Topic: recordings of songs in musical theatre productions – covers or not?
while i cannot find the specific source to cite this, i had long believed that the use of the "cover" attribute does not include songs that were recorded within the context of musical cast productions, especially so when they were written specifically for those musicals. whether it might have been derived from similar guidelines for performances of classical/opera music (where the "cover" attribute is also not used), or for some other reason, i don't know. but i think it makes sense, or at least shares a fair bit of consistency especially with opera recordings.
think about it: if all the songs recorded in a later cast production of a musical are covers of an earlier original production, isn't that like saying all later production soundtracks are covers of the original production soundtrack?
if, however, a song is recorded by an artist as part of a non-soundtrack album (and unless the artist had originally recorded the song before it was ever used in any musical, say like in jukebox musicals that often use previously recorded songs) then the above might arguably not apply and the "cover" attribute might be appropriate in that case.
especially now that the new theatre guideline assigns the recording artist credit to the performer rather than the musical composer (which had long been the case, before the revision), this distinction at least sets apart recordings made within the context of musical productions and those that are recorded as part of non-soundtrack contemporary albums by artists (though i expect some of you may doubt the worth of such a distinction).