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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2002
I'm just getting into Neil Young. Man he is amazing. Such a great songwriter. This album, recorded live with the audience track removed, has songs of the highest calibre. The first half of the album is acoustic, the second electric with Crazy Horse backing him. I can't say whats the best song on the album, they all are genius cuts, but among the highlights are 'Thrasher' and 'Hey Hey, My My(into the black)'. The first time I listened I was quite overwelmed and emotionally stunned by the music and the sheer quality of the writing. I don't know how I missed Neil Young in my 28 years but now I can't wait to get on my journey through the rest of his wonderful carear. I urge you to 'Add To Shopping Trolly' right now. You wil not regret it.
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on 18 May 2012
if you're reading this review, it's probably to figure out whether to add this to the 2 or 3 Neil Young / Crazy Horse albums you already own, right? Just do it. It will cost you less than the price of a pint of beer for God's sake! You'll see that there is also a general consensus among reviewers. 7 out of the 9 tracks are stupendously good, two of them (Welfare Mothers and Sedan Delivery are a bit ho-hum by comparison). You get Neil at his acoustic best with Pocohontas, Thrasher and Sail Away while Crazy Horse's Powderfinger alone is worth the price. If you have Harvest, After the Goldrush or Everybody knows this is Nowhere, you'll love this. You'll end up buying the others eventually as we all do.
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on 14 June 2004
Neil in fine form !The first five tracks are all acoustic with no duff ones among them. "My my,hey hey(out of the blue","Thrasher" and "Pocahontas" would make it if another "Best of big Neil" appears."Thrasher" has the most amazing lyrics,it's a short story set to music,Neil ain't stopping at the fancy hotel with heated pool and bar,he's "Got his own row left to hoe "Good old Neil ,always the mystery man.
He keeps to his favourite subject .the plight of the Native Americans on "Pocahontas""With my Indian rug and a pipe to share ""Ride my Llama" is a good laugh and "Sail away" has lovely lyrics ! "Powderfinger" another epic with Neil playing fine guitar!Then the fun begins ,remember this is in the punk era and Neil dumbs down the lyrics and The Horse are having fun on "Welfare Mothers" and Sedan delivery"This was the year of "look ,we can't really play,but we're having a ball" that's the point,Neil is getting across and I think he lost some of his Hippie following with this album.Neil ain't no hippie anyway !! "Hey hey,my my (into the black)" ends the album and this is the beginning of the grunge,Man !Great angry lyrics "We gotta kinder,gentler machine gun hand"
A must buy CD
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on 18 August 2011
Rust Never Sleeps was released in 1979 and was voted album of the year by Rolling Stone critics and readers. Those of us listening to it at that time must have all realised we were hearing something quite extraordinary - I had certainly never before heard guitar like that on the electric version of Out of the Blue ... Rust certainly brought Neil Young back into the public consciousness and proved to be a highly influential album.

The album opens with an acoustic version of "Out of the Blue", paying homage to Neil's early hero Elvis Presley (who had recently died - "The King is dead/but he's not forgotten"), through to Johnny Rotten and the English punk movement. I think Neil is saying that creatively he must change and move on. The line "it's better to burn out/than it is to rust" has become arguably more famous than Pete Townshend's "Hope I die before I get old".

"Thrasher" is next, a beautiful and extremely enigmatic song. Through the metaphor of farming and geographical landscapes Neil continues the theme of having to change musically and move on ... "But me I'm not stopping there/Got my own row left to hoe" ... I have read this song is also about the fading artistic glory of CSNY and that the "crystal canyons" is a direct reference to David Crosby's coke habit.

"Ride my Llama" is a strange little trippy story which leads nicely into "Pocahontas", a song Neil apparently wrote back in around 1976 about the terrible slaughter of the American Indians (reminds me of the film Soldier Blue). The violent imagery is nicely tempered with the amusing thought of Neil, Marlon Brando and Pocahontas sitting around the fire together.

"Sail Away" is also a beautiful little song exploring one of Neil's favourite themes, the image of the road as a metaphor for life's journey.
"There's a road stretched out between us/Like a ribbon on the high plain".

"Powderfinger" is next, and without a doubt the best song on the album, and one of Neil's finest - very, very strong imagery and a great tune which builds up to a spine tingling crescendo for the final verse. Like Dylan and Springsteen, one of Neil's talents is writing a story within a song. I have read that Neil actually wrote the song for Lynyrd Skynyd, based on a story they had told him about the old South. Like "Thrasher", this song is deeply obscure and open to many different interpretations - I believe it is either a Civil War incident or a bunch of hillbillies and a dope deal that went wrong.

