – an, a, the.
  • The word to in infinitives.

Note that short verbs (Is, Are, Be, Do) and pronouns (Me, It, His) are capitalized.

In titles of songs or albums in a language other than English, the project standard is to use the capitalization utilized by that language, not the English capitalization. If you are unsure about the capitalization standards of other languages, check with a reliable third-party source, foreign-language Wikipedias or the appropriate WikiProject and language Manual of Style.


See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music § Names (definite article)

Mid-sentence, the word "the" should in general not be capitalized in continuous prose, even when it begins the name of a band. However, "the" should be capitalized mid-sentence when it begins the name of an album or other work:


Please try to add the year in parentheses after mentioning an album for the first time in an article or paragraph (unless the year is contained within the sentence) as in: "Nirvana's next album was the breakthrough classic Nevermind (1991)". Do not use piped links to "years in music" e.g. , instead add 1991 in music to the "See also" section if you feel it is appropriate, per WP:EASTEREGG.

Do not describe uncertain dates by using the season name, e.g. "released in winter, 1995". This can be ambiguous as northern and southern-hemisphere seasons occur at opposite times of the year. Instead, use the most accurate date possible, such as "February 1995" or "early 1995", if a more precise date cannot be verified.

Note that date styles differ according to different varieties of English and those should be respected in different articles. WP:ENGVAR explains the criteria by which an article is written in American, British, or Singaporean English (amongst others.) Similarly, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) governs the use and formatting of dates in all articles on Wikipedia and should be applied to album articles as well.

Disambiguating links[edit]

When linking genres and other terms in the article, be sure it points to the appropriate music-related article and not a disambiguation page. For example, rock should point to rock music and not rock; alternative should point to alternative rock and not alternative, a disambiguation page. Use piped links if necessary. Other terms to look out for are: pop music, band (musical ensemble), LP (gramophone record) and several more.

Linking to source material[edit]

Albums streamed on a licensed website (such as Radio3Net) or hosted on an official website, such as an official Myspace page or a band's or record company's own website, may have a link placed in the External links section according to Wikipedia guidelines. There should be a note regarding the media used ("Adobe Flash"), and that it may not be available in all regions ("streamed copy where licensed"). Care should be taken that the site is hosting the music legally; that it does not meet any of the criteria for links to be avoided; that, as a minimum, the site is accessible by the main English regions North America, UK and Australia; and that the link is formatted appropriately. Suggested formats are:

It is recommended that "" is placed beside the link, and that a comment is made in the edit summary such as "External links: [[WP:ELYES]]#2; [[WP:MUSICSTREAM]]"

Top of the article[edit]

Wiki tags[edit]

In compliance with WP:LEAD, the area preceding the infobox of album articles is reserved for Wikipedia-related tags and templates when applicable. Hatnotes and disambiguation links should be the first component of the article; if the reader has arrived at an article by mistake, navigational aid should be the first thing they see. Maintenance and other template messages should be placed immediately after any hatnotes.


Main page: Template:Infobox album

After a single line break, with no additional spacing from either the top of the text box or a Wiki tag, is where the {{Infobox album}} template belongs. To avoid unknowingly using an incomplete or improper album infobox, it is recommended to copy and paste directly from the template documentation linked above and not from another album article that may not be using the template correctly.


General advice for how to layout the lead is given in WP:LEAD. The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the album. It should explain why the album is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies. The notability of the album is usually established in the first few sentences. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the album, according to reliable, published sources. Apart from basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article. As a general rule of thumb, the lead section should contain no more than four well-composed paragraphs and be carefully sourced as appropriate. Facts to consider including along with the album title are: the name of the artist(s), the music genre of the album if discussed in the article, the release date and record label—wikilink when possible. If the album has an extended subtitle that's not being used in the page name, or an alternatively used title, the lead is an appropriate place to mention this (see The Beatles, Hellbilly Deluxe 2). It is generally accepted to refer to albums in chronological order in discographies where this would be applicable (Nirvana's debut album, Bob Dylan's fourth album, etc.).

