My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Rust Never Sleeps is in essence a live album from Neil Young. The album was recorded from shows over a three year period from 1975 through 1978, with most of the songs coming from a single show in ’78. The songs were then overdubbed in the studio. The album was released in 1979.
What I think: This is the sixth album from Young in this book and like all of the others this is spectacular. The first half is acoustic, while the second side is electric. The acoustic songs are some of the most beautiful of his career and some of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. We all know the “My, My, Hey Hey”, of which their are two versions the first being the acoustic one, but as good of a song that is I think “Thrasher” and “Sail Away” even top it. “Sail Away” is an instant favorite song right off the bat, it’s just gorgeous. It’s the last song on the acoustic side and it does a great job of setting up the electric side and leading into “Powderfinger”. In this electric side, you can hear such an influence on the Alternative Country (“Powderfinger”) and Grunge (electric version of “Hey Hey, My My”). I don’t think I’ve ever heard distortion like that electric version of “Hey Hey, My My”. The guitar, drums and bass just sound blasted out. If I heard it live I would probably think it was a mistake. And that makes it the perfect ending to an album made to contrast, a forty minute album that is amazing enough to feel like it’s only twenty minutes long enticing you to start it all over again from the beginning.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I’m really glad I heard this one and every Young album in the project. It’s funny, I wouldn’t say I’m a Neil Young fan, but all of these albums are stellar. I should probably dig deeper.
Rating (Out of 5): 5/5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (348/455)
Amount that are new to me: 76%