A massive package of work from the mighty Kool & The Gang – 6 full albums from the 80s, served up here in a 3CD set! First up is Ladies Night – a shameless dancefloor cash-in move – but a record that's still pretty darn great as well! You all know the big title cut "Ladies Night", so we won't bother to describe it – but we can say that the group wisely hooked up with Deodato, who produced, mixed, and even played keyboards on the album. Deodato keeps a nice jazzy punch in the tracks, while still moving towards the slickly produced funk sound that was the group's main approach at the time of the record. JT Taylor's on vocals, and the album's even got a few mellow cuts – like the crossover easy number "Too Hot" – amidst the midtempo 80s grooves that really step out and make the whole thing move. Other tracks include "Ladies Night", "Hangin Out", "Tonight's The Night", "If You Feel Like Dancin", and "Got You Into My Life". The next album is Something Special indeed – as the album was one of the biggest hits for Kool & The Gang, and showed that the group still had plenty of energy left to groove into the 80s! The record features production work by Brazilian music maestro Eumir Deodato – who by this point had become a sweet and smooth talent with a real flair for putting over a modern soul groove! Deodato's approach is really great – smooth, yet soulful, without any tricks or gimmicks – and a real appreciation for lead vocals and a catchy little hook! The album features the group's party classic "Get Down On It", plus "Steppin Out", "No Show", "Pass It On", "Be My Lady", "Take My Heart", and "Good Time Tonight". As One is 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 production for the album – helping them to focus their energy and soar soulfully, but without resorting to any stiff gimmicks or cliches! There's a great groove running through most of the numbers here – a confident quality that's never too commercial, and which bubbles along nicely throughout. Titles include "Street Kids", "Big Fun", "As One", "Hi De Hi Hi De Ho", "Let's Go Dancin", and "Pretty Baby". In The Heart is a sweet set that's part of a big early 80s run from Kool & The Gang – a time that saw the funk legends really hitting the mainstream, and winning over a huge new audience in the process! Given that the Gang virtually invented ensemble funk at the start of the 70s, they're perfectly poised here to move into modes that so many of their younger competition were trying – but never did so well – that blend of 80s elements and more sharply-fused funk instrumentation, all honed down into a tightly snapping groove. The real surprise, though, is the group's growing ability for ballads – which put records like this into hands of folks who never would have dug their funk a few years before. And while we might have had a few problems with that shift at the time, the passage of years has got the whole thing sounding pretty darn great to our ears – especially in comparison to so much weaker work from the time. Titles include "In The Heart", "Joanna", "Tonight", "Straight Ahead", "September Love", "You Can Do It", and "Home Is Where The Heart Is". Last up is Emergency – one of the key classics from the second chapter of the group – when their lineup and sound were a lot leaner than before, and they managed to cross over big to a much wider audience than before! The upbeat cuts show that the group were still kings of the funky dancefloor – and the mellower ones are equally great too – showing a rising ballad style that proved to be the group's big crossover card at the time – a way of putting over a laidback track, but with plenty of soul. This approach is heard to great effect on the album's great single "Cherish" – and other tracks include "Bad Woman", "Surrender", "Emergency", "Misled", "Fresh", and "You Are The One". © 1996-2020, 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.
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.