Monday, August 8, 2011

Various Artists - Woodstock Two (1971)

(Various artists - 1969)
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The Woodstock Festival (Woodstock Music and Art Fair, or Woodstock) was a music festival and a gathering of the iconic hippie culture of the 1960s. It took place in Bethel on land the farmer Max Yasgur United States, about sixty miles from Woodstock in upstate New York.
Organized to take place from 15 to 17 August 1969 and accommodate 50 000 spectators, he finally welcomed more than 450,000, and continued one more day, until the morning of August 18, 1969.
The festival hosted concerts by 32 groups and soloists of folk, rock, soul and blues. The budget for the remuneration of artists reached a total of 200 000 dollars. This is one of the greatest moments in the history of popular music, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine among "50 moments that changed the history of Rock and Roll”.
The festival was both one of the highlights of the cons-culture of the 1960s and the hippie culture and the end of flower power.
The area was declared a disaster area shortly after but no violence was reported, however.
Three deaths (overdoses, appendicitis badly treated and a tractor accident) and two births occurred during the event, which also caused the largest traffic jam in the history of the United States.
Initially, and due to the large number of people who went free, the festival did lose a lot of money to its organizers, but due to sales of recordings of the festival (audio and video), they became beneficiaries. Indeed, if Woodstock is the important point of the cons-culture and the "anti-capitalism" pacifist, organizers had to resell the rights to Warner to settle their debts.
The festival gave rise in 1970, a documentary film, directed by Michael Wadleigh assisted by Martin Scorsese, who also took part in the assembly.
A triple album was released in May 1970, Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, and was reissued as a double CD in 1994. A double album, Woodstock Two, was released a year later, in July 1971 - for which this post is devoted.
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After the multi-platinum success of Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock that accompanied Michael Wadleigh's documentary film Woodstock (two million copies sold and it spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, and even a Top 20 spot on its R&B chart!), Woodstock Two was inevitable as a sequel. Released as a double LP in 1971 with more stills from the film - this set featured many of the same artists who'd appeared on the first volume, with two additions: Mountain, and Melanie. If anything, this set, more concise and more focused, is a better bet than its predecessor.
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Record one is a stunner on more than one level. First, there are three tracks by Jimi Hendrix and his expanded lineup after breaking up the Experience (adding guitarist Larry Lee), and a trio of percussionists along with Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. There's the killer "Jam Back at the House," which rolls in riffs and an instrumental array of tunes from his catalog including "Rainy Day Dream Away"; there's a killer take on "Izabella" that's raggedy but full of killer improvisation -- check the interaction between Cox and Mitchell -- and "Get My Heart Back Together," also known as "Hear My Train A'Comin'." These 20 minutes of music make it worth the purchase of this collection if you don't already possess the Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock.
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Jefferson Airplane is also here with an extra 12 minutes of music. Judging by this contribution and the inclusion of "Volunteers," on volume 1, this ranks as one of their greatest live sets ever issued. They begin "Saturday Afternoon/Won't You Try" with a medley of tunes from After Bathing at Baxter's, issued early on in their career. The vocal performances by Marty Balin, Grace Slick, and Paul Kantner are simply stellar, but Jorma Kaukonen's guitar as a guiding light also really shines here, and it screams on their other selection, "Eskimo Blue Day," from the Volunteers album, even if its basic structure aped Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." Record one ends with the Butterfield Blues Band redeeming themselves with Little Walter's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," after the indulgent debacle of "Love March" on volume one.
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Record two features a trio of fine cuts by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young including "Marrakesh Express," and a pair from Mountain: the stellar rocker "Blood of the Sun," and the more pastoral "Theme from an Imaginary Western." Canned Heat's 13-minute "Woodstock Boogie" is a bit monotonous, but it's a blast all the same. The tracks by Melanie and Joan Baez included here add nothing to this set and should have been left off in favor of some other artists who weren't included on either volume, but that's personal preference.
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"Woodstock Two - The Bands / Where Are They Now"
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Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix was the closing act at Woodstock. His scheduled Sunday night performance didn't happen until mid-morning Monday, long after all but a few thousand of the original crowd of half a million had gone home. He died just over a year later, reportedly choking to death after consuming an excess of wine and sleeping pills. His Woodstock bandmates included bassist Billy Cox, who went on to do solo and session work; Juma Sultan (congas) recorded with a number of jazz artists; and Jerry Velez (percussion) who has collaborated with a variety of artists, and worked as an event producer and music director. Larry Lee (vocals/guitar) died in 2007; Mitch Mitchell (drums) died in 2008.
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Jefferson Airplane
Marty Balin (vocals) has remained active in the music business, releasing eight solo albums and performing with the band's successor, Jefferson Starship. Grace Slick (vocals) retired from music in 1988 after a stint with Starship and took up painting and drawing. Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals) has stayed close to home, and still performs with Starship. Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals) and Jack Casady (bass) formed Hot Tuna after their Airplane ride, and both continue to tour with Tuna. Nicky Hopkins (piano) worked as a solo and session performer until he died in 1994 at age 50 of complications from intestinal surgery. Drummer Spencer Dryden was in and out of music, and died of colon cancer in 2005 at the age of 66.
