How to deal with multi disc singles?

I can’t find any style guides about dealing with multi disc singles. For example PJ Harvey has some singles released on island records with catalog numbers started with CID and CIDX, where CID mean CD1 and CIDX mean CD2, but actually this releases are sold separately and information about cd number is not mentioned on its cover.

“Send His Love to Me” - https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/56173ebf-2fc3-41d3-9c90-481ffa135b0d
“A Perfect Day Elise” - https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/0708c3f3-5428-37df-aeda-fb3e111ccd26
“The Wind” - https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/f45350cf-3af0-360d-a135-1958caf396f5
“Good Fortune” - https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/c70e138e-c634-312e-b9b9-fa50533ba52f
“You Come Through” - https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/ea9b2297-e049-3c7d-8008-2be595e2ed9c

I believe that these releases should have the same formatting style, but some of the releases has something like (disc 1) or (disc 2) in they album title and some of the releases has CD1 or CD2 in the disambiguation field. Which style do you prefer?

Also, what do you think about creating an additional (but not existing in real life) box set with 2 mediums just for organising purpose and how it should look? Which release status it should have and what would you write in disambiguation field?

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First of all, we should not say multi disc singles. They are alternate singles, or multiple single versions, etc. :slight_smile:
They are not singles made of several mediums.

IMO it should not be part of the title as it is not printed.
So it should go in the disambiguation comment field.

disc 1 would make us think we have to merge disc 1 and disc 2.
We can use any other made up version name, including CD1 and CD2 but, although more common version name, is also slightly amibiguate (like disc 1) and can let people think they should merge mediums in one 2×CD release.

Maybe we can name it alternate B sides instead of CD 2… :thinking: Anyway for the time being, putting CD 2 in comment is really something not unusual.

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I think using “version X” in disambiguation field would clearly differentiate between releases and would not suggest the need to merge.

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Many bands did this in UK at that time, such as Boo Radleys, e,.g https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/5871ac79-fe4f-3027-bf5b-919b808d9c03 and using CD1 or CD2 in comment was how I did it.

Interestingly although cds were sold differently if you look at the sticker from Discogs on this one https://www.discogs.com/release/381759 it does actually say ‘Part 2 CRESCD 236X. C’mon Kids of a 2 CD set’

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My first thought on looking at a couple of those was “why are they in the same RG at all?” I can see the logic for why, but when you have 4 or 5 track “singles” that share only the “A side”, they feel a bit like completely separate RGs.

Another option for the disambiguation would be something not dependent on the catalog number - “green cover” or “with live tracks” or whatever. That might help prevent overzealous merges.

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If you look at J-pop idol group releases, you see it is typical for a single release group to have as many as 7 variants, typically the lead or “A” track is the same on all, the other tracks may be by sub-groups or whatever. Each release typically has its own cover art and it is common that there will be “limited” releases that might differ in non-music items (picture book etc) included with the CD (and possibly DVD). I don’t think it is practical nor desirable to generate a new release group for each of these variants. Disambiguation easily handles these variants.

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They should be same release group, since they are all versions of the same release, this is what release groups are for. They would all probably contribute to total sales of a partcular single.

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Yes, on further reflection I agree. For one thing, trying to determine how similar two singles have to be to belong in the same RG would be very messy.

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