Dissolved or just Inactive?

Are there any guidelines on whether to set a “Dissolved” for a group that has not officially declared its breaking up?

This Edit says that KISS should be considered disssolved even though they have declared that they will not tour/recording any more but have not declared their disbandment.

On the other hand, in this Edit, it is pointed out that for a group that has been inactive for more than 20 years, they have only declared an indefinite hiatus and have not disbanded.

Also, there are many groups that are disappearing without declaring their dissolution, what criteria should be used to consider a group to be dissolved or not?


I would consider a hiatus a dissolution, albeit a temporary one. I would still mark the artist as ended in the meantime; if the group ever gets back together, the edit can be undone.


Perhaps hiatuses could be better recorded by way of relationships (edit: something like relationships - there’s no target entity for this kind of data, just dates, of course; the ticket @Zas linked to in post #4 points in a good direction with a “years active” semantic). That would be along the lines of a person being member of a band, sometimes even multiple times if they leave in between, and I’m sure it would be a feature request with both database and UI design to consider.

If hiatus and dissolution data is interesting for MB, I don’t see a simple “ended” as appropriate because it can only record one date. There are bands that have gone on multiple hiatuses, Super Furry Animals and Genesis come to mind. It’s also inadequate for bands with multiple “phases”, e.g. King Crimson (where Robert Fripp announced multiple times that the band had ceased to operate, only to reform the band a little later with a new line-up).

As @ms0010 pointed out, there are also bands that just fizzle out. Again, I’m thinking of Genesis who in the 1980s and 1990s released albums and toured, then took years to reconvene to work on another album - they didn’t dissolve the band nor officially go on hiatus as far as I know, they just rested, did solo projects and took their sweet time. I’d rather not consider the absence of some “we’re still working” message as an indicator that a band has ceased to exist.

As for when to consider a band dissolved, some explicit statement from the band or its management would be a good sign, then. In Kiss’ case, @derat has provided some clear sources that point towards Kiss being history - at least until further notice: “Never say never.”


Well, I guess when we have some official date and announce:

  • the band or representatives officially announce they are dissolving
  • that’s a well-known fact
  • death of all members

As an editor, I’m not fond of this field either, because most of the times the date is rather fuzzy, dissolution can be temporary, and it’s a bit hard to define.

Some other sites/databases are using the notion of “active”/“inactive” over periods, I really think we need that, in order to be able to represent reality of the life of a band/artist.

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FWIW i usually just tag them as Tag “inactive” - MusicBrainz

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It still seems to be a difficult issue to treat a hiatus group as “Dissolved” based on some criteria, since the terms dissolved or disbanded have such strong meanings.

As for “active/inactive” status, it is fair to everyone, since it can be determined base on whether there are new recordings or events, etc.

For the time being, I will consider using such tags and look forward to the implementation of new features. Thanks.