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

Step Ahead (with bonus tracks)

CD (Item 912071) Past Due, Early 80s — Condition: New Copy
Out Of Stock

CD

❔

Fantastic music from 9th Creation – an album that was recorded in the early 80s, but never issued at the time – which is a heck of a shame, as it's some of the best work we've ever heard from the group! The album's got a great blend of funk and soul – with a deepening of both the vocal and instrumental arrangements, at a level that really keeps things interesting throughout – and which unlocks these righteous elements in the music that we totally love! There's a fair bit of uptempo tracks, but these are mixed with great mellower moments too – with a vibe that's maybe a bit like the last few Leroy Hutson albums on Curtom – which is mighty fine praise from us. The notes indicate that only cassette copies were made of the sessions, but Past Due have done a wonderful job of bringing the music back to life with surprisingly strong fidelity – and titles include "More & More", "Always Be Lovers", "Let It Shine", "Beautiful Lady", "Music Is My Pen & Paper", and "A Step Ahead". CD features lots of bonus tracks – "Mellow Music", "Love Crime", "Maybe", "She's The Kind", "Bygones", "A Step Ahead (7" mix)", and demos of "Satisfaction Guaranteed", "Love Can Find A Way", and "Whenever You Need Me".  © 1996-2019, 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, 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.

When you purchase a Used CD you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks, the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves), and the booklet to be in good shape. Used CDs may show some signs of use but if there are significant details or defects we will list them underneath the item — just like we do with LPs — so look there for notes on cutout marks, stickers, promo stamps or other details.

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.


You might be interested


Various

Acid LP
Hot Mix 5/Still Music, 1988. New Copy
A killer classic from a time when the Chicago house scene was really taking off – that second generation of underground productions that was tagged with the "acid" term, because of the way they were using older riffs and keyboards to change things up! The Brits got that all wrong, ... CD
M Records/Still Music, 1986. New Copy
A classic compilation from the Chicago scene – one that stood as one of the key full-length releases of house music that was bubbling under in the Windy City – important at the time, as most other albums of house music were from overseas labels issuing Chicago recordings! As you'd ... CD

Chairmen Of The Board

Gold (3CD set)
Invictus/Demon (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 3CD
A great little set that offers up way more than just gold records from Chairmen Of The Board – as the 3CD set is overflowing with a great variety of music that shows why COTB were one of the most unique soul groups of their time! In addition to classics, there's some great overlooked album ... CD
Union Square/Universal (UK), Late 60s. New Copy 5CD
A treasure trove of classic soul – 5CDs and 100 tracks in all – all with the upbeat, soaring vibe that's always made these underground American cuts such favorites on the UK Northern Soul scene! The package starts with Motown, then really takes off – featuring loads of killer ... CD
Stax/Universal (UK), 1960s/Early 70s. New Copy 5 CDs
5CDs, and a set that's overflowing with classic tracks from the legendary Stax Records – with an especially heavy emphasis on the label's genius moments from 1968 to the mid 70s! There's way too much here to list, but some of the more unusual tracks include "What A Man" by Linda ... CD
Fremeaux & Associates (France), 1961. New Copy 3CD
A really fantastic slice of work from Ray Charles – billed here as the only live recordings in which Ray played Hammond organ throughout – instead of his usual piano! The 3CD set brings together three full performances recorded in Paris on October 21 and 22 in 1961 – right at a ... CD

Earth Wind & Fire

Earth Wind & Fire/Need Of Love
Warner/BGO (UK), 1971. New Copy
A pair of spiritual soul classics – the rare early Warner Brothers albums from Earth Wind & Fire – back to back on a single CD! Earth, Wind & Fire's first album was recorded at a time when the group recently had ties to the Chicago soul and jazz scenes, and a range of ... CD

Roy Ayers

Silver Vibrations
Uno Melodic/BBE (UK), Early 80s. New Copy
A fantastic lost chapter in the career of genius soul/jazz/funk maestro Roy Ayers – a set that was only ever issued in the UK, and which is a great second part to his Lots Of Love album on the Uno Melodic label! This album features a few tracks from that gem, but in longer versions – ... CD
BGO (UK), Mid 80s. New Copy 2CD
Electro-steeped funky soul from The Gap Band – a pair of mid 80s classic LPs in a 2CD set with bonus tracks! They're already past the "V" in their classic run of 80s albums at this point, and still very much at the top of their game. The core trio work with sweet production from ... CD

Jackson Sisters

Jackson Sisters
Tiger Lily/Mr Bongo (UK), 1976. New Copy
CD...$5.99 11.98
An amazing bit of soul – and one of the rarest funk records of the 70s! This masterpiece was recorded by The Jackson Sisters, a semi-gospelly soul group that has a sound that's a bit like The Voices of East Harlem, but that's a lot harder, and that has a deeper soul sound overall! At times, ... CD

Kool & The Gang

As One (with bonus tracks)
De-Lite/Big Break (UK), 1982. New Copy
Solid 80s grooving from Kool & The Gang – a group who inspired so many others in the early 80s soul generation, but who could still do it better than most of the rest! The style here is tight and smooth, but never too slick – and Deodato's giving the group some really great ... CD
Columbia/Soulmusic.com (UK), 1979/1980. New Copy
CD...$6.99 13.99
Pure greatness from Johnnie Taylor – two Columbia Records releases back to back on a single CD! First up is She's Killing Me, an obscure 7 track EP from Johnnie Taylor – almost a 12" single, but with more than enough going on to make us think of it as a full album! Johnnie's in ... CD
 



⇑ Top