Release names for film soundtracks

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It seems to me that the key component in a film Soundtrack release title is the name of the film. The qualifiers such as ‘Music from the film’, ‘Original Soundtrack’, ‘OST’ etc. are subtitles - regardless of where a graphic designer placed them on the release paper - and should follow the film name.

e.g " A Rage in Harlem: Music From the Film " NOT " Music From the Film: A Rage in Harlem".

They are normally in tiny print compared to the title and as such are secondary to the film name.

At present MB has numerous examples of both treatments. They could be standardised without infringing the intent of ‘Put what’s on the release’.

Thoughts anyone?

My personal thought is that the titles should be left as intended on each separate release. I don’t think MB should force every soundtrack into a single cookie-cutter version as not all soundtracks are the same.

The film name should certainly be prominent, but it does not have to be forced to the front of the title.

“Music from the film” does not imply all of the music to me.

For example, look at the Withnail and I soundtrack releases. Originally this was released on 14 track Vinyl and included some of the major tracks like Jimi Hendrix. A bootleg version exists out there with EVERY bit of backing music added to it. And I have a 20th anniversary copy release with the DVD that is only the 8 tracks of Dundas/Wentworth music and nothing of the copyrighted tracks.

I’ll then turn to Bladerunner - this gets mental. I have about three or more different variants of this one ranging from one to five CDs.

If you start attempting to cookie-cutter the above you soon get into confusion as you’ll be needing to make up new titles to try and fit these into a single pattern.

Yeah - some of us are soundtrack nuts. Not an expert by any lengths, but do have a wide ranging collection.

I agree that titles need to be neat, but forcing them all into a single layout does not fit.

On a separate pet peeve, I also not exactly keen of this need to jam colons into titles where there was none originally. One very common use of MusicBrainz data is in the ripping of CDs. Those colons lead to messy folder names. (Ignore this bit of my comment… don’t want to go off topic :D)

HAHA - and as part of the point I just noticed that the two examples I posted are soundtracks without the work “soundtrack” or “music from the film” in the title.

Which again adds to the confusion :smiley:

I agree that not all soundtracks are the same, but this is not changed as a result of title sequence (A:B or B:A).

The point I was trying to make was that the text ‘Music from the film’ is only qualifying text and at present is it
left to the submitter to decide placement.

I agree, but that isn’t changed whether it is prefix or suffix.

The rest of your post is essentially a comment on the numerous ways in which releases were marketed and packaged by the record companies. In my view that doesn’t change the sequencing question.

Yeah! I noticed that :slight_smile: - disambiguation could help here.

I think it looks better to put the film name first, and the qualifer in parentheses.
A Rage in Harlem (Music From the Film)

Okay, so more examples for the “Leave it as it is” category.

Pink Floyd have done a few soundtracks over the decades. The albums don’t then have the “soundtrack” words attached anywhere in the title.


I have always seen this album referred to as “Obscured by Clouds” and rarely as “Obscured by Clouds: Music from the Film”.

Though looking through the releases here on MB and I see a few have copied the film name from the Vinyl insert. And, of course, in this case the film has a different name to the album.
Obscured by Clouds (Music From the Film “The Valley”)

But then we can get into the pedantic argument as it is a French film so should be Obscured by Clouds (Music From the Film “La Vallée”)

But on the CD releases you never see the “subtitle” used.

Similar with More. Generally it keeps the short name of the film.

Notice on Pink Floyd’s own website, they are selling the Vinyl again, and note that both More and Obscured by Clouds are named without mention of “film” or “soundtrack” in the title.

I think you are digging a hole here trying to get all soundtracks to comply. :slight_smile:

Haha - but there is a good example of why a clean-up may be needed on that Group-Release page.

Notice how ALL of the original Vinyl releases have had a subtitle added based on what was in the inner of the Vinyl label.

And then once the CD was released in the 1980s, that subtitle has gone.

But look at that list! What a mess up there of “speechmarks”. We have about three or four different styles!!

Another example of why I don’t think this should be enforced…

One search at Discogs:

Change the layout so it shows a text list… and you’ll see many examples of “music from the film” releases. Here i think are enough variations to show that you can’t cookie-cutter this.

Yes, I think there is an argument for “cleaning up” inconsistencies within a Release Group, but not to enforce a total change to all soundtracks.

In the above Obscured by Clouds Release Group I think that those first Vinyl Releases should be tidied up to be the same Obscured by Clouds (Music From the Film “The Valley”), but NOT change the CD releases which used just the shorter title that the album is known by.

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Whoa! - I didn’t suggest that any release titles get CHANGED to ADD information, only that where both a title and qualifying information ALREADY EXIST, that they be ordered with film name first i.e Film Name: Qualifier.

You’re right, Obscured By Clouds is a mess. By the way, my copy of Obscured… says nothing on the front cover, but on the back of the insert, on the CD itself and on the back cover it is labelled ‘Music from La Vallee’ (with accent).

The reason you see soundtracks listed with just the movie title is because of an old practice of interpreting the style guideline intended for musical theatre soundtracks to apply to movies. AFAIK that line of thinking has (mostly) died out and we usually add “Music From the Motion Picture” or whatever as a subtitle, using a colon (or other punctuation, if applicable) as prescribed in the subtitle style guide.

The suggestion here is to do the same for a leading part of the main title.

I would be inclined to expect «Music from the Film ”Title”» rather than «Title: Music from the Film».

In most soundtrack album titles the film name is predominant in both placement and font size, whilst the ‘Music from…’ is ancillary to the film name, of typically smaller font and not consistently placed with reference to the film name.

predominant - adj. present as the strongest or main element.
ancillary - adj. additional but less important, subsidiary.

  • Concise Oxford English Dictionary