Same album sung in different languages on MusicBrainz

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.


I am not a heavy user of MB but to me, it makes sense to group releases in this scenario into one release album.

I run into this issue a lot with Indian films, a lot of which get dubbed and released in multiple languages. When I look them up or use Picard to tag these albums, I want them to be linked together as they are the same film. The language doesn’t change the story or the plot of the movie. In addition, the tracklist and the artists tend to be the same on the different releases. Given that, I think it makes sense to have one release group per film with each language as a release within that release group.

Here are a couple examples of Indian films with soundtracks in multiple languages for context:


Just a quick statement of my thoughts…

I understand a release group to be the same album and containing all of its versions. Without looking at or reading guidelines, that is based on the fact that a standard and deluxe go in the same group, a promo and a official in the same, windowed albums, etc. For sure I see it as a separate release vs a release event, but the album itself is the same.

Personally, I would think that a deluxe and a standard would have separate groups before the same release in a different language… but that is not the topic. Just sharing my 2 cents and logic.

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The different language RGs could be grouped into a Series.
[leaves to visit Joeseph Mifsud for a month]

2 posts were split to a new topic: Languages in user profile

So here we go again, from my side I mostly agree with @chabreyflint point of view.


Following the theatrical release of Frozen 2 there are at least 4 release groups in different languages at MB. Some recordings are the same, others not.

I bet there is also an Italian or an Spanish version out there…
Is there a relationship type to link these release groups? Series doesn’t seem to fit, as this isn’t really a sequence.

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I am in favour of separate RGs simply to avoid having discussions about the RG title, plus to make things easier to find from artist pages.


I completely agree. And this doesn’t just affect movie soundtracks - all the big latin crooners in the 70s and 80s released their albums in a bunch of languages, often with the same title (ex. Julio Iglesias, Roberto Carlos, etc.).

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For the moment, nothing tells us to not merge those in official release group guideline (I personally am more in favour of grouping all language versions).

Actually it’s like what we do or not do with remixes.
There is a Remix subtype but, in practice, some use it while some put them all in the same Single release group.

A link should be put in the What should not be grouped together section to Style /Specific types of releases / Soundtrack / Release Group to raise attention on this point.
But for now, if you know this latter page, only soundtracks are affected by this not-merge policy.
Until some new guideline is decided.


My post gives the wrong impression that I will merge groups but in fact, as we are still in doubt, I will not change how any existing release groups are separated.
I just mean that we don’t apparently have any visible guideline on this matter, except the slightly hidden one that only relates to Soundtracks.