October 24, 2020

1970-05-30 – The Tampa Tribune

1970 05 30 The_Tampa_Tribune_Sat__May_30__1970_

18- A

THE TAMPA TRIBUNE. Saturday. May 30. 1970

Woodstock LP: Bad T 0 Excellent

By RORY O’CONNOR

. “By the time we got to
Woodstock we were half
a million strong and ev-
erywhere was the song
" and the celebration.”

Crosby, Stills, Nash,
and Young, compliments
of Joni Mitchell’s pen,
have summed up the sen-
timents of the legendary
Woostock Music and Art
Fair in the above three
lines: 500,000 pe0ple (the
third largest population
center in New York state
during the time) gath-
ered peacefully for music
and to celebrate.

AS IS THE case for the
"majority of the pe0ple at

any pop festival, the
music is only incidental

to the happening. At

Woodstock, more so than
at any other event of its
kind, “the celebration” is
the key to understanding
it’s success. A half 3 mil-
lion people sat in rain
and mud for three days,
s h o u 1 d e r to shoulder,
without violence and in
total understanding of
one another. The signif-
icance of this was what
the celebration was all
about, and the signifi-
cance of WoodstOck
needs no more telling. It
has been written and
talked about for almost a
year.

But see for yourself.
“Woodstock, the Movie”
opened yesterday at the
Florida Theater. And if
the music is of any inter-
est to you, the sound-
track is now available.

THE MUSIC ON the
album gives quite a bit
b e t t e r perspective of
“the song” as a whole
than does the movie. In
the film, director Mi-
chael Wadleigh shows,
intentionally or not, just
exactly how incidental
the music was. Although
the groups are used as
focal points, with the
stage as the base of oper-
ations, the music in the
film is used only as a ve-
hicle toward arriving at
the implications of the
celebration.

A three record set, the
Woodstock soundtrack
c o v e r s the musical
ground that the film
touched on, and lots, lots
more.

For instance: In the
film, Crosby, Stills, and

A Woodstock Director Michael Wadleigh and Subjects

Nash, and Young do only
one song, minus Neil
Young who was waiting
in the wings, along with
group sidemen Dallas
Taylor and Greg Reeves.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
meander through a lame
but very soulful acoustic
version of “Suite: Judy
Blue Eyes. ”

Th e soundtrack in-
cludes this song, plus the
group as a whole doing
“Wooden Ships” and the
up till now unrecorded
“Sea of Madness.”

WHEREAS THE vent is
what is focused on in the
movie, with the music
tying it all together, the
soundtrack is made cohe-
rent by brief snatches of
the event coming across
the wax every now and
then. Announcements of
free food, bad drugs,
crowd size, and all the
rest of the typical be-
tween the acts stage jar-
gon is there; just enough
to make the whole thing
understandable.

On an overall basis, the
music ranges from bad
to excellent. The Jeffer-
son Airplane who are not
included in the film at
all, give one of the best
performances on the LP
in “Volunteers.” Joe
Cocker’s “With A Little
Help from My Friends”
is magnificent. Cocker
takes the rather inane
little ditty and turns it

THE T AMP A TRIBU NE

1 {II”

into a powerful, hymn-
like experience, far more
so than his single of the
same song.

Crowd-rousers Country
Joe and Sly Stone should
be extremely proud of
their contribution s.
“Fixin’ To Die” and “I
Want To Take You High-
er" are two of the very
best live recordings ever
made.

BUT THE album is not
without its sore spots.
The two British “heav-
ies,” the Who and Ten
Years After, sort of leave

the stage cold. Going
u n d e r the assumption
that the best of an act’s
performance was put on
the record, the sets of
these two bands must

have been disastrous.
The cut by the Who,

“We’re Not Gonna Take
It” (an excerpt from
“Tommy”) plainly shows
the disarray that Pete
Townshend says the Who
felt at the time. And al-
though Ten Years After
works very long and
hard, the only audible
things are Alvin Lee’s
rip-snorting guitar and
repetitious vocals.

The soundtrack retails
fo r something around
$15.

Just for the con-
glomeration of talent on
it, it’s worth the price.
Otherwise, the movie is a
better bargain.

‘sfigr‘?’ :3 3:35;?

“3?"?