OK, the sound quality of the recordings is about what you'd expect of an early era outdoor concert, but this collection is worth getting if only for the glimpse into a time of turbulent change in the rock&roll scene. The collection of artists & selections here shows the diversity of music widely enjoyed by rock fans before they had to decide if they were fans of rock, or heavy metal, or folk, or alternative, or adult alternative, or pop-rock, or some other category of interest primarily to the record company marketing staff. This was still (barely) the days of music for the fans, a fact sometimes too aggressively proclaimed by the infamously unruly crowds at this festival. The small club folkies haven't yet figured out how to hold a vast crowd with less-than-ideal acoustics, the power groups haven't yet become addicted to endless decades of self-congratulatory stadium tours for inflated prices, teh guitar players are still playing just to show you what new things they have learned that a guitar can do, and you can even get a glimpse into why there is such a split opinion over the ratings of such clearly talented people as Pete Townshend and Jim Morrison (the Darryl Strwberries of their genre, clearly talented, but not always able to channel those talents into a connection with their audience). If you want an eclectic music collection, you can get a good start with just this set. Obvious comparisons with the Woodstock discs beg, both sets include a great variety of styles and quality levels of performances and recordings, but I find the main difference to be in a perceptible change in the audience. At Woodstock we were still there to groove on the music and the scene and free love; the audience and the performers were equally as starry-eyed about the whole scene. Here we were starting to think everything ought to be free, and we were owed it, man, and those freakin' singers better deliver it. If Woodstock was a celebration of the hippie era, then Isle of Wight was a riot demanding it, audience and musicians on opposite sides, the start of a rapid growth of commercialism in rock & roll, a growing pain of a developing industry. Still, for anyone who likes music of the early 70's, there is a lot of wheat among the chaff here, and it always makes an interesting listen, even if there is a temptation to skip a track now & again. 3+ stars for the music (4 if you're a Hendrix or Alvin Lee fan), 4 for the experience.