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

Astro Black (colored vinyl)

LP (Item 886567) Impulse/Modern Harmonic, 1973 — Condition: New Copy
List Price: 25.99

One of the darkest Sun Ra albums of the early 70s – and a set that's also a bit unusual in his catalog as well! The album was issued during Ra's run with Impulse Records – a period that mostly saw the label reissue previous records from the Saturn catalog – save for a rare few like this one, which was an unusual all-new batch of material for Impulse! Because of that, it's been a bit overlooked in later years – maybe missed as less authentic, but actually some of the most striking sounds that Ra created at the time! There's a very strong tension here between electric and acoustic elements – not in the usual fusion-based way, but instead with this vibe that often has the electric instruments providing darker areas of sound, while the woodwinds and percussion have a way of humanizing the proceedings. June Tyson's also at her moodiest on the title track, "Astro Black" – and other titles include "Hidden Spheres", "Discipline 99", and the long improvisation "Cosmo Fire". (On colored vinyl!)  © 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


Modern Harmonic, 1973. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
A lost slice of work from Sun Ra's early 70s years on Impulse Records – one of the few new recordings created for his association with that label (most of the titles were reissues of earlier Saturn albums) – but one that was never issued at the time! Cymbals saw some release later, ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jackpot, 1988. New Copy 2LP
A never-issued live set from the great last chapter in Sun Ra's career – that moment when the Arkestra was finally getting the global attention it deserved, and was working with even more confidence than before! During the period, Ra had this great way of folding in older strands of jazz ... LP, Vinyl record album
On Jupiter
Saturn/Art Yard (Netherlands), 1979. New Copy (reissue)
Righteous Ra from the end of the 70s – one of the most soulful albums ever by the Sun Ra Arkestra, and a lost treasure that's got some nice funky moments! The vibe here is very much in the Lanquidity/Disco 3000 mode – an extrapolation of styles best known from the Space Is The Place ... LP, Vinyl record album
After Caroline
Northern Spy, 2018. New Copy
Jason Stein is one of the few folks who can make a bass clarinet sound like a completely fierce instrument – a horn blown with the kind of frenzy and sonic power that most musicians would bring to a tenor – completely set free here in a fantastic trio with Jason Roebke on bass and Mike ... LP, Vinyl record album
Black Focus, 2018. New Copy
The first solo project from Kamaal Williams – and a wonderfully spiritual set that has the keyboardist really blowing us away with his talents! Williams plays plenty of Fender Rhodes on the set, mostly in a trio setting, but one that's far from standard jazz – as the rhythms often ... LP, Vinyl record album
Modern Harmonic, 1960s. New Copy 3LP Gatefold
A fantastic take on the music of Sun Ra – a set that looks at the way his sounds dovetailed with the exotica movement in American music of the postwar years! Given that he claimed to be from outer space, Ra was already pretty darn exotic himself – but his music also arose at a time ... LP, Vinyl record album
Modern Harmonic, Late 50s/1960s/1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
The first far-reaching collection of vocal tracks recorded by Sun Ra and his Arkestra over the years – perfectly put together, and featuring a number of previously-unissued tracks as well! The Space Age Is Here To Stay covers a wide range of the cosmic jazz styles Ra traveled (and pretty much ... LP, Vinyl record album
BYG/Actuel, 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
The 2nd volume of the Solar-Myth sessions! Recorded in New York in 1970, with an Arkestra that includes Kwame Hadi, Ali Hassan, Danny Davis, John Gilmore, and Clifford Jarvis – and instrumentation that includes moog, space dimension mellophone, ancient Egyptian Infinity drum, and lots of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Strut (UK), 1977. New Copy 2LP Gatefold
Sun Ra made some really wonderful music in Rome during the year 1977 – heard most famously on his albums for the Horo Records label, and now on this unreleased session from the time! The album features Ra at his straightest, and most soulful – playing piano and other keyboards with ... LP, Vinyl record album
Gearbox (UK), 1962. New Copy
Much-needed material from saxophonist Joe Harriott – a hell of a player, and one whose few dates as a leader are always worth tracking down! This set was originally recorded by the BBC in 1962 – and only gets its first issue now – a beautiful batch of tunes that really show ... LP, Vinyl record album
Honeysuckle Breeze
Impulse/Get On Down, 1967. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)
A beautifully groovy album from the early days of one of our favorite reed players! Tom Scott's tenor, alto and soprano saxes, plus some flute, are set amidst a very groovy group that includes percussion, guitar, keyboards, sitar, and even some occasional vocalizing – for a sound that's got ... LP, Vinyl record album
Impulse/Anthology, 1970. New Copy (reissue)
Pharoah Sanders is working here with some excellent horn players in the frontline – Woody Shaw on trumpet and Gary Bartz on alto sax – both of whom really bring a lot of power to the record! As with some of Sanders' other Impulse albums of the period, the record only features two long ... LP, Vinyl record album
 



⇑ Top