Between August 15-18, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. Thirty-two acts performed including some of the most popular and influential musicians of the era such as Joan Baez, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.
This summer will be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the defining event of a generation and one of the most iconic moments in popular music history. Despite its enduring cultural significance, no one has ever attempted to document the historic festival as it unfolded in real time. The original triple album released in 1970 to coincide with the film of the event, barely scratched the surface of the total recordings. Another selection was issued the following year and that was it. A 25th anniversary 4CD box set arrived in 1994 which complimented the material already issued but this collection was heavily remixed. Then in 2009, a 6CD set for the 40th anniversary saw the most complete collection of the festival recordings yet released.
Producer Andy Zax says he, sound producer Brian Kehew and mastering engineer Dave Schultz avoided interfering with the tapes as much as possible in order to preserve their authenticity, resulting in tapes which are the sonic equivalent of heirloom tomatoes - "slightly imperfect, but delicious.” Zax and Steve Woolard have combined 162 Tracks on 10CDs in a hardback book style packaging with photos, liners and additional cutdown from the Definitive box (only available via Rhino's website for which you will need a mortgage to purchase!), which are presented here in the 'Woodstock – Back To The Garden – 50th Anniversary Experience'. There is also a 64-page booklet, wrapped in a burlap belly band, which is the first Woodstock collection to feature live recordings of every performer at the festival.