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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art

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LP (Item 11401) CTI, 1972 

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We realize that there are many different interpretations of the standard grades used for pre-owned vinyl record albums & CD, so we thought we'd offer you the ones that we are working with, so you have an idea what we mean when we give the grade for a non-new item on our pages.

Used Vinyl Grades

Below are stated conditions for a used vinyl records at Dusty Groove. Grading for the cover should be assumed to be near (within a "+" or "-") the grading for the vinyl. If there is significant divergence from the condition of the vinyl, or specific flaws, these will be noted in the comments section of the item. However, please be aware that since the emphasis of this site is towards the music listener, our main concern is with the vinyl of any used item we sell. Additionally, all of our records are graded visually; considering the volume of used vinyl we handle, it is impossible for us to listen to each record. If we spot any significant flaws, we make every attempt to listen through them and note how they play.

The following grading conditions apply to the vinyl component of an album or single:

Sealed

This is what it says, that the record is still held fast in shrink-wrap. We tend to be pretty suspicious about these things, so if the shrink-wrap doesn't look original, or if the record seems to have undergone some damage over time, we'll probably take it out of the wrapper to ensure that it's in good shape — which is why we don't have more of these. In some cases the shrink-wrap may be torn in spots, but if it's not possible the record has been taken out and played, the record will still qualify as "Sealed".

Near Mint

Dusty Groove does not use the grades of Near Mint (or Mint, for that matter) because in our experience, we find that no records ever qualify for such a high grade. Even sealed records tend to have one or two slight faults, enough to usually qualify them for a grade of NM- or lower. We've often found that records which are clearly unplayed will have a slight amount of surface noise, especially in quieter recordings.

Near Mint - (minus)

  • Black vinyl that may show a slight amount of dust or dirt.
  • Should still be very shiny under a light, even with slight amount of dust on surface.
  • One or two small marks that would make an otherwise near perfect record slightly less so. These marks cannot be too deep, and should only be surface marks that won't affect play, but might detract from the looks.
  • May have some flaws and discoloration in the vinyl, but only those that would be intrinsic to the pressing. These should disappear when the record is tilted under the light, and will only show up when looking straight at the record. (Buddah and ABC pressings from the 70's are a good example of this.)
  • May have some slight marks from aging of the paper sleeve on the vinyl.
  • Possible minor surface noise when played.

Very Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl should be very clean, but can have less luster than near mint.
  • Should still shine under a light, but one or two marks may show up when tilted.
  • Can have a few small marks that may show up easily, but which do not affect play at all. Most marks of this quality will disappear when the record is tilted, and will not be felt with the back of a fingernail.
  • This is the kind of record that will play "near mint", but which will have some signs of use (although not major ones).
  • May have slight surface noise when played.

Very Good

  • Vinyl can have some dirt, but nothing major.
  • May not shine under light, but should still be pretty clean, and not too dirty.
  • May have a number of marks (5 to 10 at most), and obvious signs of play, but never a big cluster of them, or any major mark that would be very deep. Most marks should still not click under a fingernail.
  • May not look near perfect, but should play fairly well, with slight surface noise, and the occasional click in part of a song, but never throughout a whole song or more.
  • This is clearly a copy that was played by someone a number of times, but which could also be a good "play copy" for someone new.

Very Good - (minus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, and can lack a fair amount of luster.
  • Vinyl can have a number of marks, either in clusters or smaller amounts, but deeper.
  • This is the kind of record that you'd buy to play, but not because it looked that great. Still, the flaws should be mostly cosmetic, with nothing too deep that would ruin the overall record.
  • Examples include a record that has been kept for a while in a cover without the paper sleeve, or heavily played by a previous owner and has some marks across the surface. The record should play okay, though probably with surface noise.

Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, or have one outstanding flaw, such as a light residue, which could be difficult to clean.
  • May have marks on all parts, too many to qualify as Very Good-, or several deeper marks, but the record should still be ok for play without skips.
  • In general, this is a record that was played a fair amount, and handled without care. A typical example may be a record which has been heavily played by a DJ, and carries marks from slip cueing. Depending on the quality of the vinyl, may play with surface noise throughout.

Good

  • A record that you'd buy to play, cheap, but which you wouldn't buy for collecting.
  • Will have marks across all parts of the playing surface, and will most likely play with surface noise throughout. May have some other significant flaws, such as residue, or a track that skips.
  • In most cases, a poor quality copy of a very difficult to find record.

Fair

This is a grade we rarely use, as we try not to sell records in very bad condition, though in some rare cases we will list a record in such bad shape that it does not conform to the standards above. A "Fair" record will have enough marks or significant flaws that it does not even qualify as "Good", but is a copy you might consider for playing, if you're willing to put up with noise and/or flaws. An example might be a recording with surface noise so heavy that it is equal to the volume of the music. For records listed as "Fair", we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Poor

Like "Fair", we rarely list records in this condition, as they represent the extreme low end of spectrum. These records typically have multiple serious problems, and we offer them as "relics" or "objects" only — for those who want to at least have a copy of a record, even if it is not really worthy of play, perhaps for the cover alone. For these records, we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Additional Marks & Notes

If something is noteworthy, we try to note it in the comments — especially if it is an oddity that is the only wrong thing about the record. This might include, but isn't limited to, warped records, tracks that skip, cover damage or wear as noted above, or strictly cosmetic flaws.


