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Mason Williams Phonograph Record/Ear Show/Music By/Handmade/Sharepickers

CD (Item 114515) Warner/BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s — Condition: New Copy
2CD
Out Of Stock

CD

✈
❔
Five really inventive albums from the great Mason Williams – presented here in a single package! First up is the Mason Williams Phonograph Record – amazing stuff, one of those records you see for years, and always pass by – but which yields some real surprises once you dig in! Mason Williams is one of the cooler cats in the Warner Brothers stable of the late 60s – but he's also one of the more subtle, too – a folkie at heart, but an artist with a really great sense of wit, warmth, and variety – very much in the best genre-stepping style of the Burbank scene of the time. The set features, of course, Mason's huge hit "Classical Gas" – an instrumental you'll recognize instantly – but next to that is the sublime "Baroque A Nova", a very cool scatting harmony track that's like some lost late 60s Hugo Montenegro gem – and the camp psych gem "The Prince's Panties" – done with all the wit of late 60s Warner – as is the whole album! Other tracks include "Wanderlove", "Overture", "All The Time", and "She's Gone Away". Next is the Mason Williams Ear Show – a wonderfully weird record from the mighty Mason Williams – a set that's filled with lots of cool little surprises at each new twist and turn – yet which also comes across with a really solid, tuneful feel overall! The album's got a bit of folk, a bit of moog, and a bit of kitsch – but has a way of serving it all up with the kind of warmth and wit we love so much in that unique late 60s Warner Brothers moment – the same sort of vibe you might get from Van Dyke Parks or Harpers Bizarre at their best. Some tunes have Mason Williams singing these beautifully poetic lyrics straight, while others evoke the playful feel of his appearances on the Smothers Brothers Show – but things are really balanced throughout, and give the record that sense of discovery we hardly ever find in albums these days. Titles include a new version of "Baroque A Nova" from Mason's first album, the cool electronic "Generatah Oscillatah" instrumental, the groovy "Last Great Waltz", a "One Minute Commercial", and a wild remake of "Cinderella Rockefella" – plus "Saturday Night At The World", "$13 Stella", and "Whistle Hear". Music By Mason Williams is sublime genius from Mason – one of the most subtle talents in the Warner hip stable at the time – more so than even Jack Nitzsche or Van Dyke Parks! The album is a non-ironic blend of soundtrack styles, country music, and even some pseudo classical numbers – all handled with that youthful sense of nostalgic loss that seems to oddly characterize so much of the best work of the late 60s Warner scene. Titles include "Cowboy Buckaroo", "J Edgar Swoop", "Sunflower", "A Major Thang", "The Brothers Theme", and "Bucko's Memoirs". Handmade is a record that's lovingly handmade by Warner studio genius Mason Williams – an artist who, like so many of Warner's great talents of the late 60s, started out in folk, but soon exploded to great new heights in the recording freedom offered by the label – as you'll hear in this really incredible set! Williams mixes acoustic instrumentation with larger arrangements, offbeat rhythms, and occasional vocals – post-folk, post-sunshine pop, and with these hip undercurrents that were barely understood in the right way at the time – even though Mason himself was enough of a popular figure for some folks. The songwriting is smart, and the instrumentation and arrangements even more so – as you'll hear on a great reworking of his famous "Classical Gas", plus "Jose's Piece", "Find A Reason To Believe", "Saturday Night At The World", "Tomato Vendetta", and "It's Over". Sharepickers is the last album in an amazing run of records that Mason Williams did for Warner Brothers – impossible to define in easy terms, as the whole thing is a mix of acoustic instrumentation, larger arrangements, occasional vocals, and this wonderful interplay between underground artists and top-shelf studio talents on the LA scene of the time! Williams' instrumental chops alone would have made the record great – but he really knocks it out of the park with his overall conception, which fits in that unique late 60s/early 70s Warner space perfectly, next to albums by Van Dyke Parks, Neon Philharmonic, John Hartford, and some of the other genre-breaking talents on the label. Titles include "Train Ride In G", "Poor Little Robin", "Godsend", "Linda Crest Lament", "A Little Bit Of Time", "Largo De Lux", and "Here I Am Again".  © 1996-2022, Dusty Groove, Inc.

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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