As the song goes, by the time they got to Woodstock, they were half a million strong...
Over the next few weeks and months you're going to start seeing a lot of stuff about Woodstock both on the internet and elsewhere. That's because the 1969 rock festival — considered by most music historians and other Rockologist types, like yours truly, to be the greatest concert of all time — is turning forty this year.
As the Byrds would say, it seems like only yesterday — particularly if you were actually around back when it happened. Woodstock is not just the stuff of legend, but also of tall tales told from barstools by aging rockers and other hippie types at the sort of musky watering holes you'll find in most any major city in America. You know the ones that usually start with "I remember Woodstock?"
In my own case, the only thing missing is the grey ponytail.
So, to commemorate this anniversary, there are no less than something like 587 remastered, remixed, and otherwise repackaged Blu-ray, DVD, and CD versions of the concert coming out this summer. Okay, so I'm exaggerating just a little bit. But not by much.
Remastered versions of the original Woodstock and Woodstock Two soundtrack albums are already in stores on CD now, as is a fresh, new version of the Director's Cut of the original film. The latter item is available both in a single DVD and Blu-ray version, as well as in a full-on boxed set which features loads of previously unseen footage by artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead along with additional unreleased, archived performances from bands like the Who and the Jefferson Airplane.
There's also a brand new interactive website which you'll find by pointing your browser towards Woodstock.com. Still to come are another boxed set, as well as a series of individual double discs from Sony Legacy capturing the Woodstock Experience with the complete festival performances of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly And The Family Stone, Johnny Winter, and Janis Joplin. Each of these will also couple the concert recordings with a classic album by each artist from about the same time period. My own reviews on these will be forthcoming here on BC in the days ahead (although I can tell you now that the sound is a bit disappointing on a few of them).