I was wondering if there is a popular music analogue to the Internet Movie Database. My suspicion is that there is not, because it seems like it would be a massive, massive undertaking. But, on the off chance that something like this exists, I figured I’d post the question.
The thought came to me the other day when I was making up some playlists in iTunes. I was making one for all of my Mark Knopfler-related music, and I wondered if there was somewhere I could go which would give me not only a discography, but would also list music that he has contributed to (like the “Weird Al” song “Beverly Hillbillies” or Buddy Guy’s “Where is the Next One Coming From”), or songs that he wrote for other artists (like “Private Dancer” for Tina Turner). It would be really nice if there was one site where I could enter someone’s name and get a list of all popular music they had recorded, written, produced, contributed to, etc.
I will third allmusic.com; and, since that choice has already been noted, I will add Rate Your Music. It has information about bootlegs and independent releases that allmusic lacks, but it relies heavily on content provided by users so coverage may vary.
http://www.discogs.com/ is a bit narrower than allmusic (which I think is pretty poor), but it is structured a little more like IMDB, in that you can follow links for artists, members of bands, songs, etc. It also has more information than you probably need on pressings, versions of records, etc.
Hmm… having posted that, I managed to check the site I recommended, and weirdly, for some bands it’s ridiculously detailed - going into every bootleg variation and differently tinted centre labels on international pressings - and for others, it’s useless, with hardly any information and lots of it being wrong.
Wikipedia’s not bad for major artists, but I wish they’d include a link to comprehensive discographies if they’re available online.
I use wikipedia more these days, but allmusic is more similar to an imdb for music. Another tool to keep in mind is the Gracenote database. It’s not a website to read or browse, but if you want to see a complete list of bootlegs for an artist, it is probably the most comprehensive site for all artists (as opposed to a fan site for a particular artist).
Although not exactly what the OP is asking for, I use songfacts.com on an occasional basis. The top comments are somewhat vetted/verified, while the lower comments are unfiltered posts. You can look up songs or artists.