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on 27 September 2009
People who weren't there think that the 'love and peace' sixties were a time of racial harmony. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the southern states of America operated a virtual system of apartheid, and most white rock audiences [both here and in America] didn't listen to black music, though of course Motown was hugely poular with dancers and the pop record buying public, and Stax and Atlantic certainly had their adherants. There were of course exceptions, namely Hendrix and Sly Stone, both of whom mixed black and white musicians in their bands. Sly mixed James Brown funk and white guitar rock in a truly innovative way and woowed white rock audiences across America, no more so than at Woodstock. This album captures the joy and uniqueness of both his music in general and this performance in particular. If you want an example of his innovatory powers just listen to Larry Grahams stunning slap bass, a style that continues to be copied by bassists everywhere today. Anyone interested in black or white musical styles will find this album an essential purchase.
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on 10 August 2009
It took forty years for the full Woodstock set by Sly and the Family Stone to get a release. And it's breathtaking. Don't get me wrong,"Stand" is a superb album in its own right,but the Woodstock show is the main attraction, as this groundbreaking act provide one of the most thrilling live performances you'll ever hear. This has got to be one of the best live albums of the lot, only James Brown's Love Power Peace rivalling it for generating a level of excitement in some way akin to being there. The band are on fire, tight yet super energetic, anchored by Greg Errico's pounding drumming and the amazing Larry Graham's pioneering funky bass work. At 3am on Sunday morning they just steamrolled those jaded hippies.
Some Woodstock performances were just awful-self- indulgent, pompous hippy rubbish, some of the better ones represented the high water mark,unwitting elegies for an era which was grinding to a bitter conclusion. Some paved the way for greater things for acts which would become huge in the next decade. But this was The One.
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on 7 October 2009
I went to see the movie of Woodstock in 1970 or so, with some friends from school. We sat through the movie but sat up and paid attention to only 3 acts; the Who, Santana and an electrifying performance from Sly & the Family Stone, a band I had heard of only from the single 'Dance To The Music'. They were fantastic and this cd set which combines the whole Woodstock set with the studio album 'Stand' confirms it. They are funky,loud and proud with an energy that makes one realise that this is something special. This is an album to have and enjoy, I really commend it to anyone who loves music.
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on 18 April 2011
Sorry, I was really looking forward to this but....

It's happened before on these "extra" editions - see Cure Disintegration deluxe + others too (yes I have odd tastes). Unfortunately I figure it's now best to tell people, rather than let them wonder what the fuss is/was.

The music is really 5 stars, maybe more, but once again I'm glad I kept my original copy.

Why is the bassline so distorted on these "renewals"? I don't understand why the "engineers" can't hear this.

Even worse on headphones (and yes I'm one of those sad/rare people who doesn't want to inflict my taste on others in the wee hours).

Now it's sort of useful/crucial for the Woodstock set (no distortion there guys). Cracking and then some. But PLEASE grab a proper copy of the original album.

I can't imagine that Sony, or any other label, care. But, they all ought to be ashamed. Listen? Hear! Sack. Truly.

Honest it's corking stuff.

How sad this version doesn't get the full five.
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on 28 April 2010
Woodstock included those sacred names and performances of Hendrix, Janis, Jefferson Airplane, Santana and others, but it is arguable that the most concise, best balanced and more enthusiastic approach was the adopted by Sylvester Stone and his band. The group sounded pretty clear and their musicians are quite effective in their interplay. There is no room for excesses and lenghty solos. The rhythm section, the winds section, the lead and backing vocals, all are in their proper place. The medley of 'Dance to the Music', 'Higher' and 'I Want to Take you Higher' is definitive and offer the best connection between public and the performer.
This special collection includes the woodstock performance, until now partially published, and the studio record of Stand! This is arguably the best record by Sly and the Family Stone, though some may defend "There's a riot going on".
Summing up, an excellent package of a studio album and its live version, with a band that sounds great. Energy is high and this music will surely take your feet off the ground.
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on 17 December 2014
Amazing - one of music's true greats. At the peak of his powers at Woodstock.. The bonus disc of the 'Stand' album is also a nice extra for anyone who doesn't have it. One of the best albums from the late 1960's..
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