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Rust Never Sleeps Live

120 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, October 25, 1990
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Product Description

Never one to follow protocol, Neil's 1979 album featured new songs recorded live during his '78 tour with Crazy Horse. The now legendary record (with a title inspired by Devo and a sound invigorated by the punk movement), was originally split into separate acoustic and electric sides, and possibly best exemplifies two very different sides of Young. Includes Thrasher; Powderfinger; Hey Hey, My My (into the Black) , and more.

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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KDG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps is an archetypal rock album that is simply essential. Split into acoustic and electric sections with the excellent classic songs My My, Hey Hey (Into The Blue) and Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) serving as bookends, it incorporates all of the elements that make Neil Young great into a single, immediate, excellent album. It has been noted that this excellent effort - with its electric/acoustic format - was based upon the groundwork laid down by Bob Dylan on Bringing It All Back Home; and this is true, though the acoustic and electric sides are swapped here. Starting off the album with its absolutely memorable acoustic riff, My My, Hey Hey is a nearly perfect song that has become a Neil Young anthem. The next song is Thrasher, which is one of Neil's best songs in my opinion, and quite underrated - a very personal song about his artistic integrity, this album features one of his most beautiful vocals, and some of his best lyrics. Other acoustic winners include Pocahontas, another perennial Young classic, with its wild lyrics and imagery. Sail Away is a similary beautiful folk song. Things start to heat up with the excellent Powderfinger, a truly astonishing song packing quite a lyrical punch. It's quite an unspoken and political statement such as Neil has not often made since - as are the next two song: Welfare Mothers (with its obvious title), and Sedan Delivery (a song about the drug trade.) All three are excellent. The album closes out with a reprise of the first song, this time in electric form. A slightly lyrically-altered cousin to its acoustic guise, this raw and in-your-face version lacks the polish and precision of the acoustic version, but has a charm all its own. It closes out with one of the electric hard rock jams that make Neil's live shows so great.Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By on August 11, 1998
Format: Audio CD
"Thrasher," track 2 on this CD, may be the greatest song I've ever heard. I don't say things like that all the time; I might say it in regard to "A Day In The Life" or "Don't Worry Baby" or "I Want You" (Elvis Costello's) ... and for me "Thrasher" belongs in the same league. It's not a slick performance; it was actually recorded live in concert with the applause mixed out (like much of the rest of this album) with only Neil on vocal, harmonica, and acoustic 12-string guitar. But it's very sophisticated, in conception, language, musicality, and execution, and more important it drips with drop-dead beauty, not to mention meaning. Alone it's worth the price of this disc, but other major works abound (the amazing "Pocahontas," "Ride My Llama," "Powderfinger," the pair of "My My, Hey Hey" classics). The punkish Crazy Horse stompers "Welfare Mothers" and "Sedan Delivery&qu! ot; don't really do it for me, but who cares? Along with "On The Beach" and "Tonight's The Night," I'd say it's the pinnacle of Neil Young's achievement as an artist.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on January 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom Aiken on June 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Disco had the charts, punk rock and new wave had the critics. What could possibly come from dinosaur Neil Young in 1979? Well those who were fortunate enough to see his "Rust Never Sleeps" tour in late 1978 already knew. This album was recorded at various stops on that tour and remains one of rock's finest efforts.
Sometimes reffered to as Neil's "answer" to punk rock, I think of this album more as a tribute. Neil saw punk as the lifeline for rock, which had grown increasingly stagnant over the decade. Accordingly, Neil is more furious and inspired than ever before.
The album is divided into acoustic and electric halfs with neither besting the other. The acoustic songs are gorgeous, lyrically baffling, and quite torrid. "Hey Hey My My" is a stirring song about rock and the music business. "Thrasher" remains Neil's ultimate statement of individuality, while "Pocohontas" revisits his destruction of the Native-Americans motif.
For the flip side Neil adds Crazy Horse and turns out four of his most brutal jams. "Sedan Delivery" is perhaps the closest to actual punk rock, but is the reprise of "Hey Hey My My", now electric. Full of glorious distortion and feedback, the song is an untoppable close to a near perfect album.
Because of its dualistic nature that shows off both Neil's acoustic and electric leanings, I think this is the best record to get acquianted with Neil's legacy.
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