Click here for the Isle of Wight set list

The Isle of Wight Festival of 1970 was the last event of its era. The last great rock festival. The biggest music festival ever held in the UK - this record stands over 30 years later. This is where "aquarius" broke down. The movie tells the story. There are lots of endings at The Isle of Wight Festival. One of the last performances of The Doors and Jimi Hendrix. The world saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer perform for the second time.I'm a big Donovan fan and like listening to him perform "Catch the Wind." Tiny Tim (go read up on him) does an unforgettable version of "There'll Always Be An England." Joni Mitchell plays her new song, "Woodstock." The Who play their best live version of "Naked Eye," a song that explains what happened to "aquarius" -

It all looks fine, to the naked eye, but it don't really happen that way at all.

Check out the official Isle of Wight Festival website.

We begin with official cds. These are easy to find at Amazon, Ebay and even on the band's website (as is the case with Emerson, Lake and Palmer). Whatever mess happened at the festival, the music makes this festival worthy of joining Woodstock and Monterey as part of the "big 3" in rock restivals of that era. What began in Monterey and carried on in Woodstock ended at the Isle of Wight Festival.

The Isle of Wight Festival

A very cool mix of songs. Easier to find than the Monterey box set. 2 cds. My favorite songs on this cd are Leonard Cohen playing Suzanne, Joni Mitchell playing Woodstock, The Doors playing When The Music's Over, The Who's Young Man Blues and Naked Eye, Tiny Tim doing There'll Always Be An England, Joaz Baez covering Let It Be, the Moody Blues playing their classic song, Nights In White Satin and finally (!) Donovan at Catch the Wind.Bob Dylan's Desolation Row is added as Bob played at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival.

The Who - Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

This show was so good that The Who were forced to release a complete version of it. This is rock nirvana. Get the video too. The Who play Tommy, My Generation, Naked Eye and even two new songs (Water and I Don't Even Know Myself) with energy and finesse.The Who returned to the Isle of Wight in June 2004. During the show, Townshend mentioned that the police counted 650,000 people who attended the 1970 festival. "They're still looking for 50,000 of them, Pete," quipped Roger Daltrey.


There are a bunch of official Jimi Hendrix Isle of Wight cds out there. Blue Wild Angel is the latest one. There are two versions of it - single and double disc. So far I have the single disc version. The double disc version will be here next - its complete!

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

This was their 2nd show. There are two different official cds - both are the same with different covers.

Taste - Live at the Isle of Wight

Taste was Rory Gallagher's band before he went solo. They're LOUD!

Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate

This was originally released in 1971. Sing Another Song, Boys is from the Isle of Wight Festival. But you wouldn't know it from the cd! Come on widget-sellers, if you're gonna put a live song on a cd, add some liner notes and tell us!

Leonard Cohen - Live Songs

A nice collection of live songs. Tonite Will Be Fine is from the Isle of Wight Festival. With these two cds and the one song on the Isle of Wight compilation,we have three songs from Leonard Cohen's set. I hope to hear the rest of it - what I've heard I like. In a perfect world, when you buy a bottle of valium, you'd get a few Leonard Cohen cds with it.

Now onto a few bootlegs..



The Doors - Palace of Exile

One of the last performances of The Doors. There are a few different versions of this out there. In February 2005, I traded for a silver disc of Palace of Exile. It comes with an 8 page booklet of color photos. First Flash of Eden has one bonus track -- Light My Fire from September 28, 1967, Denver, Colorado. Freedom Man is 3 cds. It also has January 18, 1970, Felt Forum, NY and February 7, 1970, Long Beach Sports Arena, Long Beach, California. Anyone have the back artwork for it?

Free - Isle of Wight 1970

All I know about Free is I like their song "All Right Now." There are a few different versions of the artwork out there.

Jimi Hendrix - Isle of Wight

This is Jimi's complete show. Wow. There are at least two versions of this one out there. Jimi Hendrix and The Who played for their lives during Monterey, Woodstock and Isle of Wight.

Joni Mitchell - The Blonde In The Bleachers

This cd has Joni Mitchell at the BBC in 1972, Hawaii 1973 and two songs fromthe Isle of Wight Festival - My Old Man & Willy and The Good Samaritan. This + her two songs on the compilation cd (Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock) give us four songs from Joni Mitchell's Isle of Wight set. Now where's the rest?

Procol Harum

Paul McCartney is a fan of this band.

Jethro Tull

Not everyone knows that Jethro Tull was already an up-and-coming progressive rock band by the summer of 1970. A great early set. I have three shows of theirs that took place in Israel. In 2005, the official version of their Isle of Wight set was released. Good job!

The Moody Blues

A terrific set! This made me a fan of The Moody Blues. Nights In White Satan and Legend of a Mind, a song about Timothy Leary, are my two favorites.

The First Great Rock Festivals of the Seventies

This three album set was released in 1971. As far as I know, it never made it to cd. But music collectors transferred it and hereis a fabulous take on the artwork that a festival collector created. The songs are from the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. The setlist alone is enough to make me drool!

I also have a few without artwork. First is John Sebastian. The happy hippy made it to the Isle of Wight and has lots of funny things to say during his longer-than-Woodstock set. He mentions the traffic jams at Woodstock that were caused by hippies trying to get to Woodstock with their parent's car!

In early 2005, someone seeded Leonard Cohen and Donovan's Isle of Wight sets on DimeADozen. Cohen's is soundboard and Donovan's is audience but is complete.

Bob Dylan - Isle of Wight 1969

As Bob Dylan's Desolation Row is included on the official cd, let's include his 1969 set here. He plays a favorite song of mine, The Mighty Quinn. Enjoy.

The Who - Isle of Wight 1969

The Who also played at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival. This was two weeks after Woodstock.


A bootleg video of The Who's 1969 Isle of Wight show finally surfaced in January 2006. The video is grainy, but you get to see a terrific performance. The sound is a lot better than the video. If you look closely, you may recognize that the cover of Live At Leeds was shot here.

The Band played at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival.
Videos
Message to Love - Isle of Wight 1970

The most interesting of the rock festival videos, Message to Love is a daring glimpse of reality. It is a reminder that rock'n'roll is a business too. We get to see one of the festival promoters begging the crowd to pay a few pounds so they can break even. Today, we'd give our eye teeth to be at such a quality rock festival. Some bands charge $100+ for one ticket (I don't have a problem with it - I love hippy music but also believe in the enterpreneurial spirit!), much less a few dollars for three days of Who, Hendrix, Doors and other Rock Gods! Joni Mitchell plays the song Woodstock while "aquarius" was falling apart before her very eyes. There is peace at the end when the promoters and the audience pay tribute with the song Amazing Grace. Get this video!!

The Who - Isle of Wight

What a show!! This is how Tommy is meant to be played -- with raw Who energy! Its missing only one song - Naked Eye - which is on the above video. Many people (myself included) think this was The Who's best show. Yep, that means better than Live at Leeds. Let me see Leeds on video and maybe it has a chance. Till then, Isle of Wight wins.

The Who - Maximum R&B Live

The kind of release you're thankful for. Not only do we get The Who playing Young Man Blues at Isle of Wight, we also get I Don't Even Know Myself. How many bands put unreleased songs (I Don't Know Myself was finally added to the remastered Who's Next over 25 years after it was canned!) on the video for their box set?

Jimi Hendrix - Isle of Wight

Part of Jimi's Isle of Wight show. Jimi Hendrix died 18 days after this last performance.


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kenny@sahr.com www.sahr.com