A refreshingly straightforward document of the band’s landmark 1969 Woodstock set, the record serves as a noteworthy addition to the rarefied pantheon of Live Albums That Emphatically Do Not Suck. Among the songs the Family Stone performed that August night in ’69 were “Sing a Simple Song”, “You Can Make It If You Try”, “Dance to the Music”, “Stand!” and, of course, “I Want to Take You Higher”. Noticeably, each title is either a command or else reminiscent of some ancient proverb. There’s a consistent spiritual element to the band’s central ethos; one that today’s more cynical audiences might consider played-out but regardless continues to be an inspirational force to upcoming musicians and open-minded listeners. As for Woodstock and its associated madness, music fans can and should make of it what they will. One thing’s for certain: While this particular concert-for-the-ages boasted performances both legendary and mind-altering, you sure as hell didn’t need LSD to get down with Sly & the Family Stone.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.