Is an iTunes Original a Compilation?

Apple iTunes has commissioned a series of albums from artists that it has dubbed “iTunes Originals”, consisting of original recordings (mostly) from an artist, plus interviews. Musicbrainz has a corresponding series, iTunes Originals - MusicBrainz .
If you look through the series you’ll see many are tagged “Compilation”, but since most tracks were recorded specifically for the release (even though the songs are usually on some other recording on an earlier album), it doesn’t seem to fit with the Style Type definition.
So, how should these be classified? Compilation or simply an Album?

Looks like many of them legitimately are compilations.


Yes, it looks like there may be no simple answer. This one ITunes Original - Barenaked Ladies triggered my question, which according to Wikipedia has only four previously released tracks. The Wikipedia description suggests they all have at least a few “iTunes Original” tracks, and all seem to have some interview tracks as well so it seems likely most are at least half new recordings.


Hi there, perhaps I can shed some light, I mastered these for Chris. They were pretty much split in thirds 1/3 being album cuts with original mastering, simply compiled into the release, 1/3 was interview with Chris which we edited down in to song length bits and the final 1/3 was new live recordings done specifically for the iTunes originals release program. They eventually re-tooled the concept, stripping it down to just the live performance portion and rebranded it as iTunes Sessions. --Steph