As far as I am aware it’s currently accepted practice to keep different language versions of albums in separate release groups, though there is no relationship type to link the two (or more) release groups. I made a ticket to add such a relationship and this thread to discuss whether this practice should be incorporated as a formal guideline. The release group guideline as it stands says there is no consensus on this issue, but I have had people tell me (in the context of movie soundtracks) that different language versions should have separate release groups.
EDITED BY ADMIN:
What should we do with translated versions of albums? (examples in posts below, and also soundtracks as mentioned above - for example, most Disney soundtracks get versions in different languages by different artists).
- Same release group
- Different release groups
Here’s a recent discussion on the topic.
I notice that Peter Gabriel’s German language albums share release groups with their English versions (“melt” and Security).
My personal opinion is that different language versions of the same album should be grouped in the same release group – but if others say differently and if the style guide doesn’t categorically say one way or the other, then the “no consensus” claim appears true. Inspired by this, I put in a couple edits; let’s see how the votes go:
I personally like the idea of having different release groups, in which case this relationship should no doubt be added. But it’s unclear whether this option is popular enough to make it official. So, let’s have a poll! I’ll add it to the first post.
The discussion from bflaminios edits have convinced me to lean toward different release groups. Since errant mergers cause Soooo many serious problems, What about creating a symbol such as a small circle with a purple dot (for purpose of discussion) that would immediately follow or precede the release group to designate there are versions in other languages?
If someone hovers over it, it could display “available in other languages” thereby prompting the user to look up the correct language for their release and or add their release to the correct group? As more users from more countries are contributing, I would think it might make it a little more user friendly. Just a thought.
I voted for separate release groups, but I think the UI could be improved by foregrounding RG-RG relationships more.
I would say that translations with different performers, like the Disney soundtracks, should be in separate release groups, but translations with the same performers, like Peter Gabriel’s albums, should be in the same RG.
I have changed from SAME to DIFFERENT.
The more I think about it, the more logical it is to have languages split up. Especially as we are also dealing with different artwork on the covers. Different track lengths. Lots of differences even if it came from a different source.
How many bands \ artists actually sing a whole album in multiple languages? I thought a majority of lazy English speakers didn’t bother.
Outside of Soundtracks and Audiobooks how often is this an issue?
Actually, I would expect to see it the other way more often: A “foreign” performer releasing an English version to try to break in to the American/UK markets.
Very good point… and these are often at a slightly different release date. Making another reason that a different Release Group would make some sense.
An example track jumps to mind from my teenage years - “99 Luftballons” - so I went to have a look:
Here we find the German and English version of the single listed together.
Ah - now we have a confusing situation. When this German band release the single in the UK and US they put an English version on the A side and the German original on the B side.
So that makes it a vote for “Same Release Group”…
Maybe the answer is that there is no answer, and that it be determined case-by-case.
FWIW: I added a relationship for this, since the guideline for soundtracks explicitly says these should be kept separate in that case (which makes sense to me for soundtracks at least anyway, since usually the singers are also completely different). I specified in the relationship guidelines that since non-soundtrack cases are currently determined case-by-case, the existence of this relationship should not be taken in itself as a justification to separate RGs for non-soundtracks. Whether people will follow that or not, I guess we’ll see!
I found that people were (mis)using the translated cover relationship for this, for which I already corrected a few.
Lots of obscure release groups are now linked to Lion King (1994).