I wasn't keen on "Welfare Mothers", which is quite a nasty little song with the slogan "welfare mothers makes better lovers" and "Sedan Delivery", seemingly about a down and out who gets a job, doesn't raise much interest either.

"Rust" finishes with an incredible electric, grungy version of "Out of the Blue". Sadly, the brilliance of this song has been ruined for me forever by a reviewer who points out that the backing vocals "Johnny Rotten, Johnny Rotten" sounds like the Muppets! Listen to it again and you will see what I mean!

Despite the inclusion of two poor songs and dodgy backing vocals this is groundbreaking stuff.
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on 29 December 2013
I've been listening to the excellent Live Rust (which shares a number of common tracks with this album, albeit differently produced) for almost fifteen years, but only got around to picking this up a month or two back. It's fine, but the elements that it shares with Live Rust are better (at least in my opinion…) without the overdubs.

If you're discovering Neil Young, there are better studio albums to buy. And did I mention that Live Rust's excellent…?
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on 10 July 2003
Negotiating Neil Young's recorded history is a bit like walking through a minefield (something he has in common with Dylan) but at his best he has no equals."Rust Never Sleeps" is about as far removed from the hippy ideals of Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young as it is possible to get,but I don't feel he's ever bettered it.I love the way the acoustic first side gives way to "Powderfinger",surely the best thing he (or the Horse) ever produced. The album sems to have taken on a slightly morbid tone since Kurt Cobain's use of the lyrics of "My My,Hey Hey" in his suicide note,but Cobain was touched by greatness and so is Neil Young.Not the ideal Young starter album (that's "After The Goldrush");buy that first,then "Rust Never Sleeps".Then maybe you'll be brave enough to give "Tonight's The Night" a try.......
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on 27 March 2010
Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust are both great albums, but there is something strange going on here.
All but two tracks on Rust Never Sleeps were recorded live, but you would hardly know it as most of the sound of the audience was removed. It did however have a major impact and certainly revived Neil`s career.

Then you get Live Rust, which is all live with plenty of audience reaction, but includes four of the same tracks as Rust Never Sleeps. Not just the same songs but the exact same recordings. You do get plenty of Neil`s incendary guitar work, even if the version of Cortez the Killer isn`t the best out there.

So, which is better? Live Rust certainly has a better atmosphere and is virtually twice as long; but Rust Never Sleeps does have five unique tracks.

Personally I would go for Live Rust first and then decide if it is worth buying Rust Never Sleeps for the sake of 20 unique minutes.
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on 22 September 2001
I would definitely recommend this to people new to Neil Young, along with After the Goldrush perhaps. This album starts with some incredibly beautiful accoustic songs, 'My My Hey Hey', 'Thrasher', 'Pochohontas', and 'Powderfinger' are the stand outs. There is something very mournful about these songs, and something very USA. A sense of American history that you get on a lot of Young albums, but especially poignant here. Young has an amazing feel for a good melody too. Then, for the last three songs Young suddenly switches to heavy electric rock, complete with feedback and frantic vocals. For a lesser artist this could spell disaster, but Young really pulls it off. The final electric , 'My My Hey Hey' brings the album full circle. Personally I prefer the accoustic songs, but its all fine. If you like country rock you'll love it.
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on 9 July 2013
One of my all time favourite albums (this is the fourth time I've bought it). The first half is intelligent, sometimes playful, rustic while the second half is full on electric rock.
Without going into all the songs, a special mention has to be made for Thrasher. On one level it details Young's breakup up with CSN&Y but on another describes the feelings of all many people who have walked away from one form of life to start another. In many ways it is as much a poem as a song. When listening to Thrasher I always want to dig out some road films, such as Vanishing Point, or watch again Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson.
It's difficult to describe just how good this album is (the playing, the singing and the production are great) but I can say, Rust Never Sleeps together with Live Rust, represent some of the bet rock music you will ever hear.
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on 31 January 2010
Neil Young's end of the decade album from 1979 sees him looking at punk and knowing that he must change to survive, trouble was for most of the 80's the changes involved him making pretty dreadful music, but at least he was trying!

Split into `acoustic' and `electric' sides this is a fine album, if in my opinion, slightly over-rated. The opener `My My, Hey Hey' returns as the closing electric `Hey Hey, My My' (a trick he was to repeat on `Freedom'), and there are some other very good songs; `Thrasher', Pocahontas', `Sail Away', and especially `Powderfinger' which is one of his (and Crazy Horses') finest moments.

I'm not a big fan of `Sedan Delivery' and `Welfare Mothers' however and this kind of spoils the electric side. Still well worth a listen.
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