Sony Music "for use as release label only when no sub-label/imprint is specified"

Sony Music - MusicBrainz

“for use as release label only when no sub-label/imprint is specified”

Why? Looking through history, etc. it appears that this originally was because at one time only one label was allowed on a release? Is this true? If so, why has this continued. It appears many, if not most editors, ignore this. I can see if only one label was allowed to use the sublabel only, but this (along with the original BMG & distribution labels that have actual prominent labels) to me should be allowed. My reasoning is, it adds to help distinguish between labels that might not have the imprint on it. I think we should allow prominent labels like Sony Music & BMG to be listed if they are prominently on the labels and not ignored just because another label is on the artwork. Why not just list them both? I can understand purely distribution label, i.e. CD Baby, Distrokid, etc., but major labels that are in reality more than just distribution, should be added to the releases.


Exactly! :slight_smile:

Similar topic:

Good proposal (main label):

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Edit #84541261 - MusicBrainz
Edit #84540287 - MusicBrainz


My understanding of the purpose of How to Identify Labels - MusicBrainz is to declare that the Release Label is supposed to be the imprint(s), not (also) the record company.

You can also visit the official homepage of the American record company. Notice how Sony Music isn’t listed as one of their labels:


So, it follows that if Epic (the label) or Columbia (the label) is on the release, then Sony Music represents the record company that owns the label. I’d be curious to see if the Style Leader @reosarevok has any input.

But it’s an imprint on the releases. The record company is Sony Music Entertainment, not just Sony Music. While the Sony Music imprint maybe used to represent that sometimes, it doesn’t seem to all the time. In US, even though Sony Music Entertainmet is also record company, it’s not as common to see a Sony Music imprint on US releases, so it’s not on every release that has Sony Music Entertainment listed as a company.


That seems about right to me - I don’t usually see a use of adding every logo (especially since editors then tend to also associate the catalog number with every logo, or with the wrong one). I probably wouldn’t actively remove the label if someone had added it, but…

For disambiguation purpose.
Identifying your release in hands.

I have already visually seen 2 exactly identical editions, with the exception of one added label logo among several.

If MB only contains the main (?) label, those 2 editions will only be 1 release.

I also often came across an edition that would be like mine except it lacked some logo.
Knowing the previous example I cited, I had to add my edition, because I could not know if there was only one label because of that outdated guideline or for real.

Of course I should have kept my examples in my browser favourites…

The more people include all labels for their releases, the better.

I have never heard any concrete drawbacks to this.

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The main one I’ve seen is people associating catalog numbers with the completely wrong label, as mentioned earlier, since it’s usually hard to know which logo they are for :slight_smile:

I admit I always just assign all of the cat #'s to all the imprints. Should we not do this? Like you state, you usually don’t know what goes with what.

Well, often if you check the catnos of each imprint, you can at least figure out whose pattern it follows :slight_smile: But that’s not always easy.

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I too don’t think the catalogue numbers should be repeated.

  1. I associate it with the spine label, if any.

  2. Or sometimes the catalogue number contains a strong hint about the label, like a code that looks like the label name, an acronym. In this case I associate it with that label, if the label is one of the release labels.

But otherwise (often), I keep my catalogue numbers as label-less and my labels as catalogue-less.

Related to MBS-5602 and MBS-1735.


If I see multiple labels, I take a quick look at the different companies and look for patterns. Often each label has their own pattern for catalogue numbers that makes it easier to match up.

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Yeah, it’s easier when you see cat# listed in the annotation of labels. I started doing that with Universal Records and they definitely have a pattern, so, I’ll start trying to take note of cat # patterns on other labels if I notice a pattern and add them to annotations more.

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Are you referring to Universal Music’s Universal Records? Like this “pattern” where the same catalog number template is (intentionally, correctly) shared across hundreds of labels?*+AND+barcode%3A6*+AND+country%3AUS+AND+format%3ACD&type=release&limit=100&method=advanced

No, more like late 90’s early 00’s.
Universal Records - MusicBrainz

Those that you point out always looked like they are using ASINs as cat #'s or something.

They are not ASINs. They should be correct.

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Columbia/Legacy is an example where many releases were dual branded, including on the spine, but only have a single catalog number. I’ve gone back and forth on how best to enter those, but I have at times used “discogs style” and entered the catalog # twice.

On the other hand many of the Original Jazz Classics reissues have an OJC### catalog number as well as the original label’s imprint and catalog number (example) which would make MBS-5602 less desirable.