When you are shopping online for vinyl, you may see alot of abbreviations used in the descriptions. Some are for the grading of the record and you may already know them, but others can be confusing to a new collector. Sure, some are easy enough for the beginner to decipher ie RW = Ring wear or Box = boxed set, but even the veterans can get alittle confused with some. Does the seller mean Label on Label by LOL or are they laughing out loud? (LOL)
Why do they use them? Well it is quicker to list, and on some sites such as Amazon, you are limited to number of spaces used. I personally use only the grading 'codes' and use the other abbreviations sparingly, since everyone who is shopping for vinyl is not necessarily an 'addict'. For those of you who are, this might be a little 'refresher' course. But if you are a casual or new collector, you might find it interesting and helpful in you pursuit of that classic vinyl record you are hunting.
As I stated and a dealer, I use them sparingly, I usually jut type out 'Cut Corner' or "Picture Disc". How about you? As a customer, do you feel the abbreviations look more 'pro' or just adds to the confusion?
Here is a list of just some of the abbreviations used:
BOX - Boxed set. Many came with 'extras' so be sure to research them well.
"Cut-Outs" - the methods used to indicate deleted titles and clearance closeouts by marking the covers. Still used today on CDs.
C/O - Cut-out
CC - Cut Corner
SM - Saw mark or Notched
BB - A small hole that looks like a bb hole
P/O - Punch hole
CB - center Blank same as Dead Wax (see "DW")
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)
DW - Dead Wax. The blank section in center near spindle hole. Sometimes they have stamping or engraving of masters. Some even contain messages or pictures.
EP - Extended Play. Usually a 7" 45 record with 2 or 3 tracks per side mostly from the fifties and sixties. The seventies and early eighties have the 12" inch EPs with 2, 3 or 4 tracks per side. Compact 7" EP's also exist running at 33rpm.
EW - Edge warp.
G/F or GF - Gatefold (Usually with LPs and double EPs)
JB - Juke box issue. Though rare, some labels issued different mixes / cuts of songs for juke box use.
LP/Long Play - Normally denotes a 12" album.
LOL- Label on label
Maxi - a 12" single with more than 2 songs similar to a EP
MIS or MP - Mis press- A mis press is a disc where one side has been pressed from the wrong master disc.
Mono - monotone
M/S - Mono/Stereo - mono on one side and stereo on the other.
NC- No cover.
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, to aid in the sales of the new release. Some promos are issued to promote an artist or the label in general. These copies are given away and are not intended to be resold. (Although it is NOT illegal to resell them)
Many were issued in limited quantities, 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. These many went to DJs for them to play and give air time to. 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 but added PROMOTIONAL or DJ COPY. These are also highly sought after by collectors.
Promos that had picture covers usually have the 'promo' information embossed or have sticker.
PD / PICD - Picture disc.
PS or PC or pic/slv - Picture sleeve, usually in conjunction with 45s.
RI / RE - Reissue. If at some point in time, a label decides to issue a title again, Sometimes a title may be reissued on a different label, either due to a change of ownership or distributor, conflict with artist, producer, etc.
RW - Ring wear- wear on covers that vinyl makes.
S or ST - stereo
SCR - A scratch on the record.
SCU - A scuff on the record. Scuffs are usually cosmetic and usually don't effect play.
SHP or Shaped - Shaped Picture Disc.
SLT / WRP - A small warp that usually doesn't effect play or sound but is noticeable when the record is spinning.
SLV / Sleeve - Usually used in conjunction with PIC, as in Picture sleeve.
SOC - Sticker on cover.
SOBC - Sticker on back cover.
SOL - Sticker on label.
SPLT/SM or SM/SPLIT - Split seam or seam split. Is sometimes used with a percentage % to indicate how much of a seam split.
SS - Still sealed. 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).
T.P. - Test pressing
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
2P, 3P etc. - Second pressing, third pressing and so on.
Now the next time you see a listing for a WLP with WOL or a SS Maxi you will know what the heck they mean!
Renagade is a dealer of Vinyl records. you can visit her on Bonanzle and Amazon for the best selections.
This was originally published by Renagade at the Birmingham Music Examiner