Woodstock become an iconic event of the '60s, but according to Wall Street Journal critic Jim Fusilli, it was a mediocre festival at best. Major artists like Lennon, the Doors, and Led Zeppelin stayed away, those who did show were drugged up, and sound equipment failed—the whole thing was "pretty much a bust."
At Woodstock folk music was overrepresented—even though Dylan himself has already gone electric—while black music was largely absent: no James Brown, no Stevie Wonder, no Aretha Franklin. And the Woodstock albums culled the worst bits, inserted new versions of songs, and even relied on actors in a Hollywood studio to augment the cheering. Listen to the full recordings, Fusilli writes, and you'll have to "plow through the dross to enjoy the few moments of musical magic."