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Revision as of 18:02, 15 March 2009 by Nikki (talk | contribs)


Type of Label


This field describes what it the main activity of a Label.

The values may be:

  • one of the "production" subtypes, that applies to recording labels (in the basic meaning of the term - an imprint):
    • original production: should be used for recording labels producing entirely new releases
      • example: Riverside Records
    • bootleg production: should be used for known bootlegs companies (as in "not sanctioned by the rights owner(s) of the released work")
      • example: Charly Records
    • reissue production: should be used for labels specializing in catalog reissues
      • example: Rhino
  • distributor: should be used for companies mainly distributing other labels production, usually in a specific region of the world
    • example: ZYX, which distributes in Europe most jazz records in the Concord Music Group catalog.
  • holding: should be used for holdings, conglomerates or other financial entities whose main activity is not to produce records, but to manage a large set of recording labels owned by them
    • example: Concord Music Group

Additional Information

Multiple types

While most cases are pretty straightforward, there may be some where a label apparently belong to two or more different types. To some extent, the problem is similar with the releases type. Whenever that happens, you should decide based on what constitutes the main activity type of the label. While searching, you might discover that the label has different subdivisions, each handling a different activity (as an example, think about the recording label Verve, and the holding Verve Music Group). Ultimately, if there's still an ambiguity, you should use the LabelAnnotation to provide with more detailed information.

Labels types shifting during history

Some labels have a long and troubled life, and change their main activity (say, from original to reissue, to holding). There's no way at that time to handle or properly represent that. Again, for anything that complex, use LabelAnnotations.

If you really can't decide of a type yourself, look at the releases list for that label, count the compilations, count the albums, count the bootlegs, compare, choose.

In all cases, remember the label type is a convenient indication at best, and that things should be kept simple.


The bootleg type should be handled with some care, as legal issues are not usually trivial, and may even be impossible to sort out (think about the Charles Mingus "bootlegs" issued by the as-official-as-it-can-be French INA). Ultimately, you should not mark a company as bootleg just because one of its release is marked as such.