Article body[edit]

The following is a list of possible sections that could be included in an album article. Because not all albums are the same, it would be difficult to create a uniform list of mandatory sections, but it is generally preferred to have sections that are prose-heavy at the beginning and sections that are lists or tables (track listing, personnel, sales chart performance, etc.) toward the end. Only create sections for which information is available. For example: if there is only enough information to write a single sentence regarding an album's title, consider merging with a relevant section such as artwork or lyrics. If there is enough information about an album's title to write a well-sourced detailed piece using multiple paragraphs, then it may be worth designating its own section. Feel free to express your creativity and ignore all of the rules at any time you wish!


It should not be assumed that the reader is familiar with the artist's history and/or previously released albums. If it's necessary to put these items into context for the reader to further his understanding of later content in the article, a background section is suggested. This section should discuss previous occasions in the artist's history and important events that had an impact on the album. For a band or musical ensemble, this could include the gaining and loss of group members or a notable changing of record labels. What did the artist do between this album and the last? Did the artist create a solo project that may have impacted the recording of this album? See Adore (The Smashing Pumpkins album) and In Utero (album).

Musical style, writing, composition[edit]

There is rarely enough information for songs and singles to all have their own individual articles (see WP:NSONGS). It is recommended to merge already existing articles for songs that have little more than an infobox and a music video description into a relevant album article.

See also: Wikipedia:WikiProject Songs

Recording, production[edit]

Who is the producer? What other works of art is this producer known for? Keep the list of other works short, as the producer will likely have his own article with a more complete list. Has the producer previously worked with this artist before? Where was the album produced, and how long did it take to record? Were there any unique or standout recording techniques used during production (such as Phil Spector and his famed use of an echo chamber)? Was the cost of recording especially high or low? Were there any innovative uses of technology?

Artwork, packaging[edit]

Music albums are composed of not just the songs themselves, but different styles of packaging and artwork that help create a visual statement to accompany the recording. A section can be created that explains the process of creating visuals and branding for an album, including any controversial content. Note that pictures of liner notes and album art must comply with fair use guidelines.

Release, promotion, marketing[edit]

The date an album or song was leaked onto the Internet is not notable unless it results in some other action that is notable, such as being directly responded to by the musical artist or their management, or the leak itself receiving broad media coverage. Do not add leak dates to articles unless a notable consequence of the leak can be properly sourced to the same regular, reliable media sources that would be expected for any other content in the article. A website that announces album or song leaks but contains no other content (such as is not an appropriate source under the requirements of WP:RS.


Concert tours are not always notable enough to warrant stand-alone articles (see WP:NMG#Concert tours). Instead, information about notable tours and festivals should be incorporated into either the artist's page, or the album article for which the tour is supporting. Do not list all dates here, instead mention the range of dates (ex. June–September 1992). Aspects of concerts to be mentioned could include: financial and commercial success, other bands on the tour, stage set-up (lights, props, backdrop, etc.) and notable on-stage guest appearances.

See also: Wikipedia:WikiProject Concert Tours

Critical reception[edit]

A section should be dedicated to an overview of the critical reception of the album, as documented by reliable secondary sources such as reviews, books, or reputable articles that discuss the album. Be sure to note minority opinions as well, properly cited. Also, the way that the album affected the cultural consciousness of a society or culture should be included to further establish notability.

Professional reviews may include only reviews written by professional music journalists or DJs, or found within any online or print publication having a (paid or volunteer) editorial and writing staff (which excludes personal blogs). The standard for inclusion always is that the review meet Wikipedia's guideline for reliable sources and that the source be independent of the artist, record company, etc. A list of some sources of professional reviews is available at WP:ALBUM/SOURCES. Lists can be considered as another source of reviews as to notability but due to their proliferation and the dubious value of some lists (e.g. the fictional Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Punk Rock Albums of the Early 1980s), they are to be held to a higher standard. Lists should not be a simple enumeration but to be cited should include prose.

Album ratings template[edit]

Main page: Template:Album ratings

The bulk of the information should be in prose format, though the text may be supplemented with the {{Album ratings}} template, as a summary of professional reviews in table form. The template is not to be a substitute for a section in paragraph form, since a review cannot be accurately boiled down to a simple rating out of five stars or other scoring system. If an article is lacking a reception section in prose, but the information is presented in table format, you may optionally add the parameter to the template to flag the section for expansion.

