|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
See the guidelines for recording and release group titles for how to enter the release group's title.
The artist should usually be the same as the first release.
Any secondary types should apply to most of the tracks on the releases within the release group. It's OK if some of the tracks do not fit the type (for example, if a live album has some bonus studio tracks), as long as the type applies to the releases overall.
The following are not generally considered compilations and shouldn't be marked with the Compilation secondary type:
- A tribute release containing covers of another artist's work
- A classical release containing new recordings of a classical artist's work
There is a certain amount of crossover within the definition of compilation and the other types of release. 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. As a general rule, always select every secondary type that applies.
A computer game CD with audio tracks should be classified as a soundtrack.
What should be grouped together?
Release groups should be used to group variations of the same release. The following are examples of things which should normally be grouped together in the same release group:
- The original release
- Releases in different countries
- Releases on different formats
- Special/limited editions
- Promotional versions
- Pirated versions
- Different bootleg recordings of the same concert
This includes those where the tracklist isn't identical, such as releases which have bonus tracks or even bonus discs.
- Franz Ferdinand's "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand" includes a number of versions from a number of countries including the original, versions with a bonus disc, a vinyl version and a digital version.
- "My Fair Lady" (Original London Cast) includes the original vinyl release and a later re-release on CD.
- Blind Guardian's "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" also includes a Japanese release and a remastered version which have bonus tracks.
- "千と千尋の神隠し" also includes versions released in the USA and France which have officially translated track listings, along with a transliterated pseudo-release and a bootleg with extra tracks.
- "1970-04-29: Interstellar Encore: Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, USA" includes two different bootleg recordings of the same 1970 Pink Floyd concert.
What should not be grouped together?
There are a number of situations where it is not appropriate for releases to be part of the same release group:
- A release which combines releases from several other release groups into one new release should be a separate release group. This includes box sets and "2 in 1" releases.
- Series consisting of different volumes (typically released over a period of time) should have different release groups for each volume.
- "Café del Mar" and "Now That's What I Call Music!" are examples of series where each volume is a separate release group.
There are a number of situations where there is currently no consensus about whether releases should be grouped together or not. This includes the same album sung in different languages, re-recorded albums and remixed albums. Be aware that attempting to group these releases can be quite controversial. If in doubt, these releases should probably be in separate release groups.