How to handle Metadata that names a group

So let’s say discogs has a credit listed like so:

Producer: Green Day

Since Green Day is a group and not a person, should I credit each individual member, only the band, or the band as well as each individual member?


If it says “Producer: Green Day” you should credit Green Day as the producer. Usually producer is credited at the recording level. See this example for an album whose recordings credit Green Day as the producer:


And what about when some credits have it listed as Green Day and others have each individual listed out?

The only time that you may want to credit each member is on writing credits, but any other credit on the release, credit as it is listed on release. I’ve never seen an instance where a group is credited as producer on one release and each member credited for same recording on a different release. However, if that situation does come up, we usually go with how it was credited on first release as priority unless new information warrants something different, i.e. lawsuits, etc.

Even writing credits should be respected.
If they are printed as band credits, it should stay as band credits.
Even if the rights management websites split to band members, this is their business because they send the money to rights holders.
But artistically speaking, splitting doesn’t mean much, is wrong meaning.


Totally disagree with this as do most editors I’ve seen. If a band is credited, we find the individual members on the rights management and change them to that. At least that’s what I was told when I joined in 2015 and I’ve been changing it in every instance I’ve seen since. The reason is band members change. We shouldn’t give credit to a member who joined after or quit before and a collective writing credit does that.

Well, I just went and read Work-Artist relationship: Credit group vs band members as writer/composer/lyricist, which I’ve never noticed when it was being discussed. Not as clear cut as I thought. Seems many do actually agree with you. I really think there needs to be a guideline on this. Either we use rights societies or not. We use them for more than just who gets paid. We also use them for publishers, that aren’t listed on releases. Should we remove all those and all individual artist if not credited? Kind of late to even attempt this. I still think that we should never credit a group as a whole if a source lists individual members. I can’t tell you how many say a whole band wrote something and you go to a right society and only 1 member is listed. I wouldn’t want the band credited on such a work.

1 Like

When a “group” is credited on a recording/work, sometimes multiple members worked on it, but more often than not, the intent is to obfuscate which specific member did the work. I would think the group credit should be followed as from the booklet/official sources, unless you know for a fact that a specific person(s) are reponsible and the other members are not.

In the case of writing credits, we do have Relationship Type / Previous attribution - MusicBrainz when the official credits are known (or even strongly suspected) to be incorrect. I know the style leader has said this relationship isn’t supposed to be used because of performance name vs. legal name, but I’m not sure the subject of “group” vs “members of the ‘group’” has come up before.


With WORKS and the writers: the few times I have looked at Rights Management ASCAP site it has been comically wrong and clearly just about handing out money and not about who wrote the work. The legal arguments with Dark Side of the Moon is a classic example.

I do also see that same issue that band line-ups change. So I watch out for a reissue \ greatest hits compilation. Compilations are really useful if it spans many years, then you usually find tracks are credited to the band members of that line-up at that time.

With a PRODUCER credit: I would never break down to the band members. I credit it as shown on the cover. It is making the point that the band all piled in on the production. It is not about individuals - it is about a credit for the group. Same way we credit the group name for that release.

For both of these cases, they way I look at it is the original release can be just knocked out as they are keen to get the music out. 25 years later they put out booklets and spend time writing up their history. These booklets are normally better to trust than the original release as all the band members are old and wise (lol) by this time.


Hmm… To me personally, it makes more sense to list out each individual artist because a) band members change, and b) individual band members only get credits if you list them individually, whereas the band gets credit either way because they’re the primary artist on the recording or release.

Furthermore, there’s a much lower chance of misinformation when listing individuals. Writing the band name assumes that the reader either knows who was in the band at that time, or clicks on the name to find out. It’s less information and therefore less accurate.

Band members come and go, even during the recording sessions. So when you’re trying to break a band credit down into individuals there’s always a chance to introduce errors. Best to not overthink this and just credit what you find on the release.
As a side note, I’ve just recently added a release where the songwriting credits were given to one member of the band and to the whole trio at the same time. Which suggests the individual might have come up with the initial ideas or what not and then the group worked on to create the final pieces.


If you have a year of production on a record printed, the lineup can be retracable. If it can’t be retracable, listing individuals imo shouldn’t be an option anyways.

Honestly i do not quite understand, why it is an option to interpret the already given info/metadata on a record or digital release and break it down to an personal/editor-based interpretation of a lineup. Ofc it is necessary to interpret information at some point, we all do, but in here there seems to be some doubt that group artists can hold a producing role while at the same time they can perform as a band. We are not interpreting group names and credit the members on release or release group level either.


