Demo relationships

I see that the MusicBrainz database has a way to designate “Demo” as a secondary album type but it really seems like there should be a way to create a relationship for albums as being demos of other albums and for recordings as being demos of other recordings.

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‘included in’
‘earlier version of’

do any of those help?

You can also include a demo release in the same release group as commercial product.


It seems to me that those clearly are not the same type of relationship as the relationship of a demo track to the finished track. “Earlier version of” is close but the difference with a demo is that a demo track isn’t finished. “Earlier version of” indicates that an artist is making another version of an old track, where the old version could be the famous version from early in their career and the later version could be a nostalgic “revisited” thing – not quite the same as a demo.

Demo releases often come out months, years or even decades apart from the commercial albums, may be bootlegs and may contain demos from multiple albums. Why would they belong in the same release group?

Maybe I don’t understand what release groups are intended to represent but this really seems like demos should be represented by a relationship type.

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I agree with your thoughts @Nerd42. It would be good to link these early experiments of tracks. I follow a lot of old 1980s bands who put out their first albums as demo tapes at gigs. And they are never put into the same release group as an official release. They are demos and should stay in that different Release Type away from the studio album. Especially as track lists change.

The linking can be tricky. Some tracks are fully formed on the demo so can just be an “earlier version of”. But some tracks take a very different turn between that initial demo and the fully formed version. Especially if the band had been touring the track for months before taking it to a studio.

I have made use of “Is the basis of” relationships to link these at a Works level. And then filled the Annotation with notes.

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