Re-recorded albums: always new release group?

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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:

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


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.