New release group for instrumental versions?

Hello everyone.

Do I need to add a new release group for an instrumental version of a single, or do I have to simply add a new release to the existing RG?

Also, if I have to create a new RG, should I use the Remix label as second type?


in my experience, where to split and combine release groups has been kinda a gray area in the community. I haven’t even decided for myself on this particular case, but after a brief search, I found more examples of such releases in the same release group as the non-instrumental versions


There are already a few topics around this undecided subject.
Should instrumental, karaoke and remix release groups be merged with main release group?

For the 2 reasons that @Freso pointed out, I think the keep separate approach is the safest move, at the moment:


if you do seperate them, I would put a link in the annotations of both release groups linking them together, like I did with the original and DJ-mixed versions of 4×4=12, even though there’s also a relationship in my case

I don’t believe there’s a proper relationship in the case of instrumental–original release groups…

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Usually what is meant by so called instrumental on singles, it’s karaoke (aka backing tracks).
A remix relationships is not that wrong, as removing lead vocal tracks from the mix, is a kind of remix. :wink:


Thank you both for your answers and useful links.
In the end I did what @jesus2099 suggested (which was my initial thought too, but I wanted to look for some consenus anyway), that is keeping separate Release Groups, adding “Remix” as secondary type, and adding the “remix of” and “karaoke version of” relationships at RG and recording level respectively.

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Resurrecting this thread since this is still coming up (and not just for singles):

Hip-hop artists often release instrumental versions of their albums (not to be confused with instrumental hip-hop albums). Here are some examples:

In most of the cases that I’ve seen, MB editors have placed the instrumental releases in the same release groups as the original “vocals” releases. I created edit #100144696 to merge an instrumental release group to follow this pattern, but most some of the editors in the resulting conversation think that instrumental versions belong in their own release groups.

I think I agree with this too. If I only had the instrumental version of a hip-hop album, I wouldn’t view it as being “essentially the same” as the original album, which is a test that I’ve sometimes seen used to determine whether two releases belong in the same release group.

Are there any reasons why instrumental versions of albums shouldn’t usually (always?) get their own release groups? The only one I could think of is that it clutters the album list on the artist page, but @Antiguastrea’s suggestion of setting the “remix” secondary type seems like it could avoid this.

@reosarevok, any guidance here? If creating new release groups seems reasonable, I’d like to add a new item to the “What should not be grouped together?” list at Style / Release Group - MusicBrainz to settle the issue.


The main test I use is - what does the artist think? Will the artist think they released two albums, or just one in different versions?

Personally I see them as the same and would put a vocal and instrumental together as at the core they are the same album. But I can also see arguments either way.

A puzzle this may lead to is if MB follows the “split the RGs” is what then happens to an album that has both the vocal and instrumental in the same release? I can see some editors taking this to a level of claiming that is a compilation… Another reason I’d put all of these into the same RG.

It is a little confusing to me that the guideline says “do you think you have the same album?” as I do think a vocal and instrumental are the same album at the core, but then I also can often own multiple variants of the same album.


I think the separate RGs are ideal, because I think that most artists would consider the “full” version of the release (i.e. with vocals) to be canonical and something like an instrumental just an alternate version. Personally I would also not consider an instrumental version of a release to fullfill the “Do I own this album?” test.

I would put a release that has both the “full” tracks as well as the instrumentals into the RG of the main group.

Ideally we could get a relationship to link these separate RGs together, rather than rely on manual annotation links.


Are they the same backing tracks, just the lead vocal track removed from the mix (kind of karaoke)?
I would use the RG remix of RG relationship.


If I buy the CD version of this album I have both the normal and instrumental tracks. If I stream/buy the digital version I can choose which to listen to similar to inserting the appropriate disc:

Or this one which has three 3 digital versions. Normal, instrumental and both:

Keeping these instrumentals in the same release group makes more sense to me and seems more in line with how charts usually treat them.
E.g. German charts: