- I want to find a CD with a particular song.
- How can I find out if an oldies LP album has been re-released on CD?
- At which online stores can I search for CDs by:
* song title
* performing artist
* album title
* UPC/EAN barcode
* record label
* catalog number
* year released
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While finding an album by title or a digital download of a single song is relatively straightforward, locating a CD album that includes a particular song can often be tricky, especially for more obscure recordings. This page gathers together some very handy online resources that can help you in your search, whether you are trying to find one or more albums by some artist with many recordings that includes a hard-to-find song or, as is often the case, you are looking for some old favorite but long-forgotten compilation album title and can only remember a couple of tracks.
If the song you have in mind is from around 1960-1975, search or browse our song lists first (see menu above), and if we do not have what you are looking for, read on. We will walk you through a systematic search procedure we have devised which we have used successfully to track down hundreds of hard-to-find oldies music CDs on request.
But first, we highly recommend that you double-check the correct spellings for your song title and performing artist in case you have not done so already. If you are not completely sure of the song title and/or artist, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the long run by verifying this information beforehand as much as possible. For songs that are old enough to have been issued as 45rpm singles (which includes pretty much all the oldies), you can quickly double check this information in most cases at MusicStack. For a more extensive search, visit our Name That Tune FAQs page.
Some General Guidelines
- As you work through the list of databases and websites below, record any information you find about any CD album titles of interest that turn up in your searches. For each album, keep an eye out for the following: record label, catalog number, number of tracks, UPC or EAN barcode number, total tracks time, and year released.
- If you should also discover any old vinyl LP album titles along the way that include your target song, make a note of these as well since they may have later CD releases that could turn up on an online store's search.
- For both the song title and performing artist name, consider all possible spellings (as well as common misspellings) to broaden your searches as necessary.
- In some cases, your target song may appear on different recordings under different performing artist aliases, e.g., "Abergavenny" by Marty Wilde (a.k.a. Shannon).
- For most searches, "less is more" when it comes to search terms and maximizing the number of useful hits. Except where otherwise noted, a good rule of thumb is to enter just enough words to uniquely identify your song title and/or performing artist.
- When searching a database, do not get discouraged if your first searches should come up dry. Every database has its quirks, and you may need to play around with some of them a bit to coax out whatever information you are seeking.
CDs Databases and Websites
Our favorite first stop for finding CDs by song is WorldCat, a massive and easy-to-use database that includes many different types of holdings for over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Click here to access the search box, select the CDs tab, and enter the song title and performing artist. Broaden your search as necessary by selecting the Everything tab and repeating your search. This may uncover old vinyl LP albums (which can be searched on later for possible CD re-releases) as well as additional CD titles.
This database is particularly useful for tracking down hard-to-find compilation CDs for which you have only partial song title and/or performing artist information. Since default searches are unstructured and library records for each holding are generally fairly detailed, WorldCat is also one of very few online CD databases you can search on information for two or more tracks simultaneously.
Example 1: To find all Johnny Cash CDs in WorldCat that include both "It Ain't Me Babe" and "The Lady Came From Baltimore," enter the following: johnny cash babe lady baltimore. This will give several album listings (starting with "The Legendary Johnny Cash") that include both songs.
Example 2: To find compilation CDs that include both "The Grooviest Girl In The World" by The Fun & Games and any song by Lou Christie, enter the following: grooviest girl world fun games lou christie. This will give one album listing, "Bubblegum Classics. Volume 2 : The Ultimate Collection Of Pure Pop Music," that includes both "The Grooviest Girl In The World" by The Fun & Games and "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" by Lou Christie.
Allmusic is another very useful website where you can find CDs by song title. For most mainstream bands and artists, both past and present, the quickest way to access this information is to first search on the performer name using the search box near the top. From the search results, navigate to the performer's bio page, select the Songs tab, and then click on the desired song title. For lesser known acts without bio pages, search the Allmusic database on the song title (you might have to wade through more search results) for a list of CDs. Follow the links as necessary for more information about each recording.
Discogs has an extensive database that includes all types of recordings, and in a wide variety of genres. Click here to access this site's powerful Advanced Search and begin by entering the song title in the Track Title field. To narrow down the search results, also enter the performer's name in the By Artist field and/or "cd" in the Format field as necessary.
Tip: If you are looking for compilation CDs and want to make sure you don't miss anything, also try entering both the song title and performer in the Track Title field.
eBay is another great place to visit when you need to expand your list of candidate CDs. Although the searchable listings change constantly and music recordings come and go, you can often find older and out-of-print CD titles here that you might not find elsewhere. One of the best ways to access this information is as follows:
- Click here for eBay's Advanced Search.
- Enter a song title and/or performer's name under "Enter keywords or item number."
- Under "In this category" select "Music" from the dropdown menu.
- Under "Search including" select "Title and description."
- Click "Search."
- Narrow down the search results as necessary by clicking the "CDs" link under "Music" near the upper left hand corner.
Tip: If you should need to narrow down your search results even further, a search on two or more tracks is often possible, depending on how detailed the sellers' descriptions are. For many CD listings, complete tracks listings and other information are available and also accessible through an eBay search.
MusicBrainz is a very comprehensive music database that also enables a search for CD by song title. Click here to access Advanced Search and start by entering both the artist name and song title in the Track field under the "Tag lookup" heading. Expand your search results as necessary by entering the artist name in the Artist field and the song title in the Track field.
- Google Groups
If you have a Google account, Google Groups also has a wealth of information about oldies music where you may be able to uncover additional CD (and other album) titles not found elsewhere. Sign into Google Groups and search the posts by entering "CD" along with your target song and performer in the search box. Narrow down the search results as necessary by surrounding the song title and/or performer with quotes.
CDUniverse is one of a dwindling number of larger online music stores remaining that still enable a CD search by song title. Click here to access the search box and begin by entering both the artist and song title, making sure "Everything" is selected in the dropdown menu.
Depending on the song title and whether or not it is on a compilation or artist CD, you can also try entering just the song title with "Song" selected in the search box to cover all your bases. In the latter case, you will generally get more extensive and better results from entering a complete rather than partial song title (unlike most searches, where less is generally more when it comes to search terms).
Search by album title at the following stores:
Sometimes, the tracks from two or more LPs may be combined and re-released as a CD box set with a name different from that of the original LP(s). If a preliminary search gives no results and you want to cover all your bases, select one unique song or track from your LP and perform a search on CD by song title as described above if you have not already done so.
If you need a list of tracks from your LP to search on, visit WorldCat and enter the LP title in the search box (making sure the Everything tab is selected).