I really don’t have much to say right now, mostly because I was so happy about finding this version of this song that I watched the clip before I started the post. And this clip stuns me stupid every damn time. It is the single best song in one of the best performances at probably the greatest concert of all time.
Sly & the Family Stone were at their absolute peak in 1969. Their performance at Woodstock was electrifying. This was Sly before drugs and anger ruined him, when the mantra “I want to take you higher!” was an invitation to free your soul with music and dance. Their start time at Woodstock was around 3:30 am. (That’s o’dark thirty for the rest of us.) And they still got a few hundred thousand hippies onto their feet, boogying in the mud. Unbelievable.
The video quality isn’t the greatest, but it does nothing to dim the amazing light coming off the stage. For a little while, Sly & the Family Stone burned brighter than any star in the musical universe. I want to take you higher, indeed.
(Oops! It looks like Daily Motion only lets me post the link. Still worth it.)