Digital and CDr bootleg compilations

Where do we sit on adding digital bootlegs and cdr bootlegs (I’m talking about series of unofficial compilations) from mailing lists and blogs - including those that are no longer available on their original sites (which may have closed) They are still available on soulseek, torrents,or other forums like Regal Zonophone (which has an amazing collection of compilations available if the 60’s pop/psych/punk/bubblegum/etc is of interest to anyone).

I think that they fall under the digital bootleg/bootleg releases going by the guidelines- although ‘widely available’ would be open to interpretation.

I’m mostly going to be talking about psych music here as that is what I know.

So things like “Sir Psych Presents” compilations (there is about 50 of these, they started on a now defunct forum but are still being released on his blog and on youtube).

Some that it’s bit more difficult to say are widely available (and it is more difficult to get information like release dates anymore), are things like Johnny Rainbows “Sunshine & Rainbows” compilations, of which there are 40 volumes. They were released via a blog and forum (It’s Psyche) which no longer exists and it actually quite hard to find remnants of, or EvenJo’s compilations (I Will Play My Lute If You Will Play Your Flute (10 volumes), & Random Selection of Pop Gems (48 volumess) released on the same sites. All of these are available on soulseek, torrents, and some forums if you know where to look, or are shared around by those who have an interest.

There are lots of others around with varying degrees of releases ranging from downloads available through forums to unofficial cdr’s and cds, but all along similar veins, these are a few of the more well known ones, but there are many others:

Pink Boots and Lipstick
Gustos Groovy Gumbo, released through blog/ mailing lists
U-Spaces, which is on Discogs and I have seen some on here, released cdr’s
Fading Yellow, which actually sell unofficial cd’s and are on discogs and here.

Basically I don’t want to go to all the effort of entering some of these if they are going to get removed, its a lot of work for some, so where is the line between suitable and not suitable.

These are all series that were released (in varying forms), they all have artwork - although a couple only have series artwork and not a unique image for each volume (or at least I don’t know of any).

I would argue they have some significance, and they definitely brought less popular or well known artists some recognition and exposure 40+ years after they existed. Unfortunately a lot of the knowledge about this music is disappearing with the passage of time, eventually people get old, and this music was from almost 60 years ago, so I feel there is at least a little bit of historical preservation as well.

But at the same time, you can’t get some of them from the original sources anymore and those forums and blogs don’t exist anymore to give some metadata. I have many of these on soulseek and they are somewhat regularly downloaded, but that is anecdotal and not really evidence of anything.

I would like to add them, but should I?


I’m just one voice here, but I say yes they should be added for historical purposes and tagging purposes. If they have track lengths (versions even) and names of releases I say yes. I’ve seen many releases that exist on MB that I doubt fit the ‘widely available’ guidelines and these seem widely available if people are still actively sharing them.


As a Pink Floyd fan I add a ton of bootlegs. The key is they are traded somewhere and not just a playlist made for a mate. They were on tape, then CD-R and then shifted to FLAC\MP3.

Some unique stuff is only available on bootlegs. And documenting this in MusicBrainz is fun and interesting.

If you know you have music that a fan wants to be able to trace and document then it is good for MusicBrainz.

What you can’t do is link to Soulseek, etc. You can link to blogs and forums talking about the releases.

Maybe also consider setting up some series to link stuff that is linkable.


Oh, those pirates…

I haven’t seen a virus in 10 years.

Maybe download some crack again…

Yeah, I was definitely planning to put them into series. For the most part they still have blogs or forums to link to. It s bit more difficult for a couple series that the blogs/forums have been deleted (particularly those from the It’s Psych forum)

I like having this stuff on MB, but you probably need to be prepared to watch for edits being put in to remove them - some really widespread digital bootleg series have been removed in the past (e.g. Indie Rock Playlist).

Yes please to adding them, from me. But also, unfortunately, yes to the work potentially being lost down the line (imo).


I think a lot of people here have already alluded to this but yes this area is a major point of contention.

Half of the community doesn’t want these kind of releases on the database, then of that half some don’t want any form of bootlegs.

The completionists here do want these things recorded, as bootlegs can be ultimately an interesting piece of history (certainly when they’re from countries where bootleggging is almost an art form of its own).

The only element I say is that these “bootleg compilations” (sometimes just refferred to as “mix CD’s”) really should be produced in a quantity to serve the public, that means CD-R’s sold/givenaway at/after/before a club night (of which there might be say 100 copies produced) not something you made in your bedroom 10 years ago to play in your car (of which there is likely one copy).

