I should have created this thread before the end of my edit but I’ve been really busy with all the eponymous bands / specific feedbacks we receive on SensCritique. Sorry about that.
I think we should separate The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” in two different RGs.
The US version and the UK version have a 9 tracks difference (it’s explained in the edit above).
If we follow the guidelines about albums with really different content, we should keep them separated but I understand that this would create a precedent for a lot of 1960s major albums (The Rolling Stones notably).
For another example, The Animals already have separated RGs.
The edit has already been applied but I didn’t move any releases there so I’m waiting for your opinion.
This seems to be quite a big change to how Release Groups are defined. I can think of other examples that this will hit. Re-releases of albums with large volumes of extra data. Expanded and deluxe albums seem to fit into this “it should be separated” category. It is also quite common to have different editions of an album sold in different territories. Your proposal will create a large grey area.
Making large changes to how the database is built needs to drag in the database designers who live out on IRC. Making a breaking change to a Beatles release isn’t really the right way to propose changes. Too few people will see that change. You only got a single positive vote.
Of course, we should discuss it on a case-by-case basis.
But I think we need to realize that US and UK versions may be really different. For “A Hard Day’s Night” a 9 tracks difference between two versions that are not deluxe or anything, it makes me wondering if they are in the same RG just because they share a title.
Btw I separated another RG because all they shared was the title.
I understand and respect your precaution but we already have separated RGs (The Animals) that nobody (?) complained about. We should have a definite guideline about this too, don’t you agree?
So to summarize from the edit notes:
8 tracks are common to both releases.
The UK version has, in addition to those 8, another 5 Beatles songs.
The US version has, in addition to those 8, 4 orchestral tracks.
So, roughly 1/3 of the material on each version is unique.
If I count correctly, the US and UK versions of the Animals debut have 7 tracks out of 12 common to both versions. It seems reasonable, then, that these two cases should be treated similarly.
I think the expanded editions that @IvanDobsky mentions are a different case, in as much as they include all the original material plus more. The core question here is “how much shared material is needed to be considered ‘the same album’?”
There needs to be a nice clear definition that gets into the official guidelines with real examples. The current definition is a simple “it’s basically the same album” is what drives the RGs.
The definition needs to be clear enough that it stops a Deluxe edition from being split.
Curious question - which version of this Beatles album is on iTunes\record stores? Do they offer both as separate entities? What about when trying to buy the albums from the Record Label, are the two separate versions now available both sides of the pond?
If it wasn’t a band as big as the Beatles, I’d just see this as a case of an 8 track album with different bonus content depending on the geographic market. Like two different deluxe editions.
it is a bit like 12" singles from the 1980s\1990s where you have the main track as track one, but many different combinations of remixes and alternate tracks filling up the rest of the disc. These are all put into the same RG as they are seen as the same related single. Your request would break that pattern.
When the Beatles’ catalog first came out on CD, EMI went with the UK versions worldwide. Those are the same versions you’ll find on streaming services. The US versions (as well as the US-only LPs like "Beatles ‘65’ and “Yesterday and Today”) are now just historical artifacts.
So they are more like a deluxe minus? The core 8 tracks being the same.
When did they get to catch up and get those other five tracks released over there?
Not really as the point of a single is to promote one or maybe two tracks.
The rest will differ, there may be bonus tracks like remixes or extended cuts but the core (the single) is still here.
While with an album, there can be two really different versions, (to me) worthy of having two separate RGs.
Because today, the US version of a “Hard Day’s Night” may be a historical artefact, but it’s still the first release to appear on the RG and the most popular one (the UK version) is the 6th.