CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art

Golden Hits

LP (Item 622543) Imperial, 1964–1966 


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:


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.


  • 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.


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.


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

Imperial, 1970. Near Mint- Gatefold
Some of the most tuneful moments on record from the Bonzo Dog Band – a set that's got some really great songs, but which still allows some space for gags and jokes as well! After three previous albums together, even with a shifting lineup, the group have obviously gotten their groove down a ... LP, Vinyl record album
Imperial, 1969. Near Mint-
One of the most all-out comedic efforts from The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – a set that strongly shows their frequent association with the Monty Python crowd – and which comes off with a very similar sense of humor! The post-modern pastiche is in full effect here – as snippets of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Eskaton (UK), 1983. Near Mint-
The Zos Kia side includes the tracks "Sicktone", "Baptism Of Fire", "Rape", "Poisons", and "Truth" and was recorded live in Berlin. The Coil side includes the tracks "Sewn Open", "Silence & Secrecy", "Here To Here ... LP, Vinyl record album
Warner, 1980. Near Mint-
The era that catapulted cult heroes Devo into pop culture history – with bubblier synths, catchier hooks, and crazier multimedia shenanigans than ever before from these pioneers of the video era – and time capsule pop angle aside, one of the best and most innovate pop albums of its time! ... LP, Vinyl record album
Stop Your Motor
Warner, 1971. Very Good
A very groovy album of tracks that sounds extremely different from the mid-60's hits by the Association, but which also still shows their genius for production and for sensitive interpretation of sweet pop material. The whole thing's a lot more sophisticated than some of their other records – ... LP, Vinyl record album
Brother/Reprise, Late 60s. Very Good 2 LP Gatefold
A two-fer released in 1974 of these two post-Pet Sounds albums. Friends contains the lost classics like "Busy Doing Nothin", "Little Bird", "Be Here in the Mornin'", and "Diamond Head". Known by some as the Transcendental Meditation album, this one's filled ... LP, Vinyl record album
Wild Planet
Warner, 1980. Very Good+
An amazing record – one that we love to death over the years – and which never lets us down! There's a darkness here that goes way past any simple cliches you may have associated with the band – a haunting feel that transcends most of what they were ever capable of in later years. ... LP, Vinyl record album
Epic, 1967. Very Good+
A wonderful complement to the Donovan studio albums from the late 60s – a well-recorded live date from the US. The style of the tunes is a bit different than some of their more famous album and single versions – with a relaxed approach to the work that leans a bit more on some of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Epic, 1969. Very Good+
The second album from Spirit – and a standout powerhouse of late 60s rock! The combo have a great way of hitting a groove without losing their cool – as heard on the classic "I Got A Line On You", which leads off the set – and unlike most of their contemporaries, who ... LP, Vinyl record album
Capitol, Late 50s. Very Good+
A landmark album of exotica! Tamboo was cut with Les' orchestra and chorus – and it's a swirling mass of tribal drums, singing strings, and moody voices that would forever change the face of easy listening. Les' compositions are astounding – filled with all the sophsitication of a ... LP, Vinyl record album
ABC, 1977. Near Mint-
The first album by Shotgun – one of the many major label funk groups who flourished briefly at the end of the 70s. The group have a harder sound than most of this nature – with plenty of guitars in the mix, and an overall heavier sound than you'd expect from an effort of this type. In ... LP, Vinyl record album
Composite Truth
Polydor, 1973. Very Good- Gatefold
One of the greatest records ever from Mandrill – a set that has the group tightening things up and getting even more funky than on their first few records, but with a vibe that's still nicely loose and spontaneous overall! The set's got Mandrill perfectly balanced between jazz-tinged funk ... LP, Vinyl record album

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