I’ve seen a few times now statements to the effect that Bandcamp release/track titles are automatically considered artist intent, which holds some water if the artist is in control of the releases, but there are plenty of cases where the bandcamp account is managed by the label and not the artist. Also, there’s a general issue of physical versus digitial media (which certainly isn’t limited to bandcamp, but seems to come up more with this idea that bandcamp defaults to “artist intent”).
I’ll look at alfa matrix since I’ve done a lot of work with their releases lately (which is certainly part of what prompted this post):
There are a few things that I wrestle with here. For one thing, they’re prone to labeling releases as “bonus tracks edition” or “bonus version”. In general, my gut says this is not part of the title, they just didn’t have anywhere else to put that kind of information. Sometimes they’ve obviously lifted the CD cover for the release but they didn’t call it “Deluxe Edition” or whatever it originally was, just “bonus tracks”.
Here’s the first example I found. If I had this in my hands as a CD I’d call it Regenerated X (Limited Edition). Limited Edition is clearly printed on the cover, so I would be inclined to enter it in MusicBrainz the same way.
Here’s an example where they didn’t use the artwork from the “limited” edition at all. The CD version is on MusicBrainz. I’m guessing they used the original cover/title for bandcamp because it needed square artwork. Anyway, we gotta go with what they give us here. I’d probably enter it as No Time for Silence and enter “bonus tracks version” as a disambiguation comment. (Their capitalization is also questionable here - if it’s “artist intent” it should be all lowercase like the cover, so I would standardize it.)
Ok, but how about a label release where artist intent isn’t the issue at all. This goes more to the difference between physical and digital releases. If I were writing about this album, I would call it MatriXX. If you asked me what the full name of the album is, I would say “MatriXX: 20 Years of Alfa Matrix”. Yes, the whole parenthetical “Best of Electro, Synthpop, EBM, Darkwave” is even on the cover, but is it part of the title? There are plenty of cases where we don’t include every word on the cover in the title. Of course they included it in the title field, they want someone browsing bandcamp (or their store, which points right back to bandcamp) to know why they should go get it. I just can’t convince myself it’s part of the title, rather than descriptive (and marketing) info.
I’m sure some folks would disagree with my thoughts here, which is why I bring it up. I’d like better clarification/consensus, particularly regarding cover vs bandcamp “title”, but also the tendency of digital releases to put extra info in the title field because there’s no better place for it.