Accuracy of release date (one day off) / Official release date

There are often release dates in MusicBrainz which are not exactly the same day as the “official” release dates.

I know the different release dates in different countries, often in the past. E.g. in UK it was one day before in real Europe.

Often you can’t find a reliable source for the release dates. Sometimes it is on Discogs and you can’t find a reference there.

Some [types] of my files have the original release date just as year (as it was the default supported format of Picard [for some metadata types] in the past or a consequence of a different sorting method for the first release date [i.e. year-only before full date]). Since the full date format is the default format in Picard many of my files have differences.
Not all first release dates in MusicBrainz are the real and official release dates (and not all release groups have the initial release).

One example for a first release date one day off is Herzeleid by Rammstein:
The official release date is 1995-09-25 on the website of the band, on the nice retro-page for the 25th anniversary and on Wikipedia (publication date; de and en site).
In MB one release has the 24th (for Europe), based on Discogs.

I’m not sure if the 24th is wrong at all, since it might be a possible release date e.g. in the UK.

I don’t like to have a non-official original release date. In this case I’m happier with just having the year in such cases. If the date is correct I’m happy to have the full date. Also if there are more than one releases in one year the full date is very helpful.
Sadly there is no official release date but just the first release date. For me it would be fine to have an official release date (for the release group).

P.S.: I know, it is not always clear what the official release date is. Often you can’t find it (easily). However, if a release date is used on the artist’s page and/or by the label I’ll call it “official”.

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Total minefield. I agree with you. Doesn’t help that places like Wikipedia usually only show a single date and doesn’t make it clear if that is UK, USA, Germany, etc. Discogs has only a single date field and don’t really understand Europe being separate places as well as a whole.

I was editing a release the other day and came up with separate release dates for UK, USA, (Germany+Italy), (Spain+Portugal) and Europe!

Is Release Date when the Band announces the album is out? Or when it is physically on sale?

We can only get a best approximation. Finding old Music Magazines are good, but still that is only for one country. The best source is usually a really geeked out fan website.

I know of at least one band who’s own website discography is “off by one year” on much of their old stuff.

The best we can do is add notes in the edit histories and\or annotations as to sources of dates. As fans we tend to want accuracy, so when you know you have seen something is wrong, fix it and leave plenty of references.

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1995-09-24 release date was not really greatly agreed on:
Because it was apparently a Sunday.


But this is much more than most times, when you have nothing (no reference, no link) for setting a release date.

Just another example:

Two releases are wrong for sure. (See open edits) – but since it is on Discogs it must be correct … :roll_eyes:

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Oh that one is a headache. I also used to believe that Discogs was always accurate, and then bumped into some of the mad editors. All databases have failings, and Discogs isn’t too good with references.

Biggest headache with Discogs is their attitude to UK releases! Everything has be Europe.

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and just to confuse things a bit more - time zones.
And this issue really has become more common thanks to the internet making the world global vs brick and mortar being more local.

If I release a song to the internet across the globe. I release it at, let’s say 1am.
But 1am where I am, is yesterday somewhere else. And maybe tomorrow in another (yes, it is possible with daylight savings time and that weird island that is 30 minutes ahead).
So, it could have 3 consecutive dates all depending on where you live.


Could you clarify how these numbers would differ?

An official release date could/should be set to the date the artist or label announces (or something like this).

One problem is, Picard uses the first full date of a year as Original Release Date for metadata tags. This might be because of sorting and I think it changed sometimes ago.
If there is a release with a wrong release date (for what reason ever), before the official release date, you get a wrong Original Release Date in your tag.
Another critical aspect are promo-releases, sometimes sent out before the official release. Also this dates are used for calculating the Original Release Date. For me this is wrong and I don’t like this.
Sometimes we don’t have to first official release in MB and the first one registered in MB will be used. Now the only way to fix this is to add the first release too.
Another problem might be, if you know the release was e.g. March or April, but you don’t know it for sure. In this case you would typically just enter the year for the initial release. If there was another release later in this year (e.g. a different edition of for a different country), where you know the full date, you will get this as Original Release Date.

One proper solution might be to have a release date, independent of a specific release. This date has to be for the Release Group. If it is not set, the actual algorithm could be in force (even if I don’t like how sorting is being handled currently).

I know, this will not solve all problems. I know, it’s hard to say what the official release date is. I know, it’s quite hard to find the official date on old releases. I know, we often have dates with references doesn’t exist anymore (e.g. if Amazon has removed the specific date – without talking if it was ever a good reference).


This is a good idea that was brought up before. Especially for older albums where there isn’t actually an official release listed yet. This can often happen with LPs where only a reissue CD is listed. This was knocked back on the basis that someone can always add a basic release purely to set a date. The database owners wanted to keep dates only in the Release.

Don’t think that one has been brought up before. Should be easy for Picard to drop and only select Official releases. (Bootlegs can sometimes get out before an official release too)