Adding a "fake" release to get the original date for a release group

I’ve read that the originaldate/year comes from the earliest release date and cannot be edited directly.

So I’ve added several releases with information mainly from Discogs. This should be safe, because my digital media consists of the same versions of the tracks (basically).

In one case there is no reliable source for the original release. Harri Stojka Express - Brother To Brother was first released in 1983 (in Austria), but only later releases (international) are available.

Should I fake this release with information from the later releases? This question was discussed in the above linked topic, but - as far as I see - not really decided.

I think, I need guidance!
Thanks in advance.


My inclination in a case like this would be to add the release without a medium, and an annotation as to why.


Ok, so you suggest an empty medium instead of a faked one.

Personally I don’t like these empty records, because I nearly added Van Weezer (2020) to TheAudioDB (what would have caused serious troubles later on), but stopped after reading the release date :wink:

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Well, a release added in advance doesn’t have much to do with a medium or lack of. In this case, you do know it exists but you don’t have the track list, so it’s a perfect use case.


Yes, I know, but in both cases it is a bit dangerous to TheAudioDB. Once imported, it cannot be replaced easily.

What problem does TheAudioDB have if there is an empty release? Are they aware of it? Because this is something that they should be able to handle.

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They are probably aware, but there’s no easy solution to this problem. The additional information of the existing release might be in conflict with a re-imported release. So it’s better to restrict this to the administrator. (and it is not a big problem)

The Fake Release Debate gets more confusing when looking in the world of Bootlegs.

Here is an example:

Now this will originally been a recording made 3rd Feb 1975. A date that is know for certain as it was a gig. The cassette tape was made in the audience. And then will have been passed from hand to hand and copied. Eventually ending up on some CDs and from there digital rips.

I would love to go dive into this example and add a “cassette” fake release with the original track names on them. And date that to Feb 1975. But can I do that? Or is this push fakes a bit far?

Otherwise there will be no way to get a date ever attached to this release - neither a “Release” date of the CD-Rs nor an original release date.

Especially with audience recordings you might say that the material was first released to those who made the recording, but in general I would say the release date was when the first cassettes were distributed and to name that date would probably be guessing.

Distribution of the tapes would start the next time you met your mate down the pub. So a date of 1975-02 could be argued for. Or just plain putting the year in.

This is a puzzling one as to a neat solution. At least with an official release there is usually something somewhere written down. Especially on fan sites - someone has usually kept a note of which tracks where on that first vinyl. Whereas bootlegs tend to keep the date of the gig on the fan sites and not when the tapes were produced.

My own bootleg files are tagged with the recording date as “date”, but I’m not sure if it should be used as release date in MB. Most of my bootlegs found in MB have no release date.

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Missing data is far, far better to wrong or “fake” data.

If you know that a release exists but don’t know its track list, it is perfectly okay and valid to add it to MusicBrainz without a track list. And better than not adding it at all too.

That’s an issue with TheAudioDB and should not impact how or what data you add to MusicBrainz. If they handle MusicBrainz data incorrectly, that’s a bug on their end.

You may want to look over which also touches on both of these ideas (note: not (currently) official policy, but seems to widely be community accepted best practices).


That’s still guesswork. Maybe I lost the tape and only found it and made copies years later. Or maybe I’m a “professional” bootlegger, and I didn’t give away any tapes until I could get my LPs pressed. Unless there’s a documented “date in circulation”, I would say to leave it blank.

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It’s not a big problem and will not impact how I add data to MB. (and thanks for your editing principles)

Regarding this special case, I’ve found out that I don’t know the release year for sure (1983 or 1984), so I have to postpone the edit and contact the artist or his sister first.

And there is an odd thing with the digital media release:
According to Amazon, the release date is June 2, 1985. Is it possible that a digital media release is from 1985?

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Technically yes, but probably no. The internet (not the world wide web though) has been around since the 1960’s, and digital music encoding has been around since the 1930’s—but mainstream labels almost certainly didn’t make “internet releases” prior to, at the earliest, the 1990’s. And even throughout the 1990’s, it’s very dubious that they did so. iTunes was launched on 2001, and that seems like a good date cut off for when digital release dates can maybe be taken at face value… but I might even still be sceptical.

A lot of digital outlets (e.g., Spotify as well at least, sometimes Bandcamp too) will provide the original release date, not the release date of the release on their own platform—so you need to dig deeper to find out when it was released digitally (or just leave release date for those digital releases empty).


To me that looks like Amazon putting up the details from the CD release date which they then ripped to MP3 decades later. The copyright date being 1985 makes me think this.

In 1985 Amazon was still a rain forest. We were still using UNIX as no Linus yet to start his project. We just about had DOS 3.0 on an early PC…

CDs were only 2 years old at that stage - so it more likely to be a Vinyl or cassette date.

Yeah… that is a bogus date for “digital media”. I’m trying to imagine what would be able to play “digital media” at that time. We still thought the Sony Walkman was cool!

Drop the release date into the Annotation for now. As you have 1983 or 1984 it has narrowed it down for further research.

LOL @Freso - do I recognise “if in doubt, leave it out” from somewhere? LOL. I’m sure I came up with that phrase. :rofl: This needs to be said in a Cockney \ Eastenders accent to get the correct tone to it.

Earlier this evening I talked about it to a friend and we reached the same conclusion.

I think, you’re right. Although distributed internationally, it’s unlikely that it was digitally remastered then. And even if, it’s not the release date.
I will remove it from release date and put it into annotation. The well documented Vinyl release from 1985 sets the date of the release group to this year and as soon as I find out more about the earlier release, I will add it.