CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art

Don't Start A Fire

LP (Item 588053) Wilbe, 1987 
Out Of Stock

LP, Vinyl record album


...

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, please note that 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. 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.

With our Used CDs, you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks — clean, and not dirty at all. You can also expect the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves — putting fresh cases on Used CDs we handle) — and you can expect the booklet to be in good shape, unless noted otherwise. We will list any specific details/defects underneath the item — so look for notes on cutout marks in the case, stamps on the barcode, or details like that.


You might be interested


Imaginations
20th Century, Mid 70s. Sealed
An excellent group soul from Chicago – and no wonder, since The Imaginations were previously Brighter Side Of Darknes, a sublime falsetto harmony group who had a huge hit in 1972 with "Love Jones". This record's very much in the vein of that song – but also features a ... LP, Vinyl record album
Ear Wax/Wonderland, Late 70s. Sealed
An obscure little funky group from Detroit, one with a tight ensemble sound that's very much in the Earth Wind & Fire mode – complete with a really great horn section, plenty of bass-heavy grooves a the bottom, and a relatively spiritual feel that comes through strongly on the best tracks! ... LP, Vinyl record album
Together
Warner, 1968. Good+
Mad mad funk, and the fantastic second LP by the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – the group that proved to everyone that LA could be just as funky as any other city in the 60s! The record draws strongly from the group's indie roots in the funky 45 scene – and the album's filled with ... LP, Vinyl record album
Casanova
Collectables, 1967/Mid 80s. Very Good+ (reissue)
Great reissue of this excellent bit of Chicago female soul, performed by the great Ruby Andrews, and with arrangements by some of the best local talents in the city. Ruby sang with a voice that was pure deep soul, but she had arrangements that were in the best Chicago tradition of the time. The ... LP, Vinyl record album
Duke Of Soul
Checker, 1967. Very Good+
Fantastic bit of soul by Gene Chandler, and despite the "hit" referred to in the title, the album's a great batch of stuff that doesn't really see the light of day that often! Includes his great remake of "Rainbow", titled "Rainbow 65", and featuring some amazing live ... LP, Vinyl record album
Stylistics
Avco, 1971. Very Good
A masterpiece of harmony soul – one of THE all-time greats of the genre, and a lasting treasure from The Stylistics! The album really took vocal soul to a whole new level for the 70s – pushing from the sometimes fragile ballad style of the late 60s into a smoother, more mature sound ... LP, Vinyl record album
Down To Earth
Stang, 1976. Very Good
Sweetly stepping funk from The Rimshots – here moving from their rawer early sound into a tighter mode that was much more in keeping with the Philly scene of the time! The set's got a really full ensemble group feel – similar to other All Platinum classics by Brand New Funk and Wood ... LP, Vinyl record album
Insides Out
Dakar, 1974. Very Good+
A wonderful early record from Bohannon – and with a very different feel than usual! Although most of Bohannon's work from the time is up-tempo and funky, side two of this album has some amazing slow spacey cuts – done with a drum sound that's still quite hard, but just slower than ... LP, Vinyl record album
Nard
Arista/GRP, 1981. Very Good+
A masterpiece of smooth jazzy funk – and super-hip session headed up by the young keyboardist Bernard Wright! Wright's working here with an insider crowd of jazz funk players that includes Bobby Broom, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller, and Don Blackman, whose funky style is very similar to Wright's ... LP, Vinyl record album
Betty Davis
Just Sunshine, 1973. Good
Betty Davis was one of the nastiest ladies in 70s soul – and this is one of her greatest albums – a killer batch of funky tracks all the way through! Betty has a sound like nobody else – and she takes heavy drums, throbbing bass, and ripping guitars – all as a hard and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atco, 1975. Near Mint-
Sublime work from Blue Magic – a record that still has them singing in the sweet harmony sound of earlier records, but which also picks up a fuller sound and a bit of a groove – thanks to stone Philly arrangements by Norman Harris and Ron "Have Mercy" Kersey! A number of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Stax, 1971. Very Good Gatefold
One of the most fantastic soundtracks of the 70s – and maybe even of all time – thanks to a non-stop blast of insane styles and grooves – all quite different than other blacksploitation records of the time! For this, his masterpiece film, Melvin Van Peebles composed a non-stop ... LP, Vinyl record album
 



⇑ Top