Should the primary type of a release group be chosen based on the concept or the size of the contained release(s)?

Should the primary type of a release group be chosen based on the concept or the size of the contained release(s)?
AIUI a collection of previously released singles (whose artwork clearly puts the focus on these singles) should have the types Single+Compilation and should not be classified as EP+Compilation or Album+Compilation solely based on the number of tracks.
I think this conflicts with the intent of the release and would appreciate more votes on Edit #73317132.


This statement is a false dichotomy in my opinion. There may be multiple nuanced factors that need to be considered when deciding what the primary type of a release group should be. It’s not either / or.

The “concept” flows from artist intent, which is communicated via the artwork / packaging or statements from the artists themselves. I can find none of these for the release in your linked edit. The fact that the artwork incorporates the covers of various singles justifies the use of the compilation for the secondary type, but has no bearing on the primary type.

That leaves us with various uncanonical factors, which includes things like the size of the contained releases and any general consensus on other sites such as Discogs and Wikipedia etc.

1 Like

Actually, the cover has no bearing on the compilation type. It’s a compilation because it contains previously released material. The cover is possibly a hint at artist intent (or more likely the intent of the company that released it), but not definitive unless it happens to say “single” or “EP” etc on it.

I think there’s an underlying question here of whether Single and Compilation can even go together by definition. I feel like if they can, this case is as good as example as any, but I don’t have a strong opinion on it.


This point was in reference to the fact that the the cover art had been mentioned as one of the justifications for the setting the primary type to single. I didn’t intend to imply that it was the sole reason for setting the secondary type to compilation, it just provides some additional context.

1 Like

To me compilation means “album/ep that is a compilation of singles/eps/whatever (actual type doesnt really matter)” rather than “compilation of albums or eps”, so in most cases i think the size would be the most important

The thing about “compilation” is it is expressly defined as a collection, i.e. multiple, and specifically a collection of previously released material. Which by and large is the opposite of a single, which is focused on one or a few tracks that are typically new (with all the messy exceptions to that, sure). So you wouldn’t really expect Single and Compilation to appear together.

But the definition on that page only covers collections of recordings, and there is precedent for compilation including collections of release[ group]s (box sets, combo re-releases, etc). Yes, technically you can say that the recordings on those releases are the collection, but the way they’re packaged and marketed focuses on the releases. (Thus the “included in” relationship, right?) So in a case like this it’s almost like single is the subtype of compilation, but we don’t have that relationship. Single + Compilation would be the closest thing.

1 Like

Subtype maybe, but not primary type. I don’t see anything wrong with combining multiple singles into an EP or multiple EPs into an album, and it resulting into a compilation doesnt/shouldnt have much weight

And I do think that a single compilation can exist, but I can only think of 1 example This is a vinyl of 2 singles (2 seperate digital releases that were both 1 track) that were released ~7 years earlier.

1 Like