Although the Jefferson Airplane was one of the most famous groups in the world in 1969, their presence at Woodstock has long been rendered something of a festival and career footnote. The problem wasnâ€™t with their performance, but the short-shrift they gave themselves in the film (in which they didnâ€™t appear) and soundtrack albums (on which they appeared for only one track on the initial triple-LP, and two tracks on the follow-up Woodstock II). Originally scheduled to headline the festivalâ€™s Saturday night lineup, weather and logistics pushed the performance to early Sunday morning, by which point the band and the crowd should by all rights have been totally exhausted. But the Airplane took off to provide a long, powerful set of what Grace Slick called â€œmorning maniac music,â€ and in retrospect (that is, once the acid wore off) it was a much stronger performance than they imagined theyâ€™d given.
The set list includes material from the bandâ€™s three studio albums then-to-date, as well as three songs from the then-soon-to-be-released Volunteers, the latter including the rarely performed â€œEskimo Blue Dayâ€ and a lengthy version of the Crosby, Stills and Kantner co-write â€œWooden Ships.â€ Jorma Kaukonen sings â€œUncle Sam Bluesâ€ and â€œCome Back Baby,â€ the band jams at length on â€œThe Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil,â€ and closes out with a strong encore of â€œWhite Rabbitâ€ and Crown of Creationâ€™s “The House At Pooneil Corners.â€ Although a few more of the Woodstock tracks appeared on 1992â€™s Jefferson Airplane Loves You and 1994s Woodstock – Three Days of Peace and Music, it wasnâ€™t until 2009â€™s Woodstock Experience that the full set was delivered. That full set is now delivered in grand fashion as a double-gatefold, 3-LP set on â€œblue dawnâ€ colored wax, with photos by Henry Diltz and new liners by Richie Unterberger. This is a sweet collectible for the bandâ€™s fans. [Â©2019 Hyperbolium]