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Grading, Abbreviations and Terminology

Each entry indicates Artist, Title, Format, Catalog# and Other Information, Condition, and Price. All prices are in US dollars.
Unless noted otherwise, every record is an original U.S. pressing for the label and catalog number given.
Here is a brief overview of my grading system, followed by an overview of abbreviations you will encounter.

A NOTE ABOUT PROMOTIONAL COPIES

"White Label" or "DJ Promo Labels" indicates that the item has a special and distinct label to identify it as a promotional pressing. These pressings were usually the first pressed and were then sent to radio stations and reviewers to promote the release. As such, the labels took particular care with their promotional pressings, and often made extraordinary efforts to ensure they put their best foot forward. Sometimes this meant using higher grades of vinyl, special handling, or even replacing the stampers more quickly. But in any case, the special labels are often much rarer than the regular stock copies and are often highly prized in the collecting world. In some cases, promotional pressings may significantly differ from the regular pressings with the inclusion of songs deleted before the regular run of records or after the first initial run of copies, irregular artwork, monophonic pressings, etc. 7 inch vinyl promo singles were usually issued as M/S promos, indicating that one side contained the track being promoted in mono, with the stereo version on the reverse. Special promotional artwork often can boost the price of an item significantly compared to it's "stock" or standard issue.
Promotional Posters were created solely for use in promoting the items in the retail outlets. Promo posters often featured the album cover artwork and alternate graphics, text and photos, and are highly prized as they were never intended for the consumer market. Printed in extremely small runs, these items were supposed to be destroyed after their use in a record store, and in most cases that's exactly what happened. Finding NM or VG+ promotional posters from the 70's and even the 80's is becoming harder and harder with each passing day, as those that survived have often spent significant time tacked up in a dorm room and carry significant wear and damage from inattention or improper storage.

GRADING:

Grading is COVER/RECORD (cover first, vinyl second) - NM/VG+ means cover is Near Mint, vinyl itself is VG+.

SS Still Sealed - in original factory shrink wrap.

M
Mint - I RARELY use this grade - once an item is handled it's usually no longer MINT. When used, MINT indicates absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly never been played.

NM Near Mint - a near perfect, probably unplayed record. NM covers have no creases, folds, seam splits or signs of wear. A nearly perfect record. Many dealers won't give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly)that no record is ever truly perfect. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other signs of slight handling. Basically, an LP in near mint condition looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap.

VG+ Very Good Plus - close to like new with only superficial signs of use that don't affect play. Only well cared for records will grade out to VG+. Will satisfy all but the most demanding collector. Except for a couple of minor things, this would be near mint. VG+ covers are close to their Near Mint counterparts but will be marred in some fashion with some signs of handling and/or wear at the most vulnerable areas. A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are "OK". The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, lightly turned up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount.
VG Very Good - a used, reasonably-priced copy. There will be obvious signs of wear and surface noise between tracks or during quiet passages, but still very playable. Should not contain any skips. VG covers have more signs of wear and seam splits, especially at bottom center, middle of the spine, and upper and lower right where the record is removed from the cover. Writing, tape or stickers will detract from this cover and wear on cover will be obvious. VG records are often amongst the biggest bargains in the record collecting hobby as the big money goes for the more pristine (and rarer) grades.
VG- Very Good Minus - significant wear and marks and very noticeable surface noise. VG- covers has significant seam splits, tears, tape, markings, or similar disfigurement.

G
Good - in the record world, 'Good' is not good! A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be put onto a turntable and will play through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear (on a styrene record, the groove will be starting to turn white). A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the object. It is a common item, you'll probably find another copy in better shape eventually. Pass it up. But, if it's something you have been seeking for years, and the price is right, get it...but keep looking to upgrade.
F Fair or P Poor - The record is cracked, badly warped, and won't play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and writing. The LP cover barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully seam split, crinkled, and written upon. Except for impossibly rare records otherwise unattainable, records in this condition should not be bought or sold.

ABBREVIATIONS:
• 7 = 7 inch
• 12 = 12 inch
• BB HOLE = drill hole in label or jacket
• CC or CUTCORNER or CUTOUT = saw mark or cut corner on cover
• CW = cover wear
• DJ or DJLP = promotional issue - dj labels means special promotional label different from standard or "stock" pressings
• DJ STAMP = promotional stamp on cover - usually gold colored - see promo stamp
• DJ TIME STRIP = dj timing strip (12" x 4" white sticker on cover detailing titles and playing time)
• NOTCHED = saw mark on cover - usually indicates a promo or cutout
• PD = picture disc
• PROMO STAMP =usually gold embossed notice on jacket indicating that item intended for promotional use
• PS = picture sleeve (for 45's and 12" singles) - paper or cardboard picture cover, often more valuable than  the vinyl itself
• RE = reissue
• SEAM SPLIT - 4 INCH SPLIT etc. = all refer to cover damage
• SL = slight
• SM= small
• STOCK = used to indicate normal commercial issue and not a promotional copy
• TOC or TOL = tear on cover or tear on label
• WLP = white label promo
• WOC or WOL = writing on cover or writing on label


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