Include no more than ten reviews in table form. When choosing which reviews to include, consider the notability of the review source and keeping a neutral point of view. For older albums, try to include not just contemporary but also some more recent reviews.


Accolades are prestigious awards given to an album by publications and associations. This could include an album of the year award or some other kind of recognition. Care should be taken when adding accolades. Some album of the year lists are given alphabetically, in which case the numerical ranking will have no true value, and others are compiled by user submissions instead of the publication's staff members.

Track listing[edit]

Links should only be created to song articles that don't exist if the song merits the creation of an article per the notability guidelines at Wikipedia:Notability (music)#Songs.

A track listing should generally be formatted as a numbered list.

  1. "Complete song title" (John Doe, Brian Smith) – 4:23
    • First verse: Name of rapper
    • Second verse: Name of rapper
    • Samples: Name of sample source (preferably including artist, song, and album)
  2. "Complete song title" (Doe, Kelly Kalamazoo) – 3:24
  3. "Complete song title" (Doe, Kalamazoo, Smith, David Whitman) – 2:34

In more complicated situations, a table or the {{Track listing}} template may be a better choice. If a table is used, it should be formatted using class="wikitable", using column headings "No.", "Title" and "Length" for the track number, the track title and the track length, respectively (see Help:Table).

Track names should be in quotes in the track listing and in the rest of the article. A track that is a medley of multiple songs should be inside one set of quotes, like this: "Song 1/Song 2". Untitled tracks should be listed as Untitled (without quotes). If a track has an article of its own, the track name should link to that article.

Note the standard method of attributing songwriters—write (and link) the full name the first time it appears, and then just give the last name (unless the first initial or entire first name is necessary to disambiguate it, as in the Gallagher brothers of Oasis, or Brad and Brett Warren of The Warren Brothers). If all songs were written by the same person or team, this can be stated at the top as "All songs were written by Gordon Gano." If several songs were written by the same person or team, this can be stated as "All songs were written by Gordon Gano, except where noted" or "All tracks written by Dwight Yoakam; 'Nothing' and 'Heart of Stone' co-written by Kostas."

Track lengths should be included for each track. Use a spaced en dash (–) rather than a hyphen (-) as a dividing horizontal punctuation mark before the track length. (Note that they may both look the same in the edit box.) You can insert it from the special character list below the edit box (see Help:Special characters) or copy and paste it from here. You can also add it by writing – HTML entity to the edit box (like this "–") but this makes the code less readable. If you think that this is too difficult, you can still use a hyphen, and hope that someone is going to change it into a dash. This holds true both in "Track listing" and "Personnel" sections.

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Dashes

Particularly for hip hop albums, it is helpful to list which members of a group (or guests) rap on which verses as well as mentioning sampling sources. Certain collaborative albums can employ a similar style, for instance, The Chieftains album Tears of Stone features a guest vocalist for each track.

The track listing should be under a primary heading named "Track listing". If there are significantly different track listings for different editions, these can be listed under sub-headings. If the album was released primarily on CD and spans multiple discs, these should be listed separately under sub-headings named "Disc one", "Disc two" and so on. Albums originally released primarily on vinyl or cassette should similarly list the tracks of each side separately under sub-headings named "Side one" and "Side two". For albums that were originally released on multiple discs, either CD or vinyl, the track numberings should start at 1 for each disc, like this, as opposed to continuous numbering, like this.

An example of the "Disc one"/"Disc two" type track listing follows:

Disc one
  1. "First Song" – 34:11
  2. "Track 2" – 15:10
Disc two
  1. "Third Time's a Charm" – 53:19

Some albums come with deluxe editions, bonus tracks, or extra discs in re-releases. These bonus tracks can be formatted in a similar way to the example above. The track listing for the R.E.M. album Accelerate gives an example of adding bonus tracks to a track listing.

Track listing examples[edit]

The following examples all show the track listing for Before These Crowded Streets by Dave Matthews Band, using each of the methods discussed above.