Used CD Grade

We have only one grade for non-new CDs at Dusty Groove — "Used CD". This grade is somewhat all-encompassing, but we choose it because we try to offer Used CDs in the best shape possible.

When you purchase a Used CD you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks, the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves), and the booklet to be in good shape. Used CDs may show some signs of use but if there are significant details or defects we will list them underneath the item — just like we do with LPs — so look there for notes on cutout marks, stickers, promo stamps or other details.

All of our Used CDs are guaranteed to play without skipping or flaws. If you purchase a Used CD from Dusty Groove, you have 1 week to play it to determine that it plays correctly — and if it does not, then you may return it for a full refund.


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Bob James

BJ4
CTI, 1976. Very Good+ Gatefold
The 4th in Bob James legendary run of Fender Rhodes classics for CTI – and a record that still has him working with the dark edges that made the first few so great! As usual with these sets, there's a way of putting over the groove that's really unique – not really funky, but spacious ... LP, Vinyl record album

Hubert Laws

Rite Of Spring
CTI, 1971. Very Good+ Gatefold
A groundbreaking record from flautist Hubert Laws – a mixture of classical themes and jazz, handled with an airy CTI approach – and set to arrangements by Don Sebesky that are simply mindblowing! The album's a wonderful example of the way that CTI really pushed the boundaries of ... LP, Vinyl record album

Randy Weston

Blue Moses
CTI, 1972. Very Good Gatefold
Beautiful work from Randy Weston – and a unique electric session from the 70s! The feel is very different here than the angular modernism of Randy's roots – a warmer, more flowing sound – as you'd expect from the CTI label, and from Randy's use of electric piano as well as ... LP, Vinyl record album

Ron Carter

Blues Farm
CTI, 1973. Near Mint-
Sweet electric work from Ron Carter – subtle magic in the best CTI mode! Ron arranged the set himself, but he's working with a core group of CTI players that includes Bob James and Richard Tee on electric piano, Hubert Laws on flute, Ralph MacDonald on percussion, and Billy Cobham on drums ... LP, Vinyl record album

Paul Desmond

From The Hot Afternoon
A&M/CTI, 1969. Near Mint- Gatefold
Incredible stuff – and a record that grows more and more important to us over the years! Desmond's best known as the icy alto behind Dave Brubeck's big records of the 50s, but by this point in his career, he'd developed a keen interest in Brazilian music – and was working at a level ... LP, Vinyl record album

Art Farmer

Something You Got
CTI, 1977. Near Mint- Gatefold
A sweet funky album from Art Farmer– an artist we don't normally associate with 70s funk, but who does a really great job on this CTI session! Art's working here in the frontline with Yusef Lateef on reeds – another unlikely candidate for a record like this – and the pair get ... LP, Vinyl record album

George Benson & Joe Farrell

Benson & Farrell
CTI, 1976. Very Good+ Gatefold
A genius pairing of two top CTI Records talents in the 70s – the sweet guitar of George Benson and the amazing reed talents of Joe Farrell – both players who recorded in very different modes for the label, and who come out here sounding even more different when working together! There's ... LP, Vinyl record album
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Moody work from one of the most groundbreaking flute players of the 70s – and a real standout in the legendary catalog of CTI Records! Hubert Laws was not only richly talented, but he was also capable of a large number of styles – and this double-length set for CTI has him moving past ... LP, Vinyl record album
Veep, 1967. Near Mint-
An overlooked gem from Jimmy McGriff – a swingin' groovy live set, with a tight combo that races through a good bunch of material – and sounds a lot better than the live groups on some of Jimmy's Sue albums from the time. The whole thing was recorded in Newark, NJ – the home of ... LP, Vinyl record album

Gary McFarland

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Verve, 1965. Near Mint- Gatefold
One of the grooviest albums of the 60s – a sublime blend of jazz, bossa, and easy – and a set that definitely lives up to its title! The album's probably the most perfect realization of the unique groove that Gary McFarland was going for back in the day – a mix of vibes, ... LP, Vinyl record album

Leo Wright

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An unusual album from saxman Leo Wright! At this point, Wright had be playing for years in Europe, where he'd joined some of the best combos on the continent, and really developed his great sound on alto and flute. On this recording, though, he plays with an orchestra backing him up, and the ... LP, Vinyl record album

Modern Jazz Quartet/Milt Jackson Quintet

MJQ
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Nice stuff from the early days of the MJQ – recorded back when Kenny Clarke was still playing drums with the group, and giving them a bit more of a bottom! One side of the record features material recorded from one of the quartet's first sessions – in late 1952, with the tracks "La ... LP, Vinyl record album
 



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