But yes, really these cases must be addressed one at a time. I fear having a blanket rule can lead to abuse from those sitting on either side of the fence! :slight_smile:


Bootlegs as original recordings by people during concerts is of course interesting.

But blog compilations of tracks available on real albums is kind of useless and often bring not well identified recordings in MB, and editors and reviewers endlessly wasting their time.


I would say yes to adding these too, but not everyone agrees.
There’s a bootleg compilation series that’s being deleted right now.

Useless to you maybe :sweat_smile: I assume the editors spending time adding them think otherwise.
Do you mean unnecessary duplicate recordings? That happens with official compilations too.
@hanrahs (if you don’t know, many don’t) when adding a release, after entering the tracklist, there is a recordings tab. There you can search for existing recordings or paste the recording url’s to use already existing recordings to prevent duplicates. Only do this when you’re sure but usually there is already an existing one, some checks are:

  • same artist
  • same title
  • same length
  • same AcoustID (which you can check on the existing recording page’s fingerprints tab, and Picard on your local files)

This can be very time consuming :sob:

P.S. If you plan on adding a lot of compilation series, bootleg or not, I can invite you to my compilation series collection. The series should be tagged with “compilation” at least so they’re searchable and optionally with genres or other tags (like “bootleg” in this case)


It’s not even sufficient, IMO.
These fake release ill defined recordings will continue to waste our time for years.

Here is another interesting edit search: remove homemade releases

Interesting quote:

Edit #37958539 - MusicBrainz
Senax (active 17 years until 2021):
Everyone can make a torrent with an arbitrary tracklist, should MB list all of them?

My answer: No. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

On slightly similar topic:

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So when someone like you decides to remove them, what happens to all the recordings that this was the first (and so far only time) they have been added to MusicBrainz, do they become standalone or are they deleted too as they are no longer linked to any release - and if deleted does that mean if the artist has their only recording deleted they will also be removed.

If they have been added by this release and have no relationships, they are also removed.

It’s no loss as they are ill defined, then.

If those artists have no other recordings, they might be automatically deleted as well.

But do you have some examples?
Such playlists or homemade compilations usually contain famous artists and songs (in random versions).

If you think of some not-famous artist self-released singles and albums, they don’t fall in my homemade compilation rant, they are legit original releases.

Did you not read the opening post, we are discussing 60’s psychedelic music not some compilation from billboard top 100, it is actually quite frequent that an artist only ever had a single or two published, usually a 45, and that is it. In this Genre you come across artists all the time that have not yet been added to MusicBrainz.

Sounds you expect any single/45’s release to be added first, and not through the compilations. I thought the philosophy here was it was better to add something and it can be added to and refined over time, but you think there is no great loss if those artist are removed from the database.

Not sure I agree with that philosophy… if you are deleting something, I feel the onus should be on you ta make sure something isn’t lost


Then what is sufficient to prove it’s the same recording?
I’m struggling to understand what “ill defined” means and how an official compilation CD that not everyone can own doesn’t have this problem.
It would be a loss as they clearly exist and may be in a music library. Far from every recording have credits available, even on official releases.

That’s similar but not the same, the forum / blog compilations are not based on copyrighted lists from “chart authorities”.

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I do not understand why playlists would be added. Is that something we have now and how is that defined in the system? Do we have an album type “playlist”? Maybe because I’m not a streamer and only believe in owning my music and creating my own “smart playlist” or “playlist” which would pull all the information from the original cd and is included in my “smart playlist”. What am I missing? Bootlegs/CDr’s…ehh, as long as it can be documented properly meaning having those import “media types” available…I do not see why not document…it is a good way to document historical information and can be properly separated from regular/official albums.

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Is there a requirement/rule/guideline in MB that recordings need to be able to all be merged or identified?

If not it is a compulsion of individual editors and imo a very bad reason to block or remove releases that fall within MB rules.


I think I was off topic because the opening post is too long for my poor English.

Looking at @hanrah’s example Sir Psych Presents, those compilations clearly belong in MB as much as any LP or CD bootleg does. They exist, in a discreet and defined form (that is, the tracklist for any given compilation is fixed and not being constantly changed), and there is a way for people to get them. And as @hanrahs noted, much of this music is virtually or completely unavailable in commercial form.

I would strongly encourage that some documentation be added to such releases - at least in an annotation, if there’s no non-copyright-infringing site that can be linked to. Something to identify that these are more than just one person’s playlist they made one day.


I support your position, because MB is useful (thanks to picard) for curating discographies also, not only for documenting. Maybe a new type of release should be added, other than “other”.

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