Numbered/nested list

  1. "Pantala Naga Pampa" (Dave Matthews) – 0:40
  2. "Rapunzel" (Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Carter Beauford) – 6:00
  3. "The Last Stop" (Matthews, Lessard) – 6:57
  4. "Don't Drink the Water" (Matthews) – 7:01
  5. "Stay (Wasting Time)" (Matthews, Lessard, LeRoi Moore) – 5:35
    • Guest musicians: Tawatha Agee, Cindy Myzell, Brenda White King
  6. "Halloween" (Matthews) – 5:07
  7. "The Stone" (Matthews) – 7:28
    • Guest musicians: D'earth, Kronos Quartet
  8. "Crush" (Matthews) – 8:09
  9. "The Dreaming Tree" (Matthews, Lessard) – 8:48
  10. "Pig" (Matthews, Lessard, Beauford, Moore, Boyd Tinsley) – 6:57
  11. "Spoon" (Matthews) – 7:33
    • Guest musicians: Morissette, Fleck

{{Track listing}} template

1."Pantala Naga Pampa"Dave Matthews 0:40
2."Rapunzel"Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Carter BeaufordButch Taylor6:00
3."The Last Stop"Matthews, LessardBéla Fleck6:57
4."Don't Drink the Water"MatthewsAlanis Morissette, Fleck7:01
5."Stay (Wasting Time)"Matthews, Lessard, LeRoi MooreTawatha Agee, Cindy Myzell, Brenda White King5:35
6."Halloween"MatthewsMorissette, John D'earth, Kronos Quartet5:07
7."The Stone"MatthewsD'earth, Kronos Quartet7:28
9."The Dreaming Tree"Matthews, LessardGreg Howard8:48
10."Pig"Matthews, Lessard, Beauford, Moore, Boyd Tinsley 6:57
11."Spoon"MatthewsMorissette, Fleck7:33


No.TitleWriter(s)Guest musician(s)Length
1."Pantala Naga Pampa"Dave Matthews0:40
2."Rapunzel"Matthews, Stefan Lessard, Carter BeaufordButch Taylor6:00
3."The Last Stop"Matthews, LessardBéla Fleck6:57
4."Don't Drink the Water"MatthewsAlanis Morissette, Fleck7:01
5."Stay (Wasting Time)"Matthews, Lessard, LeRoi MooreTawatha Agee, Cindy Myzell, Brenda White King5:35
6."Halloween"MatthewsMorissette, John D'earth, Kronos Quartet5:07
7."The Stone"MatthewsD'earth, Kronos Quartet7:28
9."The Dreaming Tree"Matthews, LessardGreg Howard8:48
10."Pig"Matthews, Lessard, Beauford, Moore, Boyd Tinsley6:57
11."Spoon"MatthewsMorissette, Fleck7:33


A personnel section should be included under a primary heading "Personnel" and should generally be formatted as a bulleted list of names and forms of participation, with spaced en dashes between the two (see track listing section). The names should always be linked if an article exists. The forms of participation (for example instruments) should be written in lowercase (except for proper nouns such as Hammond organ or Dobro), delimited by commas, and linked on the first occurrence only. Remember to pipe the links if needed. Note that "bass" can commonly refer to either a bass guitar or a double bass and should be linked accordingly. Do not link common instruments (see WP:OVERLINK). Wikilinks may be omitted if the instrument is unlikely to have its own article (such as Paul Franklin's "Pedabro").

  • Johnny Bee – guitar
  • Sally Morris – glockenspiel, guitar, organ, kazoo
  • Mike Yaris – producer

Note that the format used here is "[Name] – [instrument]" (Johnny Bee – guitar). Do not use the format "[Name] – [role]" (such as "Johnny Bee – guitarist"). This means that you should employ "guitars" rather than "guitarist". Also, do not use parentheses in the format that AllMusic uses—"steel guitar", not "guitar (steel)".