Band credits is an artistic stance made so that each member gets the same share of fame and royalties.

It is purposely made so that you can’t know who wrote the work, as @yindesu said.

By breaking it, we loose the artist intent, without adding valid information. You can’t know if each member did really write each work (probably not).

As @XonE says, we should not replace artist intent by editor interpretation.


MB says credit what the release says, updating it with information from later releases when it appears. I cannot think of a single release where the Producer credits lists five members of a group, but often see Writing credits split.


But if the artist intent was to credit each member of the band equally, then individually crediting each member of the band does follow the artist intent, which was to credit each member equally. So if the standard for the database is to follow artist intent, then whether or not each band member truly participated in the writing of every work on an album is irrelevant, because the band has agreed that all members’ contribution to each work was substantial enough to warrant a writing credit, as is reflected in their decision to credit the entire band.

In that regard, listing individuals is really no different from crediting the whole band, except for the fact that it comes with some added benefits. Most obviously, there’s the fact that it allows individual band members to get credits attached to them on their artist page, which in my opinion is reason enough, but it also makes life easier for everyone who comes after you.

If an artist lists the writer as “Our Band,” logic tells us that what they really mean is “Our Band at the point in time that this work was recorded.” So just writing “Our Band” when you know which individuals are in the band at that time is potentially misleading to anyone who doesn’t know the band’s specific lineup at that point in time. And the argument that the visitor can go to the band’s page and find the artists at that time kind of proves my point; if that information is accurate, then why make people hunt for it when you could just put it in the credits?

And finally, there’s the fact that a group is not a person. When a band says “Our Band wrote this,” they mean that every member of the band at that time wrote this. If that’s the case, then why not credit every member of the band at that time? To me, that seems more like it’s following artist intent than just listing the band, which is something that can regularly change meaning based on what year an album was released.

The album itself is already assigned to the group as a whole. There’s no need to do that in individual credits too.

I don’t think the artist intent is to credit each member eaqually.
In this case, and it happens, they will explicitely list the members: All tracks written by A, B, C, D and E.

As I and @yindesu said, we think:

The purpose and result is indeed that all members gets same royalties, but without crediting them, the purpose is not to credit members, it’s an anti-egotism credit style.

If they credit the band it’s because they want that this anti-egotism credit style follows the works in every subsequent releases (compilations, covers, etc.), not limiting it to the current album.


Basically you can’t decipher band names to individuals. There might be recordings/works/releases where only parts of the band wrote/performed. Such a thing is not visible in a group name credit. If you credit individual members, you are pretty sure to enter false information at some point. entering information is not about your pesonal comfort, it is about being truthful to what information the artist/label offers.


Okay, me disagreeing with you doesn’t mean I’m discussing this as a matter of personal comfort. I don’t think it’s fair of you to dumb down my argument to that, as I have given valid reasons as to why it makes more sense to me to list individuals that go beyond it just being a matter of me just liking it that way.

And this isn’t me refusing to follow the rules of the site; ever since I found out about this rule, I have been listing whole bands in credits despite what I think makes more sense; but that shouldn’t mean we can’t have a discussion about it, especially when I’m not the only person who sees it this way.

AllMusic, for instance, almost always gives individual writing credits, even when sources like Discogs give group credits. It’s not a stretch to think that, in this case, crediting an entire group made up of individuals is the same thing as crediting every individual that makes up the group.

1 Like

How is it false if it comes from a rights society that is showing who wrote it. Why this and not other credits, like, Lennon-McCartney as a group or Jagger-Richards? Obviously the same deal, they don’t specify individually who wrote what, but they are always listed separately on MB. U2 is a prime example also, I suppose easier since their members haven’t changed, but it’s almost always in booklets as U2 & Bono. What happens when works in one booklet say one thing and another booklet say something different. What takes priority, etc. This is a long over due discussion that I hope can lead to a guidelines change. It’s apparent many feel rights societies are not a good source, so, are we saying not to use them at all? I suppose we could just add all the right societies IDs and that can lead people to that info if they want it. It does lead to a crazy amount of publishers. Also, should we add administered by labels as publishers or not? Some do, some don’t.

Well, when presented with conflicting information you will have to decide which is more likely to be accurate. That’s called research.

No, I would hope nobody is saying that.

These databases have a lot of information and are very useful. But as they have different goals from MB (they are primarily concerned with the disbursement of royalties) they should not be treated as authoritative for determining things like “who actually composed this work”.

This is especially the case for works that are in the public domain.