In auditioning material to clean up for my Iain Burgess series, I've had the opportunity to inspect a lot of assorted vinyl transfers from vintage mid-80s punk vinyl.
Man, Homestead used some really cheap vinyl and from my investigation had a lot of really poor pressings.
Breaking Circus is a perfect case. In auditioning the EP The Very Long Fuse, I've heard three different FLAC transfers, from presumably three separate copies of the record, on three different setups (turntables, cartridges, etc) - and they all suck. Not the fault of the rippers, I think, it's just that all the copies used are presumably beat to hell, and are poor pressings to begin with. Same goes for the Smokers' Paradise EP. Oddly, the one Breaking Circus that's giving me the least issues is the only full-length album The Ice Machine - which is odd in that it has the least bit of inner groove distortion on the side-ending tracks, yet the sides themselves are longer than either EP sides. I know that one of the rippers provided his rips of Fuse and one of his rips of Ice Machine, and his Fuse is craptastic while his Ice Machine is really nice - which rules out his setup being the problem.
So again I place the call: Does anyone have *nice* transfers, in FLAC, of either Breaking Circus EP? Someone somewhere has to read this blog, have a near-mint copy of the record(s), and has the ability and capacity to transfer them to FLAC on nice equipment. If I had the records I would, but my setup is less than ideal for good-quality playings off vinyl.
This is why if I had a million dollars I would somehow gather up the rights for all the non-rereleased Homestead releases, start up a reissue label, and get these classic records back in print and up to speed in the digital era. There's no reason why half the Homestead catalog - if not more - languishes in out-of-print obscurity, and more often than not never made available on CD from the start. I'd also pay royalties, both earned from my stewardship, and unpaid from Homestead's tenure.