Talk:Odd Release

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Discussion about OddReleases

This page discusses OddReleases. Related entries in this discussion should probably be moved out into separate pages, e.g. TrackSections, and then listed under CurrentProblems.

Examples of releases that are hard to categorise:

  • Unclear what's so difficult about Beetlebum (Anniversary Box) - it's listed as a Single, which is only a little odd. Perhaps the link is old and was re-used? @alex

Two CDs that have a single "song", split into TrackSections with the help of IndexMarks:

How should MusicBrainz handle multi-part track names? For example, take Pawn Hearts by Van Der Graaf Generator ( Seems like a pretty short album... except the last track is a half an hour long. As written on the CD, here is the track listing:

  1. Lemmings (Including Cog)
  2. Man-Erg
  3. A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers
  • a) Eyewitness b) Pictures/­Lighthouse c) Eyewitness d) S.H.M. e) Presence Of The Light f) Kosmos Tours g) (Custard's) Last Stand h) The Clot Thickens i) Lands End (Sineline) j) We Go Now

So.... What do I do with it? Right Now, I just have the track title. Obviously, we are missing a major part of the title. Other albums like this include In the Court of The Crimson King (King Crimson), and Do You Wonder (Shawn Phillips). What are your suggestions?

  • Follow the style suggested in the ClassicalMusicFAQ:
    • Main Title: Subtitle
    So each part of the larger work should be in the form:
    • Plague of Lighthouse Keepers: Subtitle

I believe that is the solution to the opposite problem (TrackGroupings) i.e. a single musical unit spread across multiple tracks. In this case a single track contains multiple TrackSections, possibly completely different songs (I'm not familiar with this particular release, though I have similar albums e.g. Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys or Space by the KLF)

Some albums have a HiddenTrack that is a PregapTrack, i.e. a track that is part of track 1, but because it is considered part of the track gap is not played (or ripped) when you rip track 1. There have been discussions about this on the MailingList in January and August and there's an RFE on the support list to add support for a "track 0" in the database, but until then, these hidden tracks should be entered as non-album tracks and an annotation should be made to the originating album.

How should MB handle Internet-only releases? "Alternate Dimension Series 1" by "Steve Coleman and Five Elements" is available as a free-for-download CD release on the artists' home page Here are the issues:

  1. Is the release type "Album" or "Other"?
  2. Is the release status "Official" or "Promotion"?
  3. Does it make sense to generate a DiscID for an Internet-only release?

For now, I've marked this as "Other" and "Official". The current entry includes a DiscID.

This is also true of "Melodies from Mars" by Aphex Twin which was released directly via Napster by Aphex Twin himself. Theoretically there would be no discids, because it was never released on CD. Any discid would be home-burned copies. Its currently set to "Other, Official" but an Internet Release category would be helpful, seeing as how this is becoming a more and more popular method of distribution (which is to be encouraged).

  • For i.e. releases that are not also part of a CD, I've created Promotional Singles for each song. These would seem to be better as NonAlbumTracks @alex

The album "Back to Mine" by "Groove Armada" is actually a various artist compilation, part of a series where musical acts select their favourite tracks. Note that it is not a continous 'mix' CD.

How can you transform this into a various artists album without losing the link to "Groove Armada"? What is the official term for someone who selects the track listing of an album? A compiler?

  • The style I've seen for the "Back To Mine" series of albums (a number of artists have released albums in the series) has been to label the album "Back To Mine: Artist_Name", e.g. "Back To Mine: Underworld" and "Back To Mine: Groove Armada". Including the compiler name makes sense for that series of releases (and in a similiar vain the "Another Late Night" and "DJ-Kicks" series) because the only way to differentiate between the various "Back To Mine" albums in the database is the artist name. It is also justifable because the artist name is actually part of the album title. In general, however, I don't think mixers and compiler names should be added to various artists albums in this way, and until SchemaVersion2 we have to accept losing the mix artist. - ArchieB
  • There are some notes on entering Classical works which might be worth co-opting for the use of adding albums such as these, see - TarragonAllen

I have a number of albums that I haven't entered into MusicBrainz due to the issue of assigning "artist" to a work. Take for example the albums "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of Elton John", "Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos", "Cover Up Hammer Hits" (Cover-tracks of chart hits performed by The Chart Mixers) or "Paul McCartney's Standing Stone".

