Various Artists

Woodstock: The Lost Performances [Video]

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For this video, 70 minutes of footage from the 1969 Woodstock festival that did not make it into the Woodstock film were retrieved. There's a high enough proportion of secondary performers -- and secondary songs -- to make one wonder if access to the best unreleased clips was obstructed for some reason. Could it really be that there were no other good songs done by the Jefferson Airplane, Santana, or the Who? What viewers do get are variable performances by the Band, Joe Cocker, Canned Heat, Paul Butterfield, Arlo Guthrie, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, Sly & the Family Stone, Tim Hardin, Melanie, Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin, and Richie Havens. Several of these scenes are of interest if only because they are of musicians that weren't seen performing at all in the Woodstock movie (even the expanded version that came out in the 1990s), like Melanie (who actually acquits herself very well in "Birthday of the Sun"), Tim Hardin (doing his most famous tune, "If I Were a Carpenter"), Blood, Sweat and Tears, and the Band (with "The Weight"). Some of the above-average clips are Arlo Guthrie on "Walking Down the Line" and Crosby, Stills & Nash on "Marrakesh Express." As a whole, though, the standard of the filming and the music is a good ways below the full-length Woodstock movie, and some fine performers are not represented at their best (Sly & the Family Stone on "Love City," Country Joe McDonald on an acoustic version of "Rockin' Around the World"). It's worth renting once if you like the music of the time a lot, but don't expect a Woodstock 2 or something like that.