If the number of participants is longer than 20, the list should be divided with a column template such as Div col or col-begin. In instances where there are several contributors to an album, it may be useful to delineate different groups using sub-headings. To create these sub-headings, use the equal sign (=) followed by the text for different types of performers or technical personnel. An example follows below:

Johnny and the Bees

Additional musicians

Technical personnel

  • Jim Audio – mastering
  • The Nobodys – producer
  • Mike Yaris – producer (on "Song #1")
  • Jane Zebulon – artwork

There is no standard format for how these different types of groupings should be arranged—let circumstance dictate how to best present this information. In the case of an album released by a band, it might be useful to have the band members separated from other musicians and technical personnel. In cases where there are several artists who have created the sleeve and liner notes, a separate section may be useful for artwork. If an album has been re-released in a deluxe or modified edition, separating the personnel from different releases can make the personnel section more intelligible. It's generally preferable to list the album's personnel in the same order that they are listed on the album packaging; however, local consensus may instead determine to list them in another order.

If citing from AllMusic, do not include "composer" credits. The "composer" field on AllMusic is merely a reiteration of the songwriters included on the album, so including it is redundant to the songwriter credits in the track listing. Also, do not include redundant credits such as "musician". Furthermore, many AllMusic listings are incomplete or contain typos, so it may be preferable to use other sources when verifying musicians.

In some instances, an album will have a wide variety of performers from track to track. In these cases, it is helpful to list which songs feature which performers. This can be done in one of two ways: by listing the song's name and then giving a list of performers, or by providing a single list of performers which notes parenthetically which songs feature this musician. Here is a by-song example of the first method:

"Song #1"

  • Johnny Bee – guitar
  • Sally Morris – glockenspiel, guitar, organ, kazoo
  • Mike Yaris – producer

"Song #2"

  • Johnny Bee – guitar
  • Tom Example – guitar
  • Jane Fake – hurdy-gurdy
  • The Nobodys – producer

And here is an example of a single unified list:

  • Johnny Bee – guitar
  • Tom Example – guitar (on "Song #2")
  • Jane Fake – hurdy-gurdy (on "Song #2")
  • Sally Morris – glockenspiel, guitar, organ, kazoo (on "Song #1")
  • The Nobodys – producer (on "Song #2")
  • Mike Yaris – producer (on "Song #1")

Note that in the second example, since Johnny Bee plays guitar throughout the album, he is not credited "guitar (on 'Song #1' and 'Song #2')" but simply with "guitar". It is only necessary to use this notation for performers who do not play their instrument(s) throughout the album. Let clarity, necessity, and utility to the reader guide how you lay out information like this—if a single list is likely to be less confusing, then use it; if a track-by-track breakdown is helpful, use that. Different styles will be employed on different articles for their individual needs and it is not necessary to try to impose a single method of listing performers on every album article. Consider using song titles instead of the format "Tom Example – guitar (on 2, 5, and 8)"; this is particularly recommended when different editions of an album have different track listings.

The credits to an album can be extensive or sparse. Some albums have credits for members of management teams, web designers, and artists and repertoire representatives who have little if anything to do with the creation of an album. Additionally, sometimes liner notes can have long lists of thank yous to individuals who were completely unrelated. These unrelated individuals should not be listed—only report musical and technical personnel who had some direct involvement in the creation of the recording or artwork itself. This can include performers, photographers and graphic artists, painters and illustrators, liner note authors, engineers, producers, audio mixing and mastering specialists, and more. Conversely, some albums do not specify which musicians played on which tracks, or do not credit by instrument at all; in such cases, cite specific tracks or instruments only when a reliable source confirms it. For instance, Caitlyn Smith sings background vocals on "All the Pretty Girls", but this is credited neither on AllMusic nor in the album's liner notes. Also, Hard Times on Easy Street includes a list of contributing musicians, but does not specify instruments at all.

Note also that some liner notes are vague or inaccurate—in such cases, cite reliable secondary sources to inform readers of who was actually responsible for creating the album. For instance, My Chartreuse Opinion by Scott McCaughey and the Minus 5 lists Bob Dylan as a drummer in what is clearly a joke; it would not be appropriate to actually include this reference, nor to add this album to the Bob Dylan discography. Similarly, the Dylan album Street-Legal uses some vague titles for some of the contributors—producer Don DeVito is listed as "Captain in Charge". In this instance, it's not clear what some of the contributors actually did, so providing these titles with an explanatory note on their nature is the best information we can provide the reader. Secondary sources outlining how they actually contributed to the recordings should be sought for clarity.