Sometimes you should be so lucky that the extra data is in the album name; othertimes you're tempted to write something like "Artist: The Chart Mixers, Track: Killing Me Softly ["Fugees cover"]". Doing so for every track on entire album is tedious, and ugly besides. The "Cover Up" series makes another funny; some of their tracks are listed with "Version as made famous by: Various Artists" in the liner-notes. In this context "Various Artists" is a 'real artists' because it could be slightly different from the original version performed by Fugees or the like.

Classics and semi-classics are a whole category of their own. In traditional classics it has come customary to consider the composer part of the song title. We could argue this for "contemporary classical", like "Artist: London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Title: Paul McCartney: Movement I After Heavy Light Years; Fire/­Rain (Allegro Energico)". It's bit more of a stretch to accept "Artist: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Title: Elton John: Nikita" or even "Artist: Apocalyptica, Title: Metallica: Enter Sandman". I came across some other albums that I found prohibitively impossible to classify, but unfortunately failed to make a note of them, but I will once I come across them again.

Well, just for few additional thoughts, came across couple of more albums that I believe would effectively fall under "covers" category. "Romantic melodies played by the lush symphonic strings of The Bruno Bertone Orchestra". The tracks on the album cover itself are listed like "Memory (Webber / Elliot / Nunn)", Lennon / Ono, Lennon / McCartney etc. Maybe these could be just a single artist CD where said artists are listed along with each track as above, since the versions are obiviously different fromt he original. Or should it be the responsibility of the submitter to dig up which bandname it was originally released under, and pray this version isn't substantially different? One possibility would be just to apply the "Webber / Elliot / Nunn" entries as aliases to existing artists let the system sort it out, but I believe sooner than later we'd start running to artists who've worked under multiple band titles.

Meta note: As it stands with present metadata structure, we're clearly tracking different versions/releases of tracks, and thus the "artist" referred to everywhere in the fields should probably refer to the artist who performed the work instead of the one who originally wrote in. Currently, that is. This would speak in favor of the examples in above. Altough a cohesive style guide should probably be constructed for this. Which is a sticking point, since some albums just provide a general reference ("Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays Elton John"), some provide the (Lennon / Ono) references and others provide just the record company owning the rights if even that.

(This issue is now also touched in MusicBrainzPhilosophy)

The recently released Nightwish "End of Innocence" DVD comes with an audio bonus-CD which has "Bonustrack 1" and "Bonustrack 2" printed over it, both of which are live recordings of old releases. An issue was recently raised about how these should be entered into the database. This links to the general issue on recording facts vs. artistic impression on MusicBrainzPhilosophy. See there for albums with misordered or misprinted track listings.

Tribute albums.

I propose adding a category to the type of album releases as tribute (for instance "MUYA: A tribute to Metallica", or "Oceans: A Tribute to Enya"). This would be listed under the artist honored.

--> see TributeRelationshipType (I don't think we need a special release type for this)

I've seen several artists that list the same album more than once because they've re-released the album with bonus tracks. See Creed, Sixpence None the Richer, and many others. It's not terribly useful to have three separate listings for an album that varies only in the number of bonus tracks (usually one or two). It would be much better if we had one listing with optional tracks, and covered this under releases.


Christmas albums.

Propose adding this category to the type of album releases. Quite a few bands/artists have these.