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The Butterfield Blues Band
Outputting styles adopted from Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters among other blues greats, Butterfield became one of the first white singers to rekindle blues music through the course of the mid-'60s. His debut album, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, saw him teaming up with guitarists Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield, with Jerome Arnold on bass, Sam Lay on drums, and Mark Naftalin playing organ.
It was just a few months after Woodstock that the Butterfield Blues Band disbanded. Founder Paul Butterfield did solo and session work until his death in 1987 at the age of 44 of a heart attack attributed to years of drug and alcohol abuse. Saxophonist David Sanborn has had a highly successful career as a performer and composer. He released a new studio album, Here And Gone, in 2008 and has tour appearances booked through early 2010. Guitarist Buzz Feiten joined The Rascals, and is now a solo and session player.
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Joan Baez
Regarded as the queen of folk music (to Bob Dylan's king), Joan Baez has been a political activist most of her life. Prior to Woodstock, her music strongly reflected her opposition to the Vietnam war and her passion for the protection of human rights. Since Woodstock, she has expanded her activism to include the environment, the death penalty, gay and lesbian rights, poverty, and the Iraq war. Her most recent album, Day After Tomorrow was released in 2008, and she continues to maintain a heavy tour schedule in 2009.
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Cosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Neil Young had just joined up with Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby when they performed at Woodstock -- their first public performance. CSNY's recording of the Joni Mitchell song memorializing "Woodstock" (released as a single) would later become a hit and the recording most associated with the festival. Both configurations (CSN and CSNY) continue to perform together today. In addition, Young continues a long and successful solo career.
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Melanie
Melanie had a hit in the Netherlands with "Beautiful People", before performing at the Woodstock Festival. The inspiration for her signature song, "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)", apparently arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set.
Melanie had recorded just one album prior to Woodstock. Another 32 followed, the most recent, 'Paled By Dimmer Light', in 2004. Today she still performs a few concerts a year and continues writing music, including the theme song of the Beauty and the Beast TV series.
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Mountain
Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, N.D. Smart and Steve Knight had performed in public just three times before they took the stage at Woodstock. Over the years, West (guitar, vocals) has formed and re-formed Mountain several times, and also performs as a solo artist. Pappalardi (bass, vocals) moved from performing to producing albums during the '70s. In 1983, he was shot and killed by his wife, Gail, a co-writer of several Mountain songs. Smart, who was replaced on drums by Corky Laing shortly after Woodstock, went on to work with Todd Rundgren and Ian & Sylvia. Knight left music to work as an engineer, author and, from 1999 to 2007, a member of the Town Board of the town of Woodstock.
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Canned Heat
Band co-founders Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and Bob "The Bear" Hite died, in 1970 and 1981, respectively. Drummer "Fito" de la Parra still performs with the band regularly. Guitarist Harvey "The Snake" Mandel and bassist Larry "The Mole" Taylor left in 1970 to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. They briefly reunited with de la Parra for several shows in 2007. Mandel is again touring with Canned Heat in 2009. Taylor is a member of the blues/jazz/swing band, Hollywood Blue Flames and he also plays in Tom Waits' tour band.
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(Thanks to Classicrock for a the "Where are They Now" extracts and to Rick Hart at Woodstock Memories for the Woodstock Banner Art)
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This post consists of a rip taken from my 'mint' vinyl copy (320kps) and includes full album artwork from both LP and CD. I have also included an extensive collection of 'band photos' for those bands featured on this Woodstock Two release.
Note: Unlike its popular triple album predecessor, this followup double LP release did not sell anywhere near as many copies, making it somewhat of a rarity. In fact, I have not come across any other copies in my 40 years of record collecting, so this is truly one of my prize possessions.
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Track Listing
01 - Jam Back At The House (Jimi Hendrix)
02 - Izabella (Jimi Hendrix)

03 - Get My Heart Back Together (Jimi Hendrix)

04 - Saturday Afternoon / Won't You Try (Jefferson Airplane)

05 - Eskimo Blue Day (Jefferson Airplane)

06 - Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Butterfield Blues Band)

07 - Sweet Sir Galahad (Joan Baez)

08 - Guinnevere (CSN&Y)

09 - 4 + 20 (CSN&Y)

10 - Marrakesh Express (CSN&Y)

11 - My Beautiful People (Melanie)

12 - Birthday Of The Sun (Melanie)

13 - Blood Of The Sun (Mountain)

14 - Theme From An Imaginary Western (Mountain)

15 - Woodstock Boogie (Canned Heat)

16 - Let The Sunshine In (Audience)

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Woodstock Two Link (196Mb) New Link 30/09/2013
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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. I let go of my LP in my momentary lapse of reason. Great Aussie site!

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://zakynthiusrockius.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey War Oponda
    Nice of you to drop in and take the time to comment. Much appreciate the support - enjoy

    ReplyDelete