Is it really necessary to have a different release for different covers even if the barcode is the same?

Super K-pop group NCT recently released an album. It has 21 different jewel case versions, one for each member. They all have the same barcode and even catalogue number. I’m wondering if I really need to add 21 releases (which is a lot of work) or if I should add just 1 and put an annotation mentioning that it has different covers.

If they choose such cumbersome commercial strategy, yes, we have to make separate releases.
Or you don’t have to, you can create only the one you have, if you want. And leave the rest out of MB, if no one cares.


another example from my collection:

I personally would add the other releases, but that’s up to you, whether you want to or not. although if you do just add 1, I’d also add a disambiguation to the release as to which member’s cover it is.


Strictly following the documentation, this should be 21 releases. However, I think this is an example that should be an exception. This is different from releases where the barcode, catalog number, etc., are all the same, but there’s minor difference in the artwork like the style or position of a logo, etc. This is an intentional instance of a release that is marketed with a series of covers. There is an exception for “…releases where every cover will necessarily be different (like hand-printed, hand-made or even knit covers).” I think this should be an exception as well.

I disagree, I don’t think this should be an exception, especially when there’s people out there who collect variant release covers just like this. if nothing but different logos or minor artwork differences mean a different release, I don’t see why completely different album artwork shouldn’t…


There are already plenty of examples like this in the database. It is a common trick to maximise sales and has been used for decades. The variants usually end up named in the disambiguation. As @UltimateRiff notes, this is something a collector is really interested in.

If I was adding these I’d just add a couple of examples and lots of annotation about the differences in the collection. There are handy scripts for cloning releases that take the hard work out of edits like this.


That exception is for releases where every copy is unique in some way (hence the emphasis on home-made stuff) not a release with many different variations like this.


Here’s an example: