Nā Hōkū Hanohano 101, Part 4: Compilations, Anthologies, and Hybrids

hokuDisclaimer: I am a member of the Board of Governors of HARA, but this document is not an official HARA communication. What I write here is based on my prior experience as a board member, continuting interaction with them and other members, and continuing service on the selection committee. Hopefully it will help, inform and entertain you, but take it with a grain of salt, and a dash of sarcasm. This document was updated on 7/5/17.

This is the continuation of a series of essays I posted here, starting a few years ago. I am posting it in the hope that it helps members understand the process that the HARA selection committee goes through when determining release eligibility for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and where to place releases. This is not an official communication from HARA, but my own attempt to help educate members about issues that we encounter.

There is often misunderstanding among HARA members about what constitutes a compillation and what consitutes an anthology for purposes of the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Here are the definitions, with key portions italicized:

3.3.4 Compilation Album of the Year. (Producer’s Award) Best album of newly released material. The album must contain a minimum of three (3) distinct artists on distinct tracks.

Anthologies are the only category in which releases can contain a significant amount of previously recorded material. As a matter of fact, the must contain at least 75% previously commercially released material:

3.3.2 Anthology of the Year. (Producer’s Award) Best album of previously released material. At least 75% of the album must have previously released material from at least two (2) different releases. The album must also have a revised song order, be repackaged, or be substantively different from the original releases.

So previously unreleased recordings – no matter how old – are not eligible here. Nor are reissues – recordings that appear exactly as they had been released, say on LP albums. They music contain recordings that were previously available for purchase and were found in more than one release.

The selection committee has been challenged in recent years by “hybrid” releases that contain both previously released tracks and new ones. It is important to understand that the only category that can (and must) contain a significant number of previously released tracks is Anthology.

All other releases must contain 75% previously unreleased tracks or they will be ineligible for the Nā Hokū Hanohano Awards. At all. So if you are considering throwing a few old tracks on your new release to fill it out, do the math :

The 75% quantum required on an album of 9 songs is 7 songs; on an album of 10 songs it is 8 songs; on an album of 11 songs it is 9 songs; on an album of 12 it is 9 songs; on an album of 13 songs it is 10 songs; on an album of 14 songs it is 11 songs, etc.

This comes directly from the Entry Guidelines document that is posted along with the entry form for the awards. So if you have an album containing ten songs and three of them are previously released tracks, it is not eligible for the awards. At all. Not in anthology, not in any genre category, not for Album of the Year.

If you are planning to record and release a CD this year (or in the future), it really behooves you to make sure you understand the entry guidelines or risk being disappointed when you find out that your release may not qualify for the genre category in which you think your music belongs, or find out it is not eligible at all. Think twice about adding previously recorded tracks to a new CD, and if you do, do the math! If in doubt, ask. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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