Number of songs: 106 | Total weeks on charts: 440 Appearing in a total number of: 110 charts | Total period running: 2796 days
Various Artists, often abbreviated as VA or V/A, is a term used by the music industry for releases (singles or albums) that contain collaborations. Rather than listing the many individual singers or artists being credited individually, the name Various Artists is used instead.
Aggregated compilation albums containing tracks from a number of artists can also be credited to Various Artists. Various Artists compilation albums are often compiled from a particular musical style or period to another.
There are also charity records released that may use the term rather than mentioning specific artists, e.g. USA for Africa or Band Aid.
Another use for Various Artists is a specific artist "and Various Artists" or "featuring Various Artists". This is most common in remixes where there are many releases using the formula, such as "Rihanna featuring Various Artists" for remixes of "What's My Name?".
Sometimes the term "and Friends" is used instead, as for example the song "That's What Friends Are For" credited to "Dionne Warwick & Friends" (rather than Various Artists).
Various artist themed compilations, e.g. love songs, Christmas songs, songs featuring a particular instrument (such as saxophone or piano), one-hit wonders, and countless other variations. Original work by various artists for a single album or single, such as Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You or Band-Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed The World) occasionally get erroneously mentioned as compilation albums or singles due to the fact that the songs are a compilation of various singers or musicians, however, they are original albums, not compilation albums.
Various artist genre compilations, e.g. jazz, synthpop, rock, etc. These may be from the same time period (Year, decade or era, for example.), or may incorporate a common theme, as a soundtrack exemplifies well.
Various artist hit compilations. This has been a very successful part of the album market since the early 1970s. Recent hit singles are gathered together in one place. In the 1970s, these were often single vinyl LPs with 10 to 12 tracks or more. In the 1980s, a double album with 6 or 8 tracks on each side became the norm. Now that CDs are the dominant format, these compilations are usually released on one, two, or three CDs.