History:Release Artist Style Proposal

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Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-42
Champion: None
Current status: Looking for a Champion

Trac ticket # 2143

Style for determining Release Artists

Main guidelines

In most cases, you should be able to find the correct ReleaseArtist with a few simple rules (be sure you read the PrimaryArtist page):

  1. For a SingleArtistRelease (a release that have all tracks performed by the same PrimaryArtist), the ReleaseArtist must be that PrimaryArtist.
  2. For a VariousArtistsRelease which are compilations by multiple unrelated artists, the ReleaseArtist must be VariousArtists.
  3. For a VariousArtistsRelease where there is a main artist that delivers a substantial performance, the ReleaseArtist needs to be set to this artist. Generally, this artist is featured prominently on the release sleeve.
  4. Classical music obey different rules: you should check ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle.

[no artist]

What if absolutely no artist is credited for the release?

Some releases just don't have a performer of discographic relevance credited. For them the SpecialPurposeArtist No Artist is to be used.

This is usually appropriate for discs consisting of bird songs, etc.

Please be aware though, that NoArtist should neither be used as a convenient "drop-zone" when you just don't know who the artist is, nor as a simple replacement for other SpecialPurposeArtists, or in place of a FictitiousArtists.

But still, somebody made that disc, right (some engineer/producer)?

True, they produced it, or maybe recorded it. You should credit these artists for that role, by the means of the appropriate AdvancedRelationship. That still doesn't make them the ReleaseArtist, and the release should still be filed under no artist.


I have that Release (I lost the sleeve) I don't know who the PrimaryArtist is. What should I do?

Research it (on the web), so you find out the information :-)

I found the sleeve after all, and really, that's a cheesy release without performer information... What should I do?

Assuming you did really searched for it, in such a case you may use the SpecialPurposeArtist UnknownArtist to file it.

Though, please be sure you're not misusing UnknownArtist when indeed you should use a FictitiousArtist, or one of the SpecialPurposeArtists.

What about... ?

I have a boxset in which each disc is by a different artist. Should I set the ReleaseArtist to VariousArtists for all discs?

No. Each disc should have as ReleaseArtist the PrimaryArtist corresponding to the disc. The reason is that in MusicBrainz, you relate artists to discs, not artists to sets of discs.

I also have that one cd containing different tracks from two different artists ("A" and "B"), and the cd itself is advertised as from "A & B"...

What about that double-cd published under the title "Some Title", which couples together two releases from two different artists?

Look, that cheesy bootleg I have is credited to artist "A", but everybody knows it's indeed from artist "B"! What should I do?

A single for a TV series that has more than two artists collaborating on the primary tracks

e.g. セキレイ


  1. Abbey Road by the Beatles.
    • Greatest Hits III by Queen. Although there are some tracks by Freddie Mercury and Brian May (members of the band Queen) and collaborations from Queen with other artists, this is considered to be a Greatest Hits release for Queen.
    • Alles Gute: Die Singles 1982-2002 (disc 1) and (disc 2) is a collection of the singles of Nena - the band and herself. Disc 1 contains a track from a band she was in before and disc 2 contains a track from a collaboration of her and Westbam. Though the whole collection is considered to be a Nena release.
    • Heroes of Hardcore: DJ Lady Dana is a DJ-Mix by Lady Dana. Therefore, the Release Artist is set to her.
    • Phil Spector's Back to Mono 1958-1969 box set which he variously produced, composed, performed, arranged etc. tracks on but doesn't appear as a track artist on any particular track.
    • All tracks on disc 2 from the box set Eric Burdon & The Animals are credited to the Animals; the Release Artist, however, is Eric Burdon.