A great set of Christmas classics – five albums, each represented with LP-styled artwork in a box of 5 CDs! First up is Jolly Christmas by Frank Sinatra – one of the greatest Christmas albums of the 20th century – a rich tapestry of sadness and longing from Ol' Blue Eyes himself! Sure, most folks think that Christmas albums are supposed to be cheery and celebratory – but Frank, coming off of his best Wee Small Hours years at Capitol, rightly chose the sadder side of Christmas – and put together an album full of songs that really get at the bluer side of the holiday. Side one of the set includes some tremendous secular songs – the kind of mid-century tunes that often had a dark undercurrent of separation and unfulfilled desire – masquerading as holiday tunes, but in Frank's hands, coming off more like smokey late night tunes of lost love and wasted life. Side two's got some more spiritual-oriented tunes – but again, done by Frank, with arrangements by Gordon Jenkins, these tunes come off with a lot less celebratory spirit than you'd expect. Titles include "The Christmas Waltz", "Mistletoe & Holly", "The Christmas Song", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". Next is A Christmas Gift To You – Phil Spector's classic Christmas album – a swirling delight of 60s pop and soul numbers, still one of the greatest full Christmas LPs ever recorded! The whole thing is wonderful – a mix of soul, rock, and pop – all produced with that classic "wall of sound" style that made Phil Spector such an early production genius in the 60s! The music is from those magical times when boundary-busting art and craft were mixed perfectly with pop styles that anyone could instantly fall in love with – and titles include "Frosty The Snowman" by The Ronettes, "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Bob B Soxx & The Blue Jeans, "Marshmallow World" by Darlene Love, "Sleigh Ride" by The Ronnettes, "Winter Wonderland" by Darlene Love, "Santa Claus Is Comin To Town" by The Crystals, and "Silent Night" by Phil and other artists on the set! Next is Elvis Christmas Album – an early Holiday gem from Elvis Presley – a set that had RCA Records wisely rushing the young singer into the studio to cut a host of Christmas tunes – which ensured that Elvis would be spinning on the turntable for many seasons to come! Titles include "Here Comes Santa Claus", "Silent Night", "Blue Christmas", "White Christmas", and "Santa Bring My Baby Back". Next is Merry Christmas from Bing Crosby – which may well be THE Christmas album of the 20th century – a 50s issue of 40s singles cut by Der Bingle, packaged in a cover with a classic cover image that's ensured that the record stayed in print for dozens of Decembers in years to come! Given that Bing virtually owned Christmas on TV during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the album's place in popular music is well-earned – and honestly, Bing's "aw shucks, I'm just reg'lar folks" sort of approach to these tunes really helped create a kind of common man secular side to the Holidays that forever transformed America's celebration of the season. Or maybe we're going to far with this one . . . But whatever the case, the album's a standard, and one we were certainly raised on. Titles include "Silver Bells", "Jingle Bells", "Silent Night", "White Christmas", "Adeste Fideles", "Faith Of Our Fathers", "I'll Be Home For Christmas", and "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas". Last up is Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You A Swinging Christmas – a wonderful Holiday album that's stayed fresh for years! Ella's got a perfect style to interpret these numbers – working with Frank DeVol and Russ Garcia in a set of lightly jazzy versions of Christmas favorites like "Sleigh Ride", "Jingle Bells", "Winter Wonderland", "White Christmas", "Frosty The Snowman", and one of the best versions of "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" ever recorded! © 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.
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, 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".
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.
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.
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.
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.