Saturday, August 08, 2009

Woodstock, Sly Style

So besides coming up on the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' Abbey Road, it's also been 40 years since the 3 Days of Peace and Music (the first one that is). While the whole idea of Woodstock has been commercialized and preempted in so many ways since its historic weekend, the truth is there was some darn fine music played in the fields of Bethal, New York. And now, 40 years later, some of that music is finally getting released in its entirety.

One of the thirty two acts who played that weekend was Sly & the Family Stone, who were at the top of their game with the release of Stand! earlier in the year, an album that would mark the end of the group's earlier, lighter, funkier phase before they turned darker with There's A Riot Going On and subsequent recordings. Although their set came at 3:30 in the morning, it proved to be one of the best of the weekend, and until this last June, had only been heard in its entirety by those that were there (and I'm sure a few bootleggers). In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Epic Records, through their Legacy Recordings division, are releasing it (along with the sets of other artists such as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Johnny Winter) in a 2 CD set, one disc with a remastered version of Stand! and the other with the band's performance at the festival (whose setlist drew heavily upon Stand!). Check out what you get:
I haven't listened to any of the other Woodstock releases, but Sly's is fabulous. If you want a chance to win a copy of it, along with a whole slew of other goodies including The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition Complete CD Box Set), Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (40th Anniversary Ultimate DVD Collector's edition), an Ang Lee autographed Taking Woodstock Poster, an autographed copy of The Road To Woodstock, and Woodstock - 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm box set from Rhino, head over to the official Woodstock website for a chance to enter.

In the meantime, check out a couple of tracks here. The first, Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey, is from disc 1, the remastered Stand! album, and perfectly demonstrates how on top of the then current social/racial issues the interracial Sly and the Family were for their time. The second, the band's first number one hit, Everyday People, comes from the live Woodstock recording.

Visit their website, the release's label Legacy Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

Visit the official website.


RFWoodstock said...

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Peace, love, music,

Anonymous said...

Everyday People is incomplete.

Sean said...

Anon, it is complete, it just blends into the next track, Dance to the Music, on the album, which is why it sounds like it ends mid-note.