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Rust Never Sleeps
List Price: $11.98

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Product Description

Young has recorded many live albums, but none capture his two dominant musical personalities with as much power as 1979's Rust Never Sleeps. The acoustic side opens with "My, My, Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue)," a devastating anthem about the state of rock & roll. Comparing the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten to the late Elvis Presley, Young delivers perhaps his most famous line: "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Side 2 demonstrates the emotional power of Young's hard-rocking quartet, Crazy Horse, with the scathing political songs "Powderfinger," "Welfare Mothers," and the loud reprise of "My, My, Hey, Hey." --Steve Knopper

Customer Reviews:

  • Now let us praise great works
    Neil Young is one of the very few artists who can be equally convincing as a balladeer with folk leanings, and as a heavy metallist.

    If this is rock and roll, then "Rock and Roll Can never die", as long as Neil Young lives.

    As an "elder" of popular music genres, Neil Young seems to care little for what's in fashion this season, and as a result, his music tends to stand up well as time passes. This CD sounds as powerful as anything being recorded today, manages to present excellent music from two genres: the laid back California sound of the Eagles, and the hard-edged British punk sounds of bands like The Clash.

    This one's a MUST...more info


    A while back, Warner Brothers Japan re-released 12 Neil Young titles. The surprise was that remastered content appeared for the first time on most of them.

    The titles & WB-Japan catalog numbers are:

    Neil Young WPCR-75086
    Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere WPCR-75087
    After The Gold Rush WPCR-75088
    Harvest WPCR-75089
    On The Beach WPCR-75090
    Tonight's The Night WPCR-75091
    Zuma WPCR-75092
    Long May You Run WPCR-75093
    American Stars n' Bars WPCR-75094
    Comes A Time WPCR-75095
    Rust Never Sleeps WPCR-75096
    Live Rust WPCR-75097

    I picked up most of these, A/B'd them, and found them to be superior to the domestics. However, having purchased the domestic 2002 remasters of "Beach" and "Stars n Bars", I declined the Japan versions of those two titles.

    Unfortunately, while the Japan version is remastered, Live Rust is not restored to the original LP's running form, and remains still the bastardized version.

    If you own the U.S. versions, and you're a NY fan, I would seriously consider replacing them with these....more info
  • Melding
    When first released on vinyl, Young treated fans to an acoustic/electric melding of haunting music, and some of his finest live work!

    Taken as a whole, this is a daunting work that remains fresh and riveting!...more info

  • One of Neil Young's best
    Often called Neil Young's best record, "Rust Never Sleeps" was recorded live with the audience track subsequently removed (which is why it doesn't sound like a live album - no cheering or clapping or singing along).

    The acoustic set, which made up the first side of the original LP, opens with the classic "My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)", probably the most concise and knowing description of the entertainment industry ever written.
    And that song is reprised later on as a tough electric rocker, "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" with slightly altered lyrics and raw, crunchy electric guitars courtesy of Crazy Horse, Young's legendary backing band.

    In between you have the folkish acoustic "Pocahontas", a country-tinged lament about the mistreatment of the Native Americans, but also a love song, and a powerful tale of travelling through time.
    And there is the superbly melodious country ballad "Sail Away", wonderfully arranged and with subtle harmony vocals by the late Nicolette Larson, and the thoughful, meditative and very personal "Thrasher".

    The electric half is highlighted by the magnificent "Powderfinger", Neil Young's best electric rock song, capturing Crazy Horse in full electric stride, and featuring two superb, grinding solos from Young and a simple, yet memorable two-string riff which serves as a "chorus" of sorts after each verse.

    If everything else on "Rust" was trash, it would still be a must-have for any Neil Young fan just for this one song, which captures all of Young's strenghts as a composer, a writer and a musician.

    4 1/2 stars. Highly recommended....more info

  • Rock and Roll Reveille, 1979
    When most rock music was mired in bands with no faces, with no known musician's names, and extremely little talent, like Kansas, Styx, Journey, Neil Young heard the wake-up call coming from the punk world. And although his own "Tonight's the Night" (1975) was a howling, screaming, raw, powerful tour de force, perhaps he even recognized a need for a rock and roll shot in the arm for his own music. The result was "Rust Never Sleeps".

    In a weird way, this album sounds like a greatest hits sort of collection, with one side displaying his accoustic talents, and the other his gritty electric prowess. Of the accoustic tracks, "Pochahontas" (sp?) is the most unique because of its strange combination of haunting despair for the plight of Native Americans which turns into a love song for Pochahontas and all things Americana (the Astrodome, Hollywood, Marlon Brando, etc.). It's the most inventive song on this side, although all the accoustic tunes are engaging and mellow without being sleep-inducing like most 1970s accoustic work.

