"Downtown" written by Neil Young and not by Danny Whitten

Roon considers these two songs as corresponding to the same composition:

  • “Downtown” (written by Neil Young) from the album “Mirror Ball”
  • “Downtown” (written by Danny Whitten and Neil Young) from the album “Crazy Horse” (by Crazy Horse)

The second one actually corresponds to the song “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” (written by Danny Whitten and Neil Young) which can be found in at least two different Neil Young albums (Tonight’s the Night, Live at the Fillmore East), but not in “Mirror Ball” (in which the “Downtown” title corresponds to another song).

Thank you for correcting this.


Hi Thierry,

Thank you for correcting this
[/quote] Hmm… Actually, this is a rather difficult fix and one that I’m reluctant to prioritize at this time. You see, there are very few compositions of the same name by the same composers(s); fundamentally, that’s why our composition merging works at all.

The problem here is that there is bad metadata out there. An example I may have used before is the song “America”. There is a single track in our metadata with the following composers (how on earth it got all these attributions I do not know):

  • Carlos Alamaran
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • “Fast” Eddie Clarke
  • Neil Diamond
  • Antonin Dvorák
  • Sammy Johns
  • Lemmy Kilmister
  • Paul Simon
  • Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor
  • Jason Timoll

That represents the composers of virtually every major composition called “America”! Although most track metadata is good enough, can you imagine what would happen if all we did was a simple merge on composer and track names?! Every track called “America” by any of these artists would be merged into the same composition. So, to avoid having to spend our time getting every single bad attribution corrected (we have ~80 million tracks in the DB now), we do it smarter and attempt to spot these problems algorithmically.

What’s likely happening in your case is that we’re noticing that the majority of tracks called “Downtown” composed by Neil Young are composed by him alone, so we reject Danny Whitten as potentially bad metadata. It’s unfortunate that a shortened title is being used in this case; as I said above, it’s very unusual.

If it’s not a TIDAL album, can I suggest that you employ WORK + PART + COMPOSER tags to sort this one out locally? I suggest:

WORK = Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown
PART = 1
COMPOSER = Neil Young; Danny Whitten

I’d be grateful if you let me know how you get on here. If you don’t have another version in your library, then Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown won’t match up with the composition in our metadata cloud, but you should I hope be able to split out the second composition from the first.


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Hi Joel

Thanks a lot for your answer and explanations. I understand that this is probably a very particular case. But the workaround you suggest is ok for me!

The tags for this file are now the following:

TITLE = Downtown
COMPOSER = Neil Young; Danny Whitten
WORK = Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown
PART = 1

In the Album’s Metadata Preference window, I selected “Prefer File” for Composition/Part Grouping.
Then I re-scanned the album.

And now it’s ok! Now the “Downtown” title is correctly identified as corresponding to the “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown”'s composition by Neil Young and Danny Whitten (I have 4 other versions of this title, and the “Downtown” version is now correctly associated with these other versions).

I thought that this workaround would solve all my composition problems (i.e., I thought that, for any title that would not be automatically associated to its composition, this would be the way to “force” the association).

But unfortunately, it is not the case.

I did the same as you suggest for a title (“The Musical Box”) which is on “The Total Experience Live in Liverpool” album of Steve Hackett, and for which I have 6 different versions, 5 of which merged in the same composition. But this Steve Hackett version is not identified as a composition by Roon.

I completed the tags as follows:
TITLE = The Musical Box
COMPOSER = Tony Banks; Phil Collins; Mike Rutherford; Peter Gabriel; Steve Hackett
WORK = The Musical Box
PART = 1

But for this title, completing the WORK and PART tags didn’t change anything. The Steve Hackett version of “The Musical Box” is still not identified as a composition, and I cannot associate it with the other versions of the title that I have.

So, where is the difference between the Crazy Horse version of “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” (named “Downtown” on their album), and the Steve Hackett version of “The Musical Box”?
The only difference I see is that the “Downtown” title is considered as a composition by Roon (even if it was a wrong one), while “The Musical Box” (Hackett’s version) is not.

It seems that the correction is only possible for titles that are considered by Roon as compositions. For the titles that are not considered as compositions, nothing can be done to associate them to an existing composition.

Am I right?

And so, I repeat a request that I made in another thread (“What constitutes a composition?”): When Roon doesn’t identify a title as a composition (and because of that doesn’t merge it to an existing composition of the same title), we should be able to associate this title to the composition manually. Can we expect to see this possibility added in Roon in the future?

Thank you again for your reply, and let me add this: I love Roon, and let me congratulate you for this great program!