The Bottom Line
- Finally, the entire Sly Stone Woodstock set on CD!
- The remastering is excellent, giving a real immediacy to the live stuff.
- Sly's "Stand!," his best Sixties album, also sounds better than ever.
- The Woodstock set is even tighter and more fierce than its legend.
- "Stand!" is still marred by the unnecessary "Sex Machine," but that's a minor flaw.
- Release date: June 30, 2009
- Sony Legacy 748241
- Studio/live (1969)
- 2 discs
Guide Review - Sly and the Family Stone: The Woodstock Experience
And yet, for four decades, the full performance was inexplicably only available on bootleg; if you saw the movie which immortalized his performance, you only took in about a third of the smokin' hot set (namely "Music Lover," yet another "Dance To The Music" rewrite, and "I Want To Take You Higher," done as a medley). This package, released as part of The Woodstock Experience multiartist box set and now on its own, consists of one disc of the entire performance and a remastered version of the artist's latest offering at the time, in this case, Sly's most accomplished Sixties album, Stand! The result is an amazingly accomplished and utterly indispensable document of Sly as a funk icon, free thinker, and positive motivator; his Woodstock set lays down the radio-friendly jams hard, opening with "M'Lady" and burning through most of the uptempo Stand! cuts, cleverly sneaking up on the intro to "Sing A Simple Song," delivering an "Everyday People" with even more soul than the original, and offering up the encore of "Stand" as a quiet (at first) hymn for understanding. In the process, he inextricably links the freedom of a great party with the freedom of all humankind, which makes him the quintessential Woodstock performer; tragically, he would move to Los Angeles soon after this, get hooked on cocaine and wrapped up in the black militarist movement, and lose his optimism forever.