Soundtracks as compilations

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A recent edit takes the view that many soundtracks (those that don’t have their own score but instead incorporate existing recordings) be tagged as compilations as well. My first reaction was of course not but on reflection the idea has merit. There are many examples of this kind of soundtrack (likely the majority; few movies produced these days can afford their own score).

One advantage to taking this approach is that it would allow us to distinguish these very common types of releases from an actual movie score, which has a style much like the classical style featuring composers and performers ( ).

I think it would be very useful to be able to clearly distinguish between these two types of releases, one with a composed score such as one of the Star Wars soundtracks , which we could leave tagged as album+soundtrack, and the other being a movie that borrows existing recordings, often deliberately to establish a particular time and place like in American Graffiti which would be tagged as album+soundtrack+compilation. We would need to explain this distinction in the style guidelines, of course, and there’s a ton of work to reclassify the soundtrack+compilation albums already in MB.



This is actually specifically mentioned in the documentation: “Compilation should be used in addition to, not instead of, other types: for example, a various artists soundtrack using pre-released music should be marked as both a soundtrack and a compilation” :slight_smile: (also on the style page which suggests we need to do something about the duplication…)

Whether it counts as a soundtrack seems more dubious from our definition later on that page that “A soundtrack is the musical score [to stuff]”, but given what’s specified, I guess it does (do these two lines contradict each other and if so how do we improve them?).

A somewhat related question I have is: does a compilation of themes from films count as just Compilation, or Compilation + Soundtrack?


I would say a secondary type is an attribute to the release group and therefore, in this case, the individual recordings are from soundtracks but the compilation itself is not a soundtrack to a movie. So not a soundtrack (imho).

But what about a single that was taken of a soundtrack ?

or a release that is sort of a soundtrack to a book (booktrack I guess :smiley: ) ?

or a release that is a compilation of songs inspired by a movie ?

or a transcribed version of a soundtrack work ?

Perhaps it’s time to define better what a soundtrack is… :slight_smile:


Good point. I’d missed that when I read the style page. Perhaps we need a note under Soundtrack that it should be tagged as compilation if it’s not based on recordings created specifically for the movie or TV show. (Live soundtracks, like the Woodstock one could do with a special note as well),

Regarding our definition, we really need to clear that up as it seems obvious to me that it’s not a musical score but a recording of one. It’s the same difference as between a work and a recording. With that small modification, compilation type soundtracks would not violate it; the main difference would be that the “score” becomes a collection of previously penned songs rather than a commissioned work.


The basic criteria, I think, is that the recordings on the release are essentially what is on the movie or TV show. (Some editing is to be expected, but the core recordings should be the same).

So, music inspired by a movie, or independent recordings of the score, would not count as a soundtrack. That’s my opinion, anyway.


A soundtrack single. I have already set some.

An album, I guess, without thinking. But maybe you are right it should be soundtrack.

Image albums are just albums, so if this compiles not new songs, it would be just a compilation.

A cover album.

Only the single and maybe the book, in those examples, are IMO soundtracks. :slight_smile:


Regarding „La Face B“:

I’d only use soundtrack if the CD actually accompanied the book. Otherwise it just falls into the „inspired by“ category.