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Music on Vinyl

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Abbreviations in Vinyl Speak

The following is a list of the most common abbreviations found within For Sale / Wanted Ads, Discography's and Label Listings. The majority of this page is based on the document produced by Norm Katuna with additions and footnotes for the UK / European area by Mnementh. If you know of any abbreviations that have been missed, please e-mail us so we can add them.

1S - 1-sided issue. It is worth noting that many labels placed gimmicks on the 'blank' b-side, i.e. embossed designs / patterns, laser etching, and I've even seen one with comments by the artist 'scratch etched' into the wax.

AOR - Adult Oriented Rock

Audition (US) - Audition issue (see Promo)

BB Hole (US) - A small hole that looks like a bb hole, that denotes a non-returnable record. If there is a record and cover involved it usually is through both. Sometimes the term CO or Cut-out is used for the same thing.

BOX - Boxed issue. Be careful when purchasing any items advertised as 'boxed'. Many of these sets, especially 7" releases, were accompanied by 'extras' such as postcards, badges, booklets, etc. Try to ascertain what should be there. Boxed items advertised as Mint or EX should have no extras missing.

CC / Cut-out - "Cut-Outs" (or CC - Cut Corner) refers to one of the methods used to indicate deleted titles by marking the covers. These marks may consist of 'punched' holes, cut corners or clipped edges (akin to the clipping of tickets on railways and buses). Most of these 'deletions' end up on the bargain shelves. Obviously, collectors look on these 'cut-out' items as being of lesser value because of the damage inflicted.
A certain amount of confusion arose in the latter years of vinyl when some record labels started using 'cut-outs' to denote demo / promo copies. Very annoying.

CO - Company Sleeve.

C & W - Country and Western.

CVR / REC or SLV / REC- You will notice when scanning through the For sale ads that appear in magazines and web sites, that many show two grades. Unless stated, this will refer to the cover/sleeve grade first, vinyl second.

D/LP or DBL - Double LP.

DEMO - Demonstration disc (see Promo)

DJ - DJ issue (see Promo)

EP - Extended Play. Usually a 7" 45 record with 2 or 3 tracks per side. Originally produced by manufacturers to take advantage of the teenage market (most teenagers in the fifties and sixties couldn't afford to buy their favourite artists current LP). In fact, many labels of the period marketed EP's as 'mini-LP's, a bit of a misnomer. The seventies and early eighties saw many labels issue 12" inch EPs with 2, 3 or 4 tracks per side. Compact 7" EP's also exist running at 33rpm.

EW - Edge warp. Hopefully someday, someone will come up with a reliable method of reporting the severity of edge warps that could be used in For Sale ads.

FL / Flexi - Flexi-disc. Usually given away free by magazines, comics. Sometimes used as promotional items / demonstration discs / samplers.

FOC (US) - Fold out cover. Another way to show a gatefold cover.

FS - For sale. This is the preferred beginning of a header in the rec.music.marketplace.vinyl newsgroup when listing an item or items for sale.

G/F or GF - Gatefold (Usually with LPs and double EPs)

IMO - International Money Order.

INS / Insert - Insert with issue. i.e. lyric sheet, postcard(s), booklet, badge, etc.

IRC - International Reply Coupon.

JB - Juke box issue. Though rare, some labels issued different mixes / cuts of songs for juke box use.

LP / Long Play - Usually reserved for 10" and 12" 33 1/3 record albums, but unfortunately used by some labels to increase the market potential of early EP's.

MB - Found in auction lists. Denotes 'Minimum bid' excepted.

MIS or MP - Not seen very often, but denotes a 'mispress'. There appears to be a lot of confusion about mispresses, so lets be clear about this term. A mispress is a disc where one side has been pressed from the 'wrong' master. For example, a Beatles 45 with the correct a-side but with a Cilla Black cut on the b-side (sack the engineer). Unfortunately, there appear quite a few For Sale ads for items claimed to be mispressings which turn out to be nothing more than incorrect labelling (sack the labeller). Many 'vinyl junkies' treasure these as highly valued items.

Mono - Obvious 'init', but included for those young enough never to have experienced it (sigh!).

M/S - Mono/Stereo - Usually used from the late 60s on to denote a promo 45 that had the same song on both sides but mono on one side and stereo on the other.

NC - No cover.

NOC - No original centre. Some UK issue 45's were manufactured with 'push-out' small hole centres. NOC means it ain't there anymore.

N/R or Non Returnable (US) - Some companies most notably stamped their 45s and albums with N/R to show records that could not be returned for credit. The most famous of these were on Parkway/Cameo 45s and LPs. These records with those designations usually showed up at over stock and cut-out sales at discount stores such as: Woolworth's, Thrifty Drug, Zody's, SS Kresge, K-mart and Akron.

Offs - Offers invited.

PO - Postal Order.

