Scripting is disabled or not working. Please note that dustygroove.com requires JavaScript to function correctly.
Style sheets are disabled or not working. Please note that dustygroove.com requires style sheets to function correctly.
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Enlarge       Note

Steppin Stone/Helpless Girl

7-inch (Item 866369) Tramp (Germany), Early 70s — Condition: New Copy
Out Of Stock

7-inch, Vinyl record

The piano here is monstrous right from the start – a deep, dark instrument of power that sets up a wonderful tone for the tune – this downturning, blue-tinged groove that's offset by the righteous vocals of Little Mary Staten – a singer who sounds a lot older than her name might imply! "Helpless Girl" is great, too – kind of a slow funk ballad, with tight drums moving under the strings – as Mary really burns on this great deep soul lyric!  © 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:

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


Athens Of The North (UK), Late 70s. New Copy
Infinity have a really unusual groove here on "Put Everything In Place" – a mode that has a bassline upfront, but a bit more complicated than usual – with some nice changes that are also reflected in the harmony vocals that cascade around the lead of the tune! The track's ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Record Kicks (Italy), 2018. New Copy
Contemporary soul from a Chicago group – but one who work in this style that's nicely down to earth, and which maybe has a bit of the group feel of the 70s! "Come Back" has a brightness to the music that's a nice contrast to the bluer tone of the lyrics – and "Think I'm ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Sunshine (parts 1 & 2)
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
"Sunshine" goes through a few funky changes before really hitting the groove – then it comes on strong with frenetic drums, super-quick basslines, and blasting horns that really set the tone for the bold lyrics of the tune – all moving at a mighty nice clip, with some cool ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Scorpio Walk/Message Of Love
Timmion (Finland), 2018. New Copy
A great little theme song for Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators – a groove that's got all the biting 70s funk elements you might guess from the "Scorpio" name – but at a pace that's kind of a fast-walking sort of groove! There's fuzzy bassline that chugs along in a ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Athens Of The North (UK), 1980. New Copy (reissue)
A warm modern soul groove with plenty of charm – the kind of tune that's well put-together but never too smooth! There's a perfect sensibility to the whole thing – lightly funky rhythms, jazzy horns, and riffing guitar – all setting up the hook beautifully before the vocals come ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Tell Me That You Love Me (vocal, inst)
Timmion (Finland), 2017. New Copy
One of those singles that lets you know that they DO still make 'em like they used to – at least if you're talking about the kind of moody harmony soul singles that we love so much from the start of the 70s – from the slightly fragile vocals right down to the slow funk of the drums! ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Peter In & Out/Let's Run Away From The World
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
Two rare tracks by a combo who worked in the hinterlands of Illinois during the 70s! "Peter In Or Out" has a strange title, but a groove that's right on the money – super-sharp bass, drums, and horns coming together – with the promised organ in the middle – getting a ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
A nicely obscure tune from southern soul singer Frederick Knight – and a lot grittier than some of the work you might know from his full length albums of the 70s! There's a fast-burning organ that sets up the groove on "Steppin Down" – along with riffing guitars, blasting ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Down Here On The Ground/I Love You Lord
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
Two fantastic tracks – both very unique! "Down Here On The Ground" isn't the 60s song of the same name – but instead an original by Keither Florence, which has these spiritual lyrics that move over slow-stepping funk – all laced together by a very cool moogy keyboard! ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
Two Ray Charles standards – both given a special twist by the versatile Johnny Lewis! "I Got A Woman" romps along with really raw instrumentation – including something that sounds like a tambourine about to go off the rails – while Johnny belts out the lyrics, and makes ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Mr CC/Walkin The Duck
Tramp (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy
Mr CC is one funky fellow – driven by some heavy drums, blasted by tight horns, and given this wickedly sharp guitar solo in the middle – all while Jim Pipkin calls out some actions during the tune, but mostly leaves the instruments to do all the talking! The band is equally great on ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Tramp (Germany), Mid 70s. New Copy
A sweet bit of boogie funk from Reunion – a group who sound like they could have been a blue-eyed AOR combo with a bit more production, but who work here more as a gritty funk group overall! Rhythms are fast, horns are tight, but the vocals have a nice sense of wobble that offsets things ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
 



⇑ Top