The spirit of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair of 1969 resonates 40 summers later, as if it were just yesterday. In 1969, five acts recorded albums for the Columbia, Epic, and RCA labels (divisions of Sony Music Entertainment) and brought their music to Max Yasgur's farm that summer. For the first time, "The Woodstock Experience" couples those albums with music from the festival, providing a pocket portrait of what each artist and band was experiencing during 1969. Available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting June 30th - in newly-designed eco-friendly 2CD packages (see details below) - will be the following five titles:
Jefferson Airplane - The Woodstock Experience
(RCA/Legacy) Includes Volunteers
, their sixth and final album with the original lineup before all the changes came in 1970, with "We Can Be Together," "Good Shepherd," "Wooden Ships," "Eskimo Blue Day," and the title tune; coupled with 13 songs from their Sunday wee-hours set at the festival, including six previously unissued live tracks.
Image © Henry Diltz - Michael Lang
Janis Joplin - The Woodstock Experience
(Columbia/Legacy) Includes I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
, her first and only solo album released during her lifetime, with "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)," the Bee Gees
' "To Love Somebody," and Rodgers & Hart's "Little Girl Blue"; coupled with her entire 10-song festival set, including three previously unissued live tracks.
Image © Henry Diltz - Michael Lang
Santana - The Woodstock Experience
(Columbia/Legacy) Includes the debut Santana LP
, with "Evil Ways," "Savor," "Persuasion," "Soul Sacrifice," and Olatunji's "Jingo"; coupled with their entire 8-song set, including one previously unissued live track.
Image © 1969 Jason Laure
Sly and the Family Stone - The Woodstock Experience
(Epic/Legacy) Includes their breakthrough fourth album, Stand!
, with "Everyday People," "Sing A Simple Song," "Stand!" and "I Want To Take You Higher"; coupled with their entire 8-song set, including seven previously unissued live tracks.
Image © Lee Marshall
Johnny Winter - The Woodstock Experience
(Columbia/Legacy) Includes the debut Johnny Winter
solo LP, with homages to Robert Johnson
("When You Got A Good Friend"), Sonny Boy Williamson
("Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"), Lightnin' Hopkins
("Back Door Friend") and B.B. King
("Be Careful With A Fool"); coupled with eight songs from his Sunday evening set at the festival, including seven previously unissued live tracks.
Image © Shelly Rusten
Each "The Woodstock Experience" disc will be packaged inside a mini-LP cover with inner paper sleeves: CD-one replicating the front and back covers of the original LP, and CD-two featuring iconic photography of the artist performing at the festival. These mini-LPs will be housed in a paper-board slipcase sharing continuity of design recognition across all five packages. The slipcase will also contain a two-sided 16x20-inch fold-out poster, with one side displaying iconic photography of the artist performing at the festival, and the other side displaying a classic crowd shot of the audience.
The upcoming 40th anniversary celebration includes such highly-anticipated projects as Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee
's Taking Woodstock
(which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, starring Demetri Martin
, Liev Schreiber
and Emile Hirsch
, via Focus Features); and Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang's The Road To Woodstock
, written with Holly George-Warren (on HarperCollins' Ecco imprint).
Announced in April, Sony Music Entertainment has teamed with Woodstock Ventures to launch Woodstock.com
, a a cutting edge live music social network for all concerts, including complete artist and event information, access to ticketing, concert reviews, music, blogs, and a forum to connect with other fan events throughout the world. There will be platforms for environmental initiatives, social issues, and other current topics. Visitors to the site can meet on a virtual village green, a platform for developing initiatives about global warming, carbon emissions, and responsible energy use.
The spirit of the Woodstock Generation continues to be a thriving and dynamic force in society because the communal ideas expressed in the music of those artists still resounds loud and clear. The social and political and cultural concerns that informed their lives and music in 1969 are still with us today. And there has never been any better way of experiencing the tumultuous events of 1969 than through the music.