Main page: Wikipedia:Record charts

If an album has successfully charted on any country's top albums charts, such as the US Billboard 200 or the UK Albums Chart, a section should be made displaying the chart information. If an album charts in only one or two countries, a table may not be necessary, but is still acceptable.

WP:GOODCHARTS is a list compiled of charting information that can be referenced. Each ranking should have an associated reference to the chart it is taken from or the searchable archive where the information can be obtained.

The template {{Albumchart}} exists to help you create an ordered and structured representation of an album's appearances on sales charts.


An album that achieves a certain amount of sales or shipments to retailers within a country receives an award in the form of a certification. An album's certification can be worked into the body of the article, or a table can be created if an album has achieved multiple certifications. If done as a table, certifications may be included by using {{Certification Table Top}}, {{Certification Table Entry}}, {{Certification Table Summary}}, and {{Certification Table Bottom}}, which can also add automatic sourcing and categorize the album, but this is not required. {{Certification}} may be used with individual certification entries.

For more information about certifications in the different countries, see List of music recording sales certifications.

Release history[edit]

Albums are often released on different dates, on different labels, and on different formats in different regions. This information can be included in a table. Note that the infobox should only include the first release date and label.

Bottom of the article[edit]


Placing a {{Reflist}} template at the bottom of the article will collect all of the inline citations that have been placed within <ref> </ref> tags. It is recommended to use citation templates that automatically format the reference correctly. In situations where print media such as books and magazines are heavily used, a shortened footnotes reference system is suggested. In situations where too many large citations makes editing a difficult task, a list-defined reference system will collect the bulk of the reference coding at the bottom of the article.

Take care in identifying reliable sources that are added to articles. User generated websites and other wiki-type websites such as Discogs or Rate Your Music should never be used as sources. Social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter should rarely be used. If the information on sites such as these is truly noteworthy, established publications will likely write about it. For a suggested list of good sources for album articles, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources.

External links[edit]

Album articles may contain an external links section of links to relevant external resources about the album. Links to resources about the artist rather than the album do not need to be included here, as these should be linked from the artist's article instead. Links to individual reviews shouldn't be included here; instead, add prose describing the reviews to a "Reception" section and link the reviews in citations. Appropriate links may include links to chords or lyrics for the tracks on the album. Note however that lyrics may be protected by copyright, and external resources that reprint lyrics may be violating that copyright, in which case they should not be linked.


Main page: Template:Navbox musical artist

If the artist already has a navbox, add it after the external links section but before the list of categories. If the artist has a significant collection of releases and/or related articles, and does not yet have an existing navbox, the documentation for creating this template is in the above link. Because this tool is a navigational aid, it is not recommended to add releases that do not have existing articles.


Per WP:CATEGORY, an album may be categorized by a characteristic (such as producer, composer, record-label, etc.) only if it is a defining characteristic of the album (i.e. reliable, secondary sources commonly and consistently define the album as having the characteristic—not just mention it in passing or for completeness).

