Re-recorded albums: always new release group?

i’m newer to musicbrainz and i just learned that there’s no rule about release groups of rerecorded albums. this surprised me, so i think we should talk about it. an example of what i mean is this:
Release group “Fearless (Taylor’s version)” by Taylor Swift - MusicBrainz & Release group “Fearless” by Taylor Swift - MusicBrainz are seperate rgs, but both are marked as only “album”. fearless (taylor’s version) is still the same songs, but it’s from 13 years later and contains completely different vocals. do you think these should be the same release group, or should they be related seperately?

i did open a ticket in jira, but we should probably come to an agreement before it gets changed: https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/STYLE-1946

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Definitely a new release group. New releases of all new recordings.

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Yes for me too, self-cover albums and such are new release groups, as they don’t share any recordings.

I did link one of those with a (self) cover relationship.

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She also sees them as new entities herself. She is making a disconnection from the past with these. It is not like some cleaned up deluxe edition, this is a new performance.

This is unusual so not that MB needs some special handling, just a new set of RGs.

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Style / Release Group - MusicBrainz

“There are a number of situations where there is currently no consensus about whether releases should be grouped together or not. This includes the same album sung in different languages, re-recorded albums and remixed albums. Be aware that attempting to group these releases can be quite controversial. If in doubt, these releases should probably be in separate release groups.

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The main doubt here is: should we change that to not be “if in doubt” (like the guideline above) but “always”? That would allow us to add a “rerecording” release group to release group relationship :slight_smile: Basically, right now we have the worst of both worlds, where some are in the same RG (so they would need a release-release relationship) and some in different ones (RG-RG relationship).

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As a listener and collector of what I like, I really would not want to have the re-recordings in the same release group.
A re-recorded album is a completely different album, for me, even if the same works are played in the same sequence.

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Personally, I think it should be always. I can’t think of any circumstance in which an artist would specifically want them together.

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Is anyone very opposed to mandating a new release group for these? I’m going to pin this for a week, but if nobody complains I’ll make this require a new release group.

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I am fine with re-recorded albums being a new release group… when they are actually a new release group.
Taylor Swift did it solely to prevent someone else from making money. She wasn’t re-imagining anything. She wasn’t revisiting anything. It was solely - buy my album so that the money goes to me.
Twisted Sister did it because they didn’t like what “the suits” (A&R, producers, label) did to their songs. Here are our songs, the way they were meant to be heard.

But where do you draw the line?
Ozzy Osbourne didn’t feel like paying royalties to the bass and keyboard players from the original albums, so he had just those parts recorded by someone new.
Rob Zombie (or was it White Zombie, I can never keep them straight) did “remix” albums which actually involved new recordings except for a couple samples/stems.

So, then, what is the cutoff for these “re-recorded” albums?
How much actually needs re-done to be considered different.

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That’s a fair point I didn’t think about earlier: do we consider an album re-recorded if only some parts were re-recorded?

I expect many Ozzy collectors/fans would not consider the re-recordings equivalent to the originals, but I expect Ozzy (at the time at least) did…

I don’t think we should take the artist feeling for this.
And in fact the artist certainly did not consider it the same thing, otherwise they would have kept the original recordings.

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in some cases, yes… but it definitely depends. for example, there are currently seperate release groups for the album and the album (jp version), but i put in an edit to merge these since the jp version was solely released in japan and only the korean lyrics are rerecorded - most of the lyrics are english.

there is definitely a cutoff… but it’s very hard to define. i have no idea what would be considered different, but i guess it just feels like the same rg sometimes? does that make sense?

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I’m not personally opposed, and clearer guidelines are generally better, but as I recall from the “same album sung in different languages”, opinion seemed to be divided in that case.

sorry for the bump, but just to be sure: is the general community consensus reached in this thread that if two releases share no (/very few) MB-recordings, they should usually be in separate RGs? i like this rule of thumb because it explains why remasters are the same RG and usually not rerecordings or re-mixes, but i want to be sure i’m understanding correctly before i internalize it haha

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Good bump-- This won’t come as a surprise to anyone that’s been watching recent discussion, but I’m actually opposed to this, even after a little light reading on the previous posts in this thread. The most important role that RGs serve, to me, is to aid in discoverability.

I can definitely see / relate to / understand the desire to have different RGs for re-recordings, but in my mind… how to put it…

Works are to Recordings
as Release Groups are to Releases

They represent, on a conceptual level, the same entity, but different instantiations of that entity. The most mainstream use case for RGs is different editions and releases in different countries (The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack comes to mind), but I believe it’s more helpful than hurtful to use more generous grouping than just that, and group, say, the original and re-recorded versions of a release together, so that information discovery is easier for people actually using the MB site, and the Releases can “cross-pollinate” (so to speak) users’ discovery of the other Release.

Edit: I realize that I’ve just hit on the heart of the issue, which is, “When does one consider the entity, on a conceptual level, to be distinct?” And this is always going to be controversial. I don’t have any good answers at the moment, but here’s food for thought:

Could the same rules that are used to determine whether one Work should be distinct from another Work also be applied to Release Groups?

Edit 2: And also: Regarding our stance about how artists feel about their newer works being grouped with their older works, or whether they’re able to make clean breaks from the past and whatnot… I’d encourage folks to go and read the Data Removal Policy, and just take a moment to soak in the ethos of what’s written there. That’s kinda where I’m coming from re: that little facet of the discussion, personally.

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But your example is not really the same.
You are talking about different MB recordings of the same audio recordings / same source.

The typical example for separate release groups is new recording sessions of an album, like a self-cover album.

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I’m in the ‘always a new RG’ camp. They may be the same songs, but they are different performances. This happens in classical all the time. Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic recorded all 9 Beethoven symphonies on 4 separate occasions. I don’t think anyone considers them a single release group.

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i see!! so the general “rule” here is more like…

new MB-recordings = new release groups, as long as these recordings are the result of the artist making actual changes, whether the album (or many parts of it) is rerecorded, heavily re-mixed, or both, which would exclude

  • remasters (because same recordings)
  • different splits of the same base recordings, like a one-track dj mix vs its split up counterparts
  • different bootleg recordings of the same concert (mentioned in style guidelines i think)
  • debatably, different “sources” of the same songs, like an official game soundtrack vs bootleg rips from the game

does this sound right? im autistic so im not great at taking it totally case-by-case haha. i want to have a general course of action even for things that might seem intuitive

also, i LOVE annotations, so i definitely think any case of split release groups should have plenty of annotations to aid in discoverability & explain why they’re not together

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