Maybe something like 'Seasonal Release' or 'Special Topic' or '??' because not only would Christmas releases be covered, but 'incident' releases as well, i.e., 9/11 Concerts or collections, Farmers Aid Concerts --Jinxie

Propose adding a type of release named "box set." Tenebrous

What to do about songs by a group performed by its lead singer who now has a solo career? Sting doing Police songs, as well as Steve Taylor doing Chagall Guevara come to mind. Any ideas? Tenebrous

I think if the song was performed by the group, it should be credited to the group, regardless if the lead singer later became known independantly, just to keep TAG labels straight. Having the option to file an album or track also under an alternate artist would be great, in this instance a song done by the Police would have the Police listed as artist, but the album would also be listed under Sting, purely for searching ability. But then you run into the question of who all is qualifed as an 'alternate'. Joe Bob played tamborine in the background of one song. Should Joe Bob get his own artist listing, with the album ALSO listed under him? Jinxie

Disney songs

Do a search for the artist 'Disney' and you will see the problem.

Albums, Compilations, Various Artist Compilations... you name it it's there... With no rhyme or reason, or very little :)

I propose the following interim solution, with a preferable more permanant solution following, after they fix the whole classical music set-up (if you've read through the wiki pages, I'm sure you follow... if not, read 'em, LOL).

Full soundtrack from a specific Disney movie:

 * Album= Mulan
  * Trackname= Reflection   Artist= Disney: Lea Salonga
  * Trackname= Blossoms     Artist= Disney: Jerry Goldsmith (Score)
  * Attribute= Sountrack

For compilation albums, from several different movies:

 * Album= Disney Music Rules
  * Trackname= Circle of Life (Elton John)   Artist= Disney: Lion King
  * Trackname= No Way Out (Theme)            Artist= Disney: Brother Bear
  * Attribute= Various Artist Compilation

I know adding the 'Disney' to the Artist name looks awkward, but thats the only way it would show up in a search for 'Disney'. By doing it this way though, when a more complete naming system does get set up, simply removing the 'Disney: ' part would be relatively painless.

As a TAG'd file, the 'Disney' part of the artist name would likely not be too annoying, as for most users it would simply force all the Disney songs to group together, if sorted by artist name. Again, not a great solution, but workable.

What I'd LIKE to be able to do, is have the album name have its own Artist and both Album and Tracknames having additional assignable attributes. Each type (Classical, Disney, Filk) could then develope their own preferances as to which attribute is used for what... or however it eventually works out....

 * Album= Mulan            Artist= Jerry Goldsmith  @= Studio: Disney
  * Trackname= Reflection   Artist= Lea Salonga
  * Trackname= Blossoms     Artist= Jerry Goldsmith
  * Attribute= Soundtrack   @= Various Artist        @= Official
 * Album= Disney Music Rules          Artist= Disney
  * Trackname= Circle of Life          Artist= Elton John    @= Movie: Lion King
  * Trackname= No Way Out (Theme)      Artist= Phil Collins  @= Movie: Brother Bear
  * Attribute= Soundtrack              @= VA Compilation     @= Bootleg
 * {{or poss; Soundtrack Compilation  @= Various Artist     @= Bootleg }}

Any thoughts?? Either for current usage or whatever...


  • Personally I don't see the need for Disney-stuff to be kept together or whatnot. My opinion is that this suggestion only messes up things that was quite un-messed up to begin with. //bnw

Many artists release singles in multiple formats, often with two separate CDs that are purchased separately, but have the same title. I don't know if anyone else shares this feeling, but personally the suffix "(disc 1)" to me seems to imply that the discs are sold together. So I suggest that they should be labelled with the suffix CD1 as this is the way I usually see 2CD sets of singles on other sites, and sometimes even on the singles themselves. This isn't accounted for in the style guide.

  • Currently the OfficialStyleGuidelines say they should not have (disc 1). I think this addresses that problem. How useful would it be to have an alternate (CD1) or CD1 form for singles? I think it would just create more confusion, since a lot of FreeDB entries have (CD1) already. @alex