Same album sung in different languages on MusicBrainz

A few days ago, I initiated a procedure of fusion between several albums of OST of the film “The princess and the frog” of Disney. See, & In fact, these are releases of countries with different languages and some songs have language changes from one album to another.
The member chabreyflint showed me the following guideline: where it is written that separating groups of releases may be the right solution in this case. Only, it seems that on this kind of merger there are no truly decisions made. Do I have to delete the procedures in progress?

I would leave them separate, since they’re not particularly equivalent - if I have, say, an Italian one I wouldn’t say I have the German one (as opposed to, say, an edition with a couple bonus tracks, where I’d still say I have the same “general” album in both cases)


@reosarevok: This argument makes sense. Could we then – unless someone strongly opposes this – update the guidelines, adding this case (maybe with this Disney example) under “What should not be grouped together”?


I would put them together as being OST of one and same film.


For me it seems to make sense to group them, out of purely organisational opinion.


Is the film “The princess and the frog” dubbed into Italian, the same film as “The princess and the frog” dubbed into German? I imagine the visuals are almost identical, but every spoken and sung sound will be different. In some cases, e.g. I believe the Japanese version of Frozen, they had a different arrangement of the song “Let It Go” than the North American version. There is a reasonable argument that they are different films.

Then, the Original Sound Track recordings will leave behind the (similar) visuals, and keep only the (very different) sounds.

This means I agree with @reosarevok:

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That sounds very strange to me. If we would talk about films we both have seen it wouldn’t matter in which language. Of course there are differences caused by translation, that is imminent to any non-trivial translation. But it is still the same visuals and same story. I also wouldn’t say Disney produced give films just because they translated one into five languages.

As for the soundtracks I am actually not sure. I tend to combine them in this case. They use the same cover art (just translated) and the same overall tracklist.


We’re talking about ‘‘MusicBrainz’’, not about ‘‘FilmBrainz’’. If I see a film, I would say I’ve seen this film, whatever the language. But if I buy the CD, it makes a big difference in which language the songs are sung: these are clearly performed by a different cast, and nobody would argue that different casts for opera or musical would not justify a different release group.

Of course we could (and should) group together film scores without (translated) songs


From a technical standpoint, of course they’re different albums, but if you were in a store looking for a different language version of the soundtrack, would you want it to be sitting right next to all the other languages, or have to go find it on its own somewhere else?
We’re talking about how we can group it for the user in a practical sense, not based on technicalities. That said if people use the release group tag for something important it would end up with incorrect information, so if that’s common (not sure) it might be best to keep them separate. Also for the RG artist if it differs, but I imagine the composer is usually the same.


9 out of 17 tracks are different Recordings, linking to different Works, performed by different vocalists and the Release Titles are not “very similar, if not the same, as the titles of the releases contained within it”

The examples there say for “My Fair Lady” to group Vinyl and CD version of the “original London Cast”. Here we would be grouping the “original US cast” with the “original french cast” and the “original german cast”…


I would leave them separate release groups and put in a disambiguation comment in the release group indicating is the German or French version of “The Princess and the Frog”.

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I woud prefer merging the release groups according to @aerozol’s argument, but I have to point out that this particular case is in the style gudes, on the soundtrack page: “Alternate-language releases in which each release contains new recordings for its language should each be in separate release groups.” If there was a strong consensus in the other direction here I’d suggest discussing changing the guidelines, but since it only seems roughly half-and-half and there’s already a ruling made, I’m going to have to say we go for separating them.


Just another example why (IMHO) such releases should be separated:

The new Disney animation film “Moana” is called “Vaiana” for german speaking moviegoers. Some of the songs are specially translated and re-recorded in the german synchronized version:

The one thing we’re missing to make me happy with separating translated releases is a way of linking those versions – sure, we have “translated version of” relationships on the works, but I’d rather not have to go that far down to get to another version of the releases. We do have “cover of” release group-release group relationships, but that stretches things a bit when the release is still credited to – not to mention even sung by – the original artists (or a subgroup of them, as in the Moana example), and “part of” release group-series relationships, but that feels like a bit of an abuse of the concept of “series”. How difficult would it be to add an analogue to “translated version of” for release groups, and is that even something y’all think would be helpful?


I’d like to immediately be presented with the “other languages” relationship if I was browsing an OST.
But I don’t assume that the current sparse GUI will be the ongoing situation.
I’m thinking that users of a music encyclopedia will insist on far more immediate presentation of relationships than is currently offered.

IF this is the case and MB does adapt to the users’ preferences then we’d be better off going with whatever good categorizing practice is and leave the immediate presentation of relationships up to the GUI/skin of the future.

The Things that we are categorising seem to be edge cases.
Without clear medium-large benefits from merging I think that edge cases are better (left) in separate containers.
Unless someone can show that merging produces a benefit I can’t see?

I would appreciate more explanation of why a series would not be a good relationship for the RGs.

@mmirG I was less thinking about the GUI (I’m actually a fan of most features of the current layout) and more just about providing a simple means of connecting translated release groups. However it’s displayed – as a text link in the “Relationships” list, or as something making use of modern web features – I’d say we’d benefit from an official means of indicating that translation, and unless we go with series, that’s probably going to need a small change to the database structure.

My argument against series is basically that, while translations fit the first half of the definition in the documentation (“A sequence of separate release groups […] with a common theme”) they don’t at all match the second (“the individual entities will often have been given a number indicating the position”), and it would be essentially repurposing “series” as “group of release groups”. I’ve had a bit too much experience with the mathmatical definitions to think of a sequence as equivalent to a set, but if that’s something the community here sees as overly-detailed semantics, then a series would probably work.

By the way, the Blue Note example on that page only has a single member. A casulty of merging?


If the store has a general “Disney”/(movie) soundtrack section, maybe they should all be there. Most stores that I’ve been to in Denmark have Danish/English mixed up on the shelves (though maybe with a dedicated “Danish” section) and non-Danish/English usually go in their own section (when they exist at all).

Maybe we could put this point of the guideline to vote.
It feels very shocking to me:

Alternate-language releases in which each release contains new recordings for its language should each be in separate release groups.

That makes multiplication of release groups.
Possibly with hardly one release each.

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Nothing wrong with that. By my understanding, one of the concepts for release groups, is that basically any release within an RG should be “interchangable”, that is for most people any one release would substitute for another. There might be some details difference like a better mastering, or a few bonus tracks, but essentially only an enthusiastic collector would feel the need to own more than one release within an RG.

Obviously the German release of a soundtrack with re-recorded tracks is no substitute for the English version; unlike if the only difference is in the cover art. I don’t necessarily care if I have the soundtrack titled “Run Lola Run” or “Lola rennt”, the audio is the same so they are effectively interchangeable. But I will care whether I have the Moana soundtrack vs. the Vaiana soundtrack or the “Nightmare Before Christmas” soundrack vs. the “Pesadilla antes de Navidad” soundtrack.


For me and for some others it is counter intuitive and not handy to not group those same film soundtracks in a release group.
All the instrument tracks of the mix are the same.
Only the vocal tracks are different.
The music is the same, not rerecorded, and recordings are linked to same top-works, with a translated lyrics work in between.
Not far from remixes.

Outside of soundtracks, where there is such a written guideline (that I am very surprised to discover it for the second time), I think it is more rare than Disney albums but we would have merged things like English and Spanish versions of same album or Cantonese and Mandarin versions.