Woodstock O.s.t. (Splatter Vinyl)Soundtrack
- JOHN B. SEBASTIAN - I Had A Dream
- CANNED HEAT - Going up the Country
- RICHIE HAVENS - Freedom
- COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH - Rock & Soul Music
- ARLO GUTHRIE - Coming into Los Angeles
- SHA NA NA - At the Hop
- COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD - The "Fish" Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
- JOAN BAEZ - Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man (feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff)
- JOAN BAEZ - Joe Hill
- CROSBY, STILLS & NASH - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
- CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG - Sea of Madness
- CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG - Wooden Ships
- THE WHO - We're Not Gonna Take It (From "Tommy")
- JOE COCKER - With a Little Help from My Friends
- SANTANA - Soul Sacrifice
- TEN YEARS AFTER - I'm Going Home
- JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Volunteers
- SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE - Medley: Dance to the Music / Music Lover / I Want to Take You Higher
- JOHN B. SEBASTIAN - Rainbows All Over Your Blues
- THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND - Love March
- JIMI HENDRIX - Star Spangled Banner / Purple Haze / Instrumental Solo
This summer will be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the defining event of a generation and one of the most iconic moments in popular music history. Despite its enduring cultural significance, no one has ever attempted to document the historic festival as it unfolded in real time. That is precisely what producers Andy Zax and Steve Woolard have done with a new 38-disc, 433-track boxed set that includes a near complete reconstruction of Woodstock across nearly 36 hours, with every artist performance from the festival included in chronological order. The collection boasts 267 previously unreleased audio tracks, totaling nearly 20 hours.
Limited to 1,969 individually numbered copies, WOODSTOCK 50 - BACK TO THE GARDEN: THE DEFINITIVE ANNIVERSARY ARCHIVE comes in a screen-printed plywood box with canvas insert inspired by the Woodstock stage set up, designed by Grammy®-winning graphic designer Masaki Koike. The set also includes a Blu-ray copy of the Woodstock film, a replica of the original program, a guitar strap, two Woodstock posters, a reprint of a diary written by an anonymous attendee during the festival, two 8x10 prints from legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz, and essays by Zax, acclaimed music scribe Jesse Jarnow, and trailblazing rock critic Ellen Sander. Also included is a copy of Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (Reel Art Press), a comprehensive new hardbound book about the event written by Michael Lang, one of the festival’s co-creators. The collection will be available on August 2..
Between August 15-18, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. Thirty-two acts performed including some of the most popular and influential musicians of the era such as Joan Baez, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.
The concert spawned Michael Wadleigh’s Oscar®-winning documentary as well as a pair of soundtrack albums. Together, the film and records have created a popular mythology surrounding Woodstock, one that only paints a partial picture of what actually happened. BACK TO THE GARDEN, producer Andy Zax writes in the liner notes, is intended to let people hear the festival as it really happened.
“Wadleigh’s film tells a story of Woodstock, but it doesn’t tell the story...This 50th anniversary archive — which presents nearly all of the audio from the festival in something approximating real time — tells a different kind of story. If Wadleigh’s film is a kind of psychedelic Busby Berkeley musical, Back To The Garden is an audio-verité documentary…All of the mythology of Woodstock is here in this box; or at least, everything that would eventually create that mythology. The reality is here, too. And neither invalidates the other.”
The time-consuming challenge of reconstructing the concert audio began with locating the more than 60 multi-track reels recorded by Eddie Kramer and Lee Osborne, as well as the 100 or so soundboard reels recorded by the onstage crew. Sorting through those tapes – some of which had been edited, mislabeled or lost – and then reassembling them properly was a process that, in some cases, took years to complete.
Zax says he, sound producer Brian Kehew and mastering engineer Dave Schultz avoided interfering with the tapes as much as possible in order to preserve their authenticity. “It’s not surprising that other producers’ first reaction to these tapes over the years has been ‘uh-oh,’ immediately followed by ‘we’ve gotta find a way to fix this.’ I'm not unsympathetic to that approach, but if there's a single overriding lesson that Brian Kehew and I have learned since we began working with the Woodstock tapes in 2005, it’s this: you can't fix them… That’s less grim than it seems, because once you’ve accepted the idea that there is no way to make these recordings sound slick, you realize that these tapes are the sonic equivalent of heirloom tomatoes — slightly imperfect, but delicious.”
In some cases, however, they needed to take advantage of new technology to perform much-needed restorations that would not have been possible just a few years ago. Zax says: “The only surviving recording of Ravi Shankar’s Woodstock performance…is a mono reel with less than optimal sound. But the breakthrough de-mixing process developed by James Clarke at Abbey Road Studios allowed us to isolate and extract the parts played by each instrument and then create a new stereo mix. Similarly, recent improvements in polyphonic tuning have allowed us to repair previously unfixable horn parts in the Blood, Sweat & Tears performance, allowing it, for the first time, to be heard as originally intended.”
But the Woodstock audio isn't solely about music: it’s also about the people who were there. Fortunately, the microphones were left on throughout the festival, capturing everything from stagehands discussing lunch and audience members shouting requests for baseball scores, to Max Yasgur’s uplifting address to the audience gathered on his farm.
You can also hear the cavalcade of stage announcements made by stage manager John Morris and lighting director Chip Monck, who were drafted as emcees for the festival because no one hired one. On all three of these new anniversary collections, you can hear them between songs making announcements about everything from lost keys to warnings about “flat blue acid.” The final disc in BACK TO THE GARDEN serves as an appendix and contains ancillary recordings and a few bits of audio whose placement within the sequence could not be confirmed.
As the cliché goes: If you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there. BACK TO THE GARDEN a way for people who weren’t there to remember them. And for anyone who was there, perhaps this will jog their memory.