Rust Never Sleeps is an album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse released in 1979. The bulk of the album was recorded live at San Francisco’s Boarding House and during the Neil Young/Crazy tour in late 1978, with overdubs added. Audience noise is removed as much as possible, although it is clearly audible at certain points, most noticeably on the opening and closing songs. The album is half acoustic and half electric, opening and closing with different versions of the same song; “Hey Hey, My My”.
My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue), Thrasher and Ride My Llama were recorded live at the Boarding House in early 1978 and all of side two was recorded during the late 1978 tour. Two songs from the album were not recorded live: “Sail Away” was recorded without Crazy Horse during or after the Comes a Time recording sessions, and “Pocahontas” had been recorded solo around 1975.
Young also released a film version of the album under the same title. Later on in 1979, Young and Crazy Horse released the album Live Rust, a compilation of older classics interweaving within the Rust Never Sleeps track list. The title is borrowed from the slogan for Rust-Oleum paint, and was suggested by Mark Mothersbaugh of the New Wave band Devo. It is also an aphorism describing Young’s musical self-renewal to avert the threat of irrelevance.
The album won the 1979 Rolling Stone Critics Poll for Album of the Year. In 2003, the album was ranked number 350 on the same magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all timeTrack listing
All tracks written by Neil Young except as noted.
Side one (acoustic)
- “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” (Young, Jeff Blackburn) – 3:45
- “Thrasher” – 5:38
- “Ride My Llama” – 2:29
- “Pocahontas” – 3:22
- “Sail Away” – 3:46
Side two (electric)
- “Powderfinger” – 5:30
- “Welfare Mothers” – 3:48
- “Sedan Delivery” – 4:40
- “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” (Young, Blackburn) – 5:18