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LP (Item 861979) RCA, 1973 — Condition: New Copy
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Lou Reed — Berlin ... LP 16.99

The "biggest" album of Lou Reed's career – in the grand sense – with epic production and a small army of superstar session players and production by spectacle specialist Bob Ezrin – but that's paired with arguably the darkest, gloomiest songcycle ever composed by Lou Reed! The dichotomy works, and Lou apparently agrees, having revisited the material in the mid aughties to great acclaim. Ultimately, this and the previous year's Transformer makes for one of the strangest and most incredible transitions over a short period of time in pop music history. Titles include "Berlin", "Lady Day", "Men Of Good Fortune", "Caroline Says" (I & II), "The Kids", "The Bed", "Sad Song" and more.  © 1996-2018, 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

RCA, 1974. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
Lou Reed at his mid 70s live peak! Volumes have already been and will continue to be written about Lou's output in the 70s, and rightly so. This set is particularly amazing in that it follows the artful highpoint/financial failure that is Berlin – so Lou is doing the rock & roll star ... LP, Vinyl record album
RCA, 1976. New Copy (reissue)
Lou Reed's maybe a bit more subtle here than during his years with the Velvet Underground, and his earliest solo records – but he also has this new sort of maturity that really points the way forward to the years to come! Coney Island Baby further marks the continuing legacy of Lou Reed as a ... LP, Vinyl record album
Monument/Sony, 1960. New Copy (reissue)
A seminal moment for the Nashville scene – a time when the city was able to turn its country production talents to the world of pop – and provide the perfect setting for the amazing vocals of Roy Orbison! Roy had recorded previously for Sun, but despite the great track record of that ... LP, Vinyl record album
Monument/Sony, 1963. New Copy (reissue)
Roy Orbison's maybe a bit more dreamy than sad on this early album in his 60s run for Monument Records – but he still more than delivers the goods with that fantastic sound that set him apart from all the rest! The production and presentation are amazing – a voice that's heartbreaking, ... LP, Vinyl record album
Monument/Sony, 1962. New Copy (reissue)
Sublime early work from Roy Orbison – sounds from that time when the man was really hitting his stride – and creating a style of music that was completely his own! The groove isn't really rock or standard pop – although it certainly owes plenty to both – because although ... LP, Vinyl record album
Legacy, Late 60s. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
A legendary performance from Jimi Hendrix – recorded at the second Atlanta Pop Festival just ten short weeks before Jimi's death, and a searing set throughout! The concert was the biggest that Hendrix ever played in the US – about 200,000 people in attendance – but the recording ... LP, Vinyl record album
Epic, 1979. New Copy 2 LPs (reissue)
Quite possibly the crowning masterpiece by The Clash – and a record that certainly pushed them out of the punk rock ghetto and into the collections of countless mainstream folks over the years! This is the set that really pushed the group over the top – the one that harnessed all the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Axis Bold As Love (180 gram vinyl)
Legacy, 1967. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience at their most classic! Tripped out bluesy cosmic rock ferocity and great songs, too – firing on all cylinders here on the middle record of their ultra epic three LP series of unimpeachable greatness. Titles include "EXP", "Up From The Skies", ... LP, Vinyl record album
RCA, 1980. New Copy (reissue)
David Bowie back in costume at the end of the 70s – but informed enough from his Berlin trilogy that he's coming at things quite differently here! The album's a great summation of the sounds on Low, Heroes, and Lodger – taken almost back to some Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity ... LP, Vinyl record album
Lunar Cruise
RCA/WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 1990. New Copy
Beautiful beautiful work from this spare Japanese duo – Midori Takada on marimba, gong, bells, and drums – and Masahiko Satoh on piano and electronics! The pair work here in a style that's not quite jazz, but also not much like some of the other Japanese instrumental sounds of the 80s ... LP, Vinyl record album
Fat Possum/TVZ, 1993. New Copy 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
Townes revisiting his own time-honored tunes from the late 60s onward, often backed by just a second guitar or fiddle, spare settings that maximize the stark power of his songwriting and voice! The voice is really the key here, distinctive in both the songwriting – with some of the most ... LP, Vinyl record album
Rare Earth, 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
Very dark work from The Pretty Things – an even more complicated, heavier-sounding album than SF Sorrow! The album's hardly got the lightness you might guess from its Parachute title – and instead, really shows the band moving into darker corners – both musically and lyrically, ... LP, Vinyl record album

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