Woodstock Box Set Unearths Famous Festival's Rarities
Woodstock Box Set Unearths Famous Festival's Rarities

Thirty-eight previously unreleased recordings -- from groups such as the Who, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jefferson Airplane -- will dot Rhino's "Woodstock -- 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm" box set, which will be released on Aug. 18.

Among the highlights of the six-CD, 77-song collection are a 19-minute rendition of the Dead's "Dark Star," "Amazing Journey" and "Pinball Wizard" by the Who, "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker, CCR's "Bad Moon Rising," Blood Sweat and Tears' "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and tracks from Sweetwater, Bert Sommer, Tim Hardin, Ravi Shankar, Joan Baez, Melanie, Country Joe & the Fish, Sha Na Na, the Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Winter and others.

The set, which lists for $79.98, also restores full-length performances of Canned Heat's "Woodstock Boogie" (to a whopping 30 minutes) and the Who's "We're Not Gonna Take It," and it includes the never-released Woodstock performances of Arlo Guthrie's "Coming Into Los Angeles" and Mountain's "Theme For an Imaginary Western," which were replaced by better-sounding recordings from other concerts for the original "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music" soundtrack.

The track lineup is accurate to the actual running order of the legendary 1969 festival, and it also includes stage announcements (you still need to check the brown acid, apparently), Wavy Gravy's announcement of "breakfast in bed" for the crowd estimated at 500,000, Max Yasgur's famous speech to the crowd and audio of Abbie Hoffman's encounter with Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

"This will be the most comprehensive collection of Woodstock music yet," Rhino Vice-President of A&R Cheryl Pawelski tells Billboard.com. "The goal was to make it as real as possible...as authentic an experience as possible. It feels like dirt. It feels like a field. We wanted to take you there. We worked very hard to make it a true document of that time."

Co-producers Andy Zax and Mason Williams compiled "Woodstock -- 40 Years On" from the original multitrack tapes recorded during the festival. Their research also allowed them to put the songs and artists in the correct order of performance, and the accompanying booklet will include the accurate sequence complete with full set lists.

One performance is conspicuously absent; Pawelski says Ten Years After would not clear the use of its performance for the box, meaning the group's epic version of "Goin' Home" will not be included. The Band and Keef Hartley were the only other acts that opted out of the set.

"Woodstock -- 40 Years On" follows Rhino's re-release earlier this week of "Music From the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock" and "Woodstock 2." A new Woodstock.com web site also launched this week, and a new DVD edition of "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music -- The Director's Cut" comes out Tuesday. And on June 30 Legacy adds to the onslaught with "Woodstock Experience" editions of seminal albums by five of the festival's acts -- the Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers," Janis Joplin's "I Got Dem 'Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama!," Santana's debut album, Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand!" and Johnny Winter's self-titled effort -- each with a second CD featuring the acts' complete Woodstock performances for the first time ever.

The full track listing for "Woodstock -- 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm" includes:

Disc 1: Richie Havens -- "Handsome Johnny," "Freedom (Motherless Child);" Sweetwater -- "Look Out," "Two Worlds;" Bert Sommer -- "Jennifer," "And When It's Over," "Smile;" Tim Hardin -- "Hang On to a Dream," "Simple Song of Freedom;" Ravi Shankar -- "Raga Puriya-Dhanashri/Gat In Sawarital;" Melanie -- "Momma Momma," "Beautiful People," "Birthday of the Sun;" Arlo Guthrie -- "Coming into Los Angeles," "Wheel of Fortune," "Every Hand in the Land"

Disc 2: Joan Baez -- "Joe Hill," "Sweet Sir Galahad," "Hickory Wind," "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" (with Jeffrey Shurtleff); Quill -- "They Live the Life," "That's How I Eat;" Country Joe McDonald -- "Donovan's Reef," "The ‘Fish Cheer"/"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag;" Santana -- "Persuasion," "Soul Sacrifice;" John Sebastian -- "How Have You Been," "Rainbows All Over Your Blues," "I Had a Dream;" Incredible String Band -- "The Letter," "When You Find Out Who You Are

Disc 3: Canned Heat -- "Going Up the Country," "Woodstock Boogie;" Mountain -- "Blood of the Sun," "Theme For an Imaginary Western," "For Yasgur's Farm;" Jerry Garcia and Country Joe McDonald -- Green Acid Advice (stage announcement); Grateful Dead -- "Dark Star;" Creedence Clearwater Revival -- "Green River," "Bad Moon Rising," "I Put a Spell On You"

Disc 4: Janis Joplin -- "Work Me, Lord," "Ball and Chain;" Sly & the Family Stone -- Medley: "Dance To The Music"/"Music Lover"/"I Want to Take You Higher;" The Who: "Amazing Journey," "Pinball Wizard," "We're Not Gonna Take It; Jefferson Airplane -- "The Other Side of This Life," ""Somebody to Love," "Won't You Try"/ "Saturday Afternoon," "Volunteers"

Disc 5: Joe Cocker -- "Feelin' Alright," "Let's Go Get Stoned," "With a Little Help From My Friends; Country Joe & the Fish -- "Rock & Soul Music," "“Love," "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine," "Summer Dresses," "Silver and Gold, "Rock & Soul Music (Reprise);" Johnny Winter -- "Leland Mississippi Blues," "Mean Town Blues;" Blood, Sweat & Tears -- "You've Made Me So Very Happy"

Disc 6: "Crosby, Stills & Nash -- "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," "Guinnevere," "Marrakesh Express," "4 + 20;" Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young -- "Sea of Madness," "Wooden Ships;" Butterfield Blues Band -- "No Amount of Loving," "Love March," "Everything's Gonna Be Alright; Sha Na Na -- "Get A Job," "At the Hop," "Get a Job (Reprise);" Jimi Hendrix -- "The Star Spangled Banner," "Purple Haze," "Woodstock Improvisation"