CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Enlarge       Note

Issue 97 – August/September 2017

Magazine (Item 857996) Blues Matters (UK), 2017 — Condition: New Copy
$9.99 ...


(€8.39 || £7.46 || ¥1110) (approx.)

The mighty Joe Bonamassa's on the cover, standing proudly next to his many-stringed guitar – in an issue that also looks at a huge range other contemporary blues and rock performers – including Devon Allman, Davy Knowles, Lance Lopez, Wiko Johnson, Eric Bibb, and others! There's also a feature on the 38th Blues Music Awards – and articles that include "I've Never Been To Memphis", "On The Road With Stevie Nimmo", "Scandinavian Blues Part 3", and "Radiating The 88s Part 6".  © 1996-2017, 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, 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

Classic Rock (UK), 2017. New Copy
Reunited supergroup Black Country Communion is on the cover – and the magazine even comes with a free 10 track CD of some their best tracks – and articles on Scorpions, Motorhead, T Rex, Michael Monroe, George Thorogood, Stone Temple Pilots and more. Magazine
Future (UK), 2017. New Copy
This issue revisits Pink Floyd at Pompeii – and includes pieces on Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, Billy Sherwood's 80s prog outfit World Trade, Caligula's Horse, UK proggers Discipline, the new supergroup Gizmodrome and tons more – plus free CD with tracks by Lunatic Soul, Galahad, ... Magazine
Anthem (UK), 2017. New Copy
A jam-packed Vintage Rock Presents collectors issue that looks deep into the legacy of Roy Orbison! Includes an exclusive interviews with the Orbison family, tracing his career from early days with The Teen Kings and earliest rockabilly solo sides and work for Sun Records, slicker but wonderful ... Magazine
DJ Mag (UK), 2017. New Copy
Dutch DJ Afrojack is on the cover – but we're more interested in the article on Kevin Saunderson – which has him revisiting his Heavenly album from years back! The issue also has features on Sian, Sharam, Charlotte DeWitte, Ilan Bluestone, Troyboi, Panorama Festival, and more – ... Magazine
Songlines, 2017. New Copy
The cover's got a great feature on Mulatu Astatke – one of our favorite creative talents of all time, handled with the sort of deeper coverage we love from Songlines! The other two big features in the magazine focus on the urban beat scene in Mumbai, and the team of Omar Sosa & Seckou ... Magazine
Wax Poetics, 2014. New Copy
Electro soul pioneer and resurgent creative force Giorgio Moroder gets the front cover honor, and rightfully so – with classic electro-inspired Brooklyn instrumentalists Ratatat on the backside! This issue includes great features on both, plus pieces on Steve Arrington, Divine Styler, Van ... Magazine
Living Blues, 2017. New Copy
That's bassist Benny Turner on the cover – brother of Freddie King, and for many years a sideman in other blues groups – but now working upfront as a singer on his own! The issue features articles on the Ozark's Clarence Brewer, Nashville soul singer Charles Wigg Walker, and the young ... Magazine
Goldmine, 2017. New Copy
All the news on record collecting in the American scene – plus big articles on Joe Walsh, Stax Records, Cheap Trick, Marsrhall Crenshaw, and ZZ Top! As usual with Goldmine, there's a huge amount of ads for rare record dealers, and sometimes rare records themselves – alongside news on ... Magazine
Bauer (UK), 2017. New Copy
That's Brandon Flowers of The Killers on the cover – whose comeback gets lots of coverage within – alongside other articles on Tricky, The Libertines, The National, Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, Plan B, Wolf Alice, Interpol, and Everything Everything! As usual, there's lots more too ... Magazine
Classic Pop (UK), 2017. New Copy
Belinda Carlisle celebrates the 30th anniversary of her Heaven On Earth album, and also talks about her new music as well – in an issue that also looks at INXS, OMD, and other artists without capital letters in their name – including Sparks, Blancmange, Gary Numan, Marc Almond, The ... Magazine
Gramophone (UK), 2017. New Copy
This issue features Barbara Hannigan on the cover – a soprano who's got a strong commitment to new musical expression, talking about that legacy and her forthcoming debut release as a conductor! The issue also looks at the music of Elliott Carter, conductor Gerard Schwarz at 70, pianist ... Magazine
Mojo, 2017. New Copy
Dave Grohl is on the cover – looking back at "the songs that saved is life", Nirvana's legendary 1992 Reading gig and lots more that goes way farther than just what's going on the The Foo Fighers – plus features David Glimour in Pompeii, Sparks, Ian Durly, Cat Stevens, Elvis, ... Magazine

⇑ Top