    The second side has one of Neil Young's best electric ballads he's ever written, "Powderfinger". By saying it's his best electric ballad, I realize that this includes a body of work which features "Like a Hurricane", "Down by the River", "Cinnamon Girl", etc. But really, in terms of lyrics and musical brashness, nothing beats this song.

    Finally, the album is framed by the songs "My, My, Hey, Hey" and "Hey, Hey, My, My". These book-ends, one accoustic and one electric, are by far the most revealing insights into the rock industry ever written. Better than Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" or "Have a Cigar, these two songs signal the end of one era of rock and roll--"The King is gone but he's not forgotten" and the heralding of a new age "Rock and Roll can never die". With rock and roll in Neil Young's hands, we can be assured of that....more info

  • Represents the erratic and wonderful in Neil Young.
    Crazy Horse as a musical partner to Neil Young has always been a logical, but at times uneven, choice. For one thing, Young's delicate, challenging and idiosyncratic songwriting maintains a balance that seemingly only Young himself could grasp (no wonder that throughout his career he's switched partners more times than we can count). Rust Never Sleeps is yet another showcase for the man's sublime songwriting, but the cuts without Crazy Horse sound stronger than the ones with.

    Take the token "dual take" that Young does on many albums. On this one it's "My, My, Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue)" and "Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)". As influential as Crazy Horse's sloppy, lax approach to guitar rock, on this song Young's "troubadour" approach is much better --stark, powerful, and minimalistic. The acoustic side of this album is absolutely stunning, while the electric side is solid, but inferior.

    Nevertheless, this was the last truly great Neil Young studio album until Freedom in 1989 and a pivotal piece of Young history....more info

  • One of the best albums EVER!!
    If you like Neil, this is one of his best, hands down. Star Wars roadies, huge speaker setups, classic songs both acoustic and electric. Probably the pinnacle of Rock & Roll. Buy this immediately if your a Neil fan. 5 STARS!!...more info
  • One of the best albums of the seventies.
    Is is possible for one artist to write and sing great acoustic and electric music on the same album? Neil Young does just that on this masterpeice and it is recorded live! The first half of the album is Neil, his guitar and harmonica. The acoustic performances are spellbinding and riveting. My favorite is Pocahantos followed closely by The Thrasher. The second half is equally mesmerizing but for a different reason. It is a electric guitar slam dance. As quiet as the first half is, the second half is just as loud. You will be riveted to your stereo until the fire crackers stop at the end. I will never stop listening to this classic among classics....more info
  • Far Better Than That Stuff Kenny G Puts Out!
    This is an important and vital CD from the Godfather of Grunge. In fact, this is the disc that started it all! Highly recommended....more info
  • One of Neil's essential masterpieces
    I consider this album an essential Neil Young masterpiece. Someone here suggested "Live Rust" as a better choice, which is also a great album to listen to, but in the perspective of Neil's entire oeuvre, this has the edge over it as a solid collection of original-release material. "Live Rust" is certainly an excellent single-purchase starting point for new fans, and both albums are vital documents of Neil's talent.

    However, I am curious as to the setting of "Powderfinger". Someone here claims it's about a Native American defending his home, but it isn't clear to me from the lyrics that the protagonist is Native American. "Big John" and "Emmy Lou" don't sound like typical Native American names to me, though anything's possible. The song certainly suggests 19th century America, but it's not clear why the young man's home is being attacked. It could as easily be about an obscure Civil War incident, or even a backwoods moonshiner bust. There is a detailed discussion over this song on the HyperRust fan website, and apparently Neil himself has little to contribute regarding the exact meaning of the lyrics, admitting it just "came to him". Ah well, that's the nature of true artistic inspiration!...more info

  • Forever Young
    Coming off of the harrowing power of their lamenting "Tonight's The Night", Neil Young and Crazy Horse later proved their tenacity with this clever concept album. It's interesting how the spirit of rock and roll can be captured by merely turning up the distortion for each consecutive track, until the first song is practically remade with a scratchy, loud, and almost total revision. The tracks in the middle, unfortunately, seem like filler for this concept and not much else. But the message of "Rock and Roll Will Never Die" is made clearer with each turn of the effects dial, and the result is almost scary. ...more info
  • Young at his zenith
    This is Young at his best - if you like Neil Young, you'll love this album. 'Nuff said.

    A note about "Powderfinger" - The story of "Powderfinger" is set in modern times, and is about a family of cocaine (i.e., "powder") smugglers who use a boat to bootleg their product into the country. "Red means run, son" refers to the bold red stripe on the bow of any US Coast Guard ship.

    I suppose "Powderfinger" is Neil Young's poignant way of portraying the futility of the War on Drugs, as well as just telling the story of a young drug runner who had no choice in the matter when he became involved in this "war."...more info