Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: “Woodstock” (1970)

Joni Mitchell crystallized a moment and CSN&Y shine their brilliant light through it.

Kronomyth 2.1: Your garden-variety generational anthem.

Time to feed the mythology monster living in the basement of our collective conscious. CSN and if you look real closely Y play Woodstock and the world is forever changed, or so it would seem. Joni Mitchell misses the landmark event, but after talking to the group pens “Woodstock” anyway. In March 1970, the band releases the song and the world is changed again via perspective or historical revisionism or myth-making or whatever you want to call it.

Joni’s sere rendition of her own song appears one month later on Ladies of the Canyon. Somehow, not unwittingly I suppose, CSN&Y become the spokespersons for a generation, in a sense appropriating Woodstock with this tune. Toss in Neil Young’s “Helpless,” and you have a little slice of history all to yourself. Me, I never bought into the Woodstock mystique, but then I’ve never met a mob I liked.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Woodstock (Joni Mitchell) (3:52)
B1. Helpless (Neil Young) (3:35)

French 7-inch maxi-single version
A1. Woodstock
B1. Tech Your Children
B2. Ohio

Canadian 7-inch single reissue
A1. Woodstock
B1. Teach Your Children

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in March 1970 in the US (Atlantic, 45-2723), the UK (Atlantic, 2090 010), Australia (Atlantic, AK-3591), Canada (Atlantic, AT 2723), France (Atlantic, 650 197), Japan (Atlantic, DT 1155), the Netherlands (Atlantic, 2723 A), Portugal (Atlantic, N-28-88) and Venezuela (Atlantic, 508); reached #11 on the US charts (charted on March 28, 1970 for 11 weeks). Regional versions feature picture sleeve. Japanese version is in mono.

  1. Re-released on three-track 7-inch single in France (Atlantic, 2091 211) with picture sleeve.
  2. Re-released with “Teach Your Children” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, OS 13050) and Canada (Atlantic Gold Standard, GS 45728). I’ve seen the US version with different labels, which would indicate multiple re-issues.
Woodstock 45 rpm single
Atlantic 45-2723 single

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