Classical releases vs. non-classical artists

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Looking at the Björk discography I noticed an album called “Distant Light”. I thought it might be an official Björk album I hadn’t heard of but it is actually a tribute, with four Björk covers and a few “covers” from other artists.

Since this is a classical release this album is credited to Björk as a composer, and now appears between her other albums as a Björk album, which it isn’t, except the classical guidelines say this is what a composer should be credited like, and since Björk is technically the author of these songs she is credited as a composer and therefore these credits are valid.

This wouldn’t be a problem if this album was marked as an unofficial Björk album or something but this is not an option in MusicBrainz, instead having to mark the album as unofficial rather than the artist credits. This is a suggestion, of course.

I feel like this needs a solution because I’m pretty sure this is not really a Björk album, and this is not wanted. This also leaves the potential of polluting a more popular artist’s discography list with non-official albums just because they’re classical and mainly feature covers of that artist.

Any help?


“Polluting” seems a bit of a strong word, but there is a similar effect on the Duke Ellington discography and I agree that it’s less than ideal. It’s all the more disorienting because there are both “classical” and “jazz” releases consisting entirely of Ellington works; due to the different style guidelines, the classical ones appear on his discography but the jazz ones don’t.


Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I see that album as undeserving, or something, of the title of a Björk album. But it’s still not a Björk album.

I guess the issue could be that the database does not distinguish the composer from the performer, or a performer from an artist? I can’t fix that though.


As someone who does almost entirely classical… this is a weird complaint. Of course it’s a Björk album; it has Björk’s music on it.

Somewhat surprised reosarevok didn’t vote down edit 53868774, as its clearly against the classical style guidelines — it’d be one thing to just drop Björk (we can of course have suboptimal credits if its actually causing a problem), but that also removed the other composers & put the album credit in non-classical style.

Classical albums displaying on discography pages also seems like something that could relatively easily be fixed if we ever get a checkbox to indicate a release has been entered per CSG; e.g., could just display all CSG releases as a separate discography category. (


To be fair, edits do work entirely based on voting so he could have perfectly said no, but I guess he wanted to allow some discussion first. Which pretty much did not happen, by the way, so I guess that means other people don’t really care.

It is not a Björk album, she’s not officially an ‘artist’, and she did not claim to be. If Björk and Radiohead decide that a Radiohead album with no input or work from Björk whatsoever must officially be attributed to her instead, it might be a Radiohead album but under today’s standards the artist would be Björk, not Radiohead.

That’s the issue. Björk had no artistic input whatsoever in the release and she didn’t claim to be the artist either, so she’s not. She’s the artist of the other albums, but not this one.

The issue came forth because classical-style releases are treated the same as modern-style ones. They’re not. Of course they’re going to clash! The database stores the names in the cover as ‘artists’, and they’re not. They’re composers.


For what it’s worth, “release artist” in MusicBrainz is just “who are the credited people on the cover”, so whether they perform, compose or DJ-mix is mostly irrelevant for that field :slight_smile:


But Björk is almost never credited in her album covers…

Nevermind that, so does that mean the feature is just not there? I never listen to classical music so I don’t really care about this release. It’s misleading at best; all the other releases listed there are her own so of course somebody else would get confused. When I see the album list of an artist I never expect to see the work of somebody completely different that decided to do a cover of their work, and credited as theirs too.

For what’s worth, I don’t like this. But if nobody else dislikes it I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s just this one album.


Is the use of an orchestra enough for using the classical style?
It does not look like it is classical music to me, but I did not hear it.


Well, if you were expecting rock/pop/electronic/etc., the first 15½ minutes are going to come as quite a surprise! (Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is definitely “classical”).

Hillborg is more modern, but still what we’d call classical here. [The strict definition of classical doesn’t include Beethoven’s 5th, for example — we don’t use that here.]

Sigurdsson, and the 2nd Björk piece, less so. The first Björk piece you might manage to sneak in to classical concert.

At least ⅔ of the playtime of this release is clearly classical from listening to it. It’s been recorded by artists who primarily perform and are best known for classical music. It’s marketing is as classical (look at how both Apple and Google label it as classical). It’s put out by Decca Classics — a classical label. It looks like a classical release, crediting composers on the cover and all.

Is there anything to suggest it isn’t classical?

BTW: If you have Google Play Music (or probably several other streaming services), you can listen to it easily. E.g.,ée+Fleming/Renée+Fleming%3A+Distant+Light Even if you don’t have the services, I bet the 30s preview clips will be enough.


I just remember the song ALL IS FULL OF LOVE and it was a… song, not a classical piece.
Posted by an orchestra does not change this IMO.
But I should not argue any more if I do not intend to at least listen to a bit of it.


It is not even listed as a Björk album, it only shows up if you select “show various artists release groups”. Les Plus Belles Voix, Volume 2 most definitely is not a “Björk album” as well, but of course it shows up together with the release discussed here when displaying various artists albums of Björk.


lol that’s because I edited it, which is what brought up the discussion in the first place!

Guidelines say Björk should be directly credited as an artist because she is prominently featured in-name on the album cover. The current state of the artist credit is actually against the guidelines; this happened because the voting didn’t take place properly in order for this discussion to take place.

Originally she was one of the album artists. Now she isn’t because of course she isn’t, I did that.