As announced back in July, Rhino have a schedule of releases this autumn that involved taking classic box sets and repackaging (and repricing) them for the modern age.
At the end of September we will see Buffalo Springfield and Crosby Stills and Nash sets hit the market, but here we concentrate on two boxes released last week: Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm and The Last Waltz by The Band.
The Woodstock set is relatively new, having been originally issued only four years ago to celebrate 40 years since the legendary festival, and comes with a massive 95 tracks over six CDs, featuring almost every artist that performed at Woodstock, including long-ish sets from Jefferson Airplane, Mountain, Joan Baez and shorter contributions from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Who, Santana and The Incredible String Band. The 64-page booklet does a good job at shrinking down the previous content and includes the same mix of photos and essays. It also maintains the complete band order and set lists for the the three days.
Rhino have done a fine job of cramming so much into a old-style double CD ‘fat box’, and the quality of the artwork and the inclusion of the slipcase adds some style to what is effectively a budget box.
The Last Waltz was originally a 3LP soundtrack album to the Martin Scorsese film that documented The Band‘s farewell concert. It was then later issued across two CDs. In 2002 the four disc box set – which is replicated here – was issued. The Band’s Robbie Robertson remastered all the songs and added many tracks (previously unreleased at the time) from the concert and rehearsals.
Of course, this famous concert doesn’t just feature The Band and is memorable for the many special guests – Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Joni Mitchell to name but four.
The packaging is identical to the Woodstock box, except for the fact that only four discs need to be accommodated. The booklet contains the same Robbie Robertson preface and lengthy David Fricke essay, as found in the previous box set.
Anyone with even half an interest in rock history should be looking to acquire these sets for their collection. In the past, cost may have been a prohibitive factor, but with both of these releases available for under £17, there’s little to stop you now.
Woodstock: 40 Years On /6CDs
- • UK Pre-order: Woodstock: 40 Years On (6CD box)
- • USA Pre-order: Woodstock: 40 Years On (6CD box)
- • GERMANY Order: Woodstock-40 Years on:Back Toyasgur’s Farm
The Last Waltz / 4CDs
- • UK Pre-order: The Last Waltz (4CD box)
- • USA Pre-order: The Last Waltz (4CD box)
- • GERMANY Order: The Last Waltz