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'Woodstock' revisited with a director's cut

June 9, 2009 |  6:00 am

Backtrack There is much truth to the argument that the landmark Woodstock festival functioned more as a turning point for the business of rock 'n' roll than for music itself. The photos of hundreds of thousands of young people gathered in a field in upstate New York that were sent around the world delivered a message that youth culture could be exceedingly lucrative.

This realization ushered in the era of corporate rock, a time of increased ambition and greed on the part of radio stations, record companies, concert promoters and, ultimately, artists themselves.

But that doesn't mean the music of Woodstock wasn't extraordinary. A new DVD and Blu-ray edition of director Michael Wadleigh's movie "Woodstock," released today, celebrates famous performances from Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Janis Joplin, but also includes concert footage from two great classic rock bands, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead, that didn't appear in the original version of the film for various contractual or technical reasons.

Creedence plays three songs including "Born on the Bayou" and "Keep on Chooglin'," while the Dead is represented by its nearly 40-minute rendition of the Bobby Bland hit "Turn on Your Love Light." These moments haven't been edited into the "Woodstock" movie itself -- now titled "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music The Director's Cut" -- but are featured in the "extras" disc that is part of the new 40th anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD.

Read more: 'Woodstock' revisited with a director's cut.

-- Robert Hilburn

Photo: Creedence Clearwater Revival / file photo