Promo / Promotional - Can also be designated as DJ, Disc jockey, Audition, Not for sale, Preview copy, Demo, Demonstration copy. Promotional releases or "promos" are copies issued by a label to help promote the new release of a single or album. Promos are usually given to distributors, retailers, radio stations, etc... any avenue that could potentially aid in the sales of the new release. Some promos are issued to promote an artist or the label in general... a series of new releases or reissues on a label, for example. These copies are given away and are not intended to be resold. Most promos are unique or have major variations from anything issued for retail. They also are usually issued in limited quanities, which make them more desirable to most collectors.
Prior to the eighties, most promos were issued with special labels and in special sleeves or covers. Most were white, generic labels with black print... hence the term "white label promo". These issues are usually pressed in higher grade vinyl, in a limited run and before retail copies are pressed. White label promos are the most popular with collectors. Some labels used their regular label with a slight variation or with a change in the typesetting to notate a promotional issue. These are also highly sought after by collectors.
As the eighties approached, record companies began setting aside stock copies intended for retail and simply stickered, stamped, punched, cut or clipped the cover. Some stamps or stickers were applied to the label. The intent of this move was to help cut cost and supply the broadening recipient pool. Although most of the stock designated for promotional use are the first run, many collectors do not value these promos any more than retail copies. Promos that are stamped with an embossed disclaimer or stickered with a simular note, do have an uniqueness to them. Promos that are marked with a hole or cut in the cover or have a corner clipped away, have the least desirability because these are the same marks that appear on "cut-outs"... and because these marks can be duplicated to any retail copy by a scrupulous seller out to defraud a gullible buyer.

PD / PICD - Picture disc.

PS or PC or pic/slv - Picture sleeve, usually in conjunction with 45s.

R-A-B - Rock-a-billy

R & B - Rhythm and blues

RI / RE - Reissue. If at some point in time, a label decides to issue a title again, whether it has been priviously deleted or not, it is refered to as a "reissue" Sometimes a title may be reissued on a different label, either due to a change of ownership or distributor, conflict with artist, producer, etc. or one of many reasons of bureaucracy. Sometimes the label, artist or producers may decide to make changes to the record after it's release... demoting to a lower cost or manufacturing line, for example. In most cases, it is a long since deleted title reissued in an updated form.
Being a reissue alone has no effect on it's desirability by collectors. For example, if a title is reissued shortly after it's debut, the original would likely be more desirable... especially if a picture sleeve and inserts were removed from the reissue.

R 'n' R - Rock and Roll

RW - Ring wear, usually referring to picture sleeves, album and EP covers.

S or ST - A stereo issue.

SAE - Stamped addressed envelope.

SCR - A scratch on the record.

SCU - A scuff on the record. Scuffs are usually cosmetic and usually don't cause noise on the record.

SHP or Shaped - Shaped Pic Disc.

SLT / WRP - A small warp that usually doesn't cause any problems with record play but is noticeable when the record is spinning.

SLV / Sleeve - Usually used in conjunction with PIC, as in Picture sleeve. and also be used with a title sleeve and now with a record company's stock logo sleeve.

SM / Saw mark - Another method record companies used to show a cut out.

SOC - Sticker on cover. Also used for a tag

SOBC - Sticker on back cover. Also used for a tag

SOL - Sticker on label. Also used for a tag

SPLT/SM or SM/SPLIT - Split seam or seam split. Is sometimes used in conjunction with % to indicate how much of a seam split.

SS (US) - Still sealed. Used with factory sealed records.

Stamped Promo - These were copies of a record that were issued with the regular stock label but had "promo" or such designation stamped on the label after the fact (see Promo).

STC - State terms and conditions (found in 'Wanted' ads).

TOBC - Tear on back cover

TOC / TOS - Tear on cover / Tear on sleeve.

TOL - Tear on label

TAPE/OBC (US) - Tape on back cover

TAPE / OC (US) - Tape on cover

TAPE / OL (US) - Tape on label

T. P. - Test pressing

TRI - Triangular centre.

TS (US) - Taped seams. Usually meaning a tape repair of a seam split

VS - Vinyl sleeve. Usually clear vinyl used to store and display a pic disc.

WLP or W/L - White label promo. The most common designation for a promo record.

WOC - Writing on cover

WOBC - Writing on back cover

WOL - Writing on label

WSOBC (US) - Water stain on back cover

WSOC (US) - Water stain on cover

WSOL (US) - Water stain on label

WRP - Bigger than a SLT/WRP and can cause the needle to jump on light tracking machines or just plain looks bad as the record is spinning.

WTB - Wanted to buy. The preferred beginning of a header when looking for items to buy in rec.music.marketplace.vinyl

WTD - Wanted. The beginning of a header in rec.music.marketplace.vinyl that shows an item is wanted. It can mean that item is to be purchased or traded for.

2P, 3P etc. - Second pressing, third pressing and so on.

%CT (US) - Shows the percentage of a torn album cover, picture cover or E.P. cover.

%LT (US) - For a Label tear, and showing how much of the total in percentage of the label that is torn.