  • Year-of-release is normally a defining characteristic for every album. For other characteristics, if an album is defined by a particular characteristic, then it is likely that the object of the characteristic (e.g. "albums produced by X") will be notable in that capacity and qualify (per WP:NOTABLE and WP:MUSIC) for its own Wikipedia article: if such an article does not exist, then the characteristic is probably not defining.
  • Consensus is that "Albums produced by X" categories should not be included unless that particular producer worked on a significant portion of the album.
  • Where a team of people is credited for a characteristic (e.g. composer, producer), the official credit must not be split into multiple categories for individual team members.[1] So, for example, if Y is a member of an album's production team X, categorization may not be as 'albums produced by Y'; 'albums produced by X' might however, be included as a related category of 'albums produced by Y', or the album might be categorized directly as 'Y' (perhaps in addition to 'albums produced by X').
    • If Producers X and Y worked on the entire album together, but those producers have never taken on a "team" credit, then it is acceptable to categorize the album as being produced by both. (For instance, Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson often co-produced albums in the 1990s, but their co-productions never had a unified credit, and both have significant solo production credits.)
  • For an example of where a characteristic might warrant split-categorization, consider an album that is defined as being "a world-wide commercial success"; in this case, as there is no world-wide sales certification body, several categorizations may be made per appropriate national or regional sales certification bodies.
  • Characteristics that commonly define one class of album might not define another class of album. E.g. 'conducted-by' commonly defines classical-music albums but rarely, if ever, defines rock-music albums. 'Produced-by' sometimes defines pop- and rock-music albums, but rarely defines classical-music albums. Large record-label companies don't often qualify as a defining characteristic of an album; small, specialized record-labels however, may.
  • If the above seems to disallow grouping articles as you think they should be, consider using an alternative mechanism such as a list-article (see WP:CLN).

See also: Help:Category

Current categories[edit]

Click the "►" below to see all subcategories:

The major "top-level" categories are as follows:

Artist name and date of release[edit]

Most album articles should be placed in the two categories, and , which should be sub-categories of the respective top-level category. Note that all albums are required to be subcategorized by date into the most specific category that you can find under Category:Albums by year or Category:Albums by decade. (For our purposes, album dates are determined by release, not recording. Thus, A Love Supreme belongs under Category:1965 albums, as it was released in February of that year and not Category:1964 albums, even though it was recorded on December 9 of that year.) If you cannot determine the exact year in which an album was released, that article should also be placed into the maintenance category Category:Album articles without a by-year category. All albums should also be subcategorized by artist. If there is no category for that artist, then one should be created—these artist categories are themselves categorized by artist nationality and genre. For consistency, the artist name should be the same as the title of their article (in terms of punctuation, "&"/"and", use of "The", etc.) In exceptional cases, album by artist categories should be omitted—the most common case being various artist compilations, which will not be credited to any one artist. Note that split albums should be categorized by the contributing artists, though.

For example, Reign in Blood by Slayer was released in 1986 so it has the categories Category:Slayer albums and Category:1986 albums. To add it to these categories, you would place the following code at the bottom of the article:

[[Category:1986 albums]] [[Category:Slayer albums]]

Category:Slayer albums is a sub-category of Category:Albums by artist, Category:Albums by American artists (which is a sub-category of Category:Albums by artist nationality) and Category:Thrash metal albums (which is a sub-sub-sub-category of Category:Albums by genre). Category:1986 albums is a sub-category of Category:Albums by year.

Note that albums are only categorized according to the artist who is credited with the release. Consequently, Kind of Blue is categorized under Category:Miles Davis albums and not Category:John Coltrane albums, even though Coltrane is a sideman appearing on that recording. Similarly, Led Zeppelin II is categorized under Category:Led Zeppelin albums and not Category:Robert Plant albums as Plant was a member of Led Zeppelin at the time—the latter category is only for his solo work.

Previous discussions have formed the consensus that a category for an artist's albums should be created even if they have only released one album (irrespective of whether they are likely to release more in the future). Please ensure that every category you create belongs to at least one other category, otherwise, it cannot be navigated to and will be listed at Special:Uncategorizedcategories.

Album type[edit]

Albums should not be directly categorized by type, so categories such as Category:Remix albums and Category:Video albums should be diffused to keep from getting too large to navigate.

Note that categories of albums by year can also be subdivided into specific categories where appropriate: Category:Compilation albums by year (which also contains Category:Greatest hits albums by year), Category:EPs by year, Category:Remix albums by year, Category:Soundtracks by year, and Category:Video albums by year. There are also schemes for categorizing Christmas albums by year (Category:Christmas albums by year) and debut albums by year (Category:Debut albums by year.)

Artist nationality[edit]

Album articles should never be categorized directly under Category:Albums by artist nationality—this is only a container category for other categories such as Category:Albums by Canadian artists. Subcategories of this scheme will usually only contain categories themselves: for instance, Category:Rush (band) albums

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