When I type "monkees" into the "Search Library" box in iTunes, it offers me three things: (A) "The Monkees" as artists, and (B and C) the two songs I have by The Monkees. The search dropdown shows, right below the artist name listed on (A), that I have 439 songs by The Monkees. This is wrong: I just have the two. But those two songs both come from compilations, which have the following tags, among others:

Artist: The Monkees
Album Artist: Various Artists
Part of a compilation: True

The number 439 appears to be the total number of tracks with Album Artist = "Various Artists" that I have. And sure enough, when I select choose the Monkees artist hit from the search boxes, it shows me not just Monkees tracks, but every Various Artists track, split up by album, and with the two Monkees tracks being nowhere near each other. I'd much rather see just the two Monkees tracks.

What is the preferred way to handle this issue? I believe I have my music collection set up right (say, as described by this page and in a variety of other conversations I've found online), but the current behavior seems silly to me.

Here are some things I've tried:

  1. Going to View -> View Options under the Artists view and toggling the Group Compliations box
  2. Switching to the Songs view and playing with the settings under View -> Column Browser.
  3. Erasing Various Artists from the Album Artist field and leaving it blank instead.

Item #3 seems to work, but it's clearly not standard and so I would expect adopting it as a solution would cause other stuff to break, either now or at some point down the road.

Is there a clean way to handle this?

  • Why do you want Various Artists in the Album Artist field? I would just go with option 3.
    – dwightk
    Mar 3, 2014 at 3:45
  • Having a placeholder like "Various Artists" seems standard. However, I can't name anything specific that would break if I just committed to #3.
    – kuzzooroo
    Mar 3, 2014 at 4:28

2 Answers 2


I only really see two options here.

1) Get rid of the Album Artists field altogether, select all tracks and Get Info. Set the Album Artist field to blank, meaning song are grouped solely by their Artist and not Album Artists. The songs in the various artists albums will still be linked by the album name if you just want that album.

2) Create a smart playlist with the filter being Artist is (or contains) "The Monkees". This will, of course, filter all Monkees songs into the playlist regardless of the Album Artist.

Beyond this, there doesn't seem to be much room for configuring various artist albums better.


Go to i tunes ,then edit ,get info and enter your preference or correct info then save Easy :-)

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