"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."
Bill R. Moore | Oklahoma, USA | 04/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. This is a great album - one of Neil's finest - as it enscapulates all that is great about him - gentle, rolling acoustic songs, imaginative lyrics and stern lyrical statements, hard rocking proto-punk/grunge rockers - and puts them all onto this one great canvas. Musically, it's great; and, lyrically, this is where Neil really started to blossom as one of the finest and most unique voices in rock. Simply put, an essential album all around."
One of the best albums of the 1970's
Rocco Dormarunno | 02/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, Rust Never Sleeps is an outstanding album. But most of the other reviews convey that message quite well. I am writing in response to "Da Peace Dogg's" ill informed, submoronic review! Are you joking, or just an idiot? Rust Never Sleeps came out roughly 5 years before Pyromania, So noo...Neil Young DID NOT steal a thing from Def Leppard. Also, Johnny Rotten was part of the Sex Pistols, NOT The Ramones. Honestly Peace Doggie, perhaps you should spend more time actually listening to music rather than wretched attempts at reviewing it."
Pertaining to da peace dogg's review
freshthink | Wichita, KS USA | 03/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"do not listen to anything this person says. he really thinks Def Leppard coined the phrase, "it is better to burn up, than to fade away." Da peace dogg is a joker and unfortunately has too much time on his hands putting out lame azz comments on excellent albums."
Young Thrashes & Rocks But Never Rusts on Brilliant Album
email@example.com | Danbury, CT | 08/11/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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."