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."
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1. My, My, Hey, Hey (Out Of The Blue)
3. Ride My Llama
5. Sail Away
7. Welfare Mothers
8. Sedan Delivery
9. Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black)
Neil Young (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars)
Frank Sampedro (guitar)
Billy Talbot (bass)
Ralph Molina (drums).
Additional personnel: Nicolette Larson (vocals); Joe Osborne, Carl Himmel.
Producers: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Tim Mulligan, David Briggs.
As far as pure songcraft goes, it`s hard to beat this 1979 offering from Young and Crazy Horse. By the end of the `90s, Young, Talbot, Molina and Sampredo had refined their crushing sonic assault to the extent that they could bludgeon the listener with Wagnerian riffs and rhythms (the entropy hymn "Hey Hey, My My") or provide just enough grit to keep Young`s far-out lyrics from ascending into the stratosphere ("Ride My Llama.") Songwise, RUST is a schizophrenic album. Young moves from the brilliant surrealist imagery of "Pocahontas," with its evocation of "Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me," to the sharp narrative perspective of the equally transcendent "Powderfinger" and the good-humored social commentary of "Welfare Mothers."