Getting the "latest" related record from a SQL DB

Gareth Harper spansh+london at
Thu Oct 9 18:04:15 BST 2014

In general I guess it's cleaner to do:

SELECT * FROM artist WHERE id = ?
SELECT * FROM album WHERE artist_id = ? ORDER BY release_date DESC LIMIT 1


SELECT * from artist INNER JOIN album ON ( = album.artist_id)
ORDER BY album.release_date DESC LIMIT 1



On 9 October 2014 13:28, Andrew Beverley <andy at> wrote:

> Hi guys,
> I'm after some best-practice advice regarding SQL database design.
> I have a table (say "artist", couldn't resist...) that has a one-to-many
> relationship to another table (say "album"). The album table has a field
> which references the artist table's ID. So one artist can have many
> albums.
> So, if I want to know all of an artist's albums, that's easy.
> But what if I want to fetch an artist's details and his latest album? I
> can select the artist from the artists table and then join the albums
> table. But to get the latest album I'd have to use a max function (say
> on the album's date), with which it isn't possible to get the related
> fields in the same row.
> I see 2 ways of solving this:
> - Run multiple queries to get the relevant album's ID (if even possible)
> and then retrieve its row in entirety.
> - Have a reference from the artist table back to the album table,
> specifying which is the latest album, which I update each time the
> albums table is updated.
> Neither seem particularly tidy to me, so am I missing something
> completely obvious?
> Thanks,
> Andy

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