Various Artists – Woodstock

More Live Albums

  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • “As potent a musical time capsule as ever existed, it captures the three-day, 1969 concert event that united close to half a million members of what came to be known as the ‘Woodstock Generation’. It topped the Billboard Charts for four weeks and sold two million copies.”

You will have a very hard time finding a quieter copy!

Folks, it was a struggle, let me tell you! Not as much of a struggle as putting on the concert itself to be sure, but a struggle for those of us charged with finding good sound on this famously badly recorded album.

First off there are six sides to play for every copy.

Secondly the sound is problematical at best; figuring out what the best copies do well that the run-of-the-mill copies don’t takes quite a bit of concentration, and one has to stay focused for a long time (most of the day in fact). After a while it can really start to wear on your nerves.

What the Best Sides of Woodstock Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1970
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Woodstock

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.


Side One

John B. Sebastian – I Had a Dream
Canned Heat – Going Up the Country
Stage Announcements
Richie Havens – Freedom
Country Joe & The Fish – Rock and Soul Music
Arlo Guthrie – Coming Into Los Angeles
Sha Na Na – At the Hop

Side Two

Country Joe McDonald – The ‘Fish’ Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
Joan Baez feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff – Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man
Joan Baez – Joe Hill
Stage Announcements
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Sea of Madness

Side Three

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Wooden Ships
The Who – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Stage Announcements
Joe Cocker – With a Little Help From My Friends

Side Four

Crowd Rain Chant
Santana – Soul Sacrifice
Stage Announcements
Ten Years After – I’m Going Home

Side Five

Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers
Max Yasgur
Sly and the Family Stone – Medley: Dance to the Music / Music Lover / I Want to Take You Higher
John B. Sebastian – Rainbows All Over Your Blues

Side Six

Butterfield Blues Band – Love March
Jimi Hendrix – Star Spangled Banner / Purple Haze & Instrumental Solo

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