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30 Best Loved Albums - Rust Never Sleeps

2007 will bring the 30th anniversary of my first rock concert (Kiss, December 2, 1977 – Metropolitan Sports Center). In honor of that momentous event I have decided to use this blog to review my 30 best loved albums. They will not be in any order or progression but I will try to review them musically and why they mean so much to me. I’ll also note if they made the Definitive 200 List. With that on to #28 of the list...

28. Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps (1979)

Rust Never Sleeps is one of those albums that came out exactly at the right time in my musical life. Summer of 1979, 16 years old, the summer before going into 11th Grade. You can drive, you have a crappy minimum-wage job putting a couple of bucks in your pocket, you’re starting to figure out girls just a little bit. This album was definitely a soundtrack for all of that and for 11th grade, which is the last fun year before everything gets all serious.

Recorded as a live album with acoustic on one side and electric guitars on the other, Rust Never Sleeps not only introduced me to Neil’s music, which I still love, but also to the folk/country side of music as well. The acoustic side of course starts off with My My Hey Hey which has the classic, “Rock and Roll Will Never Die? line, this song was all over the radio and the line “rust never sleeps? really hit home with me: Everything, even ourselves, is always decaying. You can’t stop it, only deal with it. Heady stuff for a 16-17 year old but an acknowledgement I still live by. Thrasher is just a cool country-rock song with great visuals of rural life. The highlight of side one is Pocahontas a spacy song with Native American imagery and intricate lyrics.

Side two of course is the electric guitar side and Powderfinger was a fave. We were shocked when we read the lyrics that the singer actually dies at the end of the song. That just didn’t happen in rock songs. Sedan Delivery was about as close to punk I would get until 1981 and was a full-out rocker with Crazy Horse. Welfare Mothers was kind of a dumb song that seemed to be added as filler. The album ends with the electronic version of Hey Hey My My which again Crazy Horse just lays into. A fun and appropriate ending to a very cool album.

I definitely wore out this album from overplaying from 1979-1981 and picked up the CD shortly after I switched to CD’s. It was a big part of my high school years and in my 12th grade year book, one of the items I listed under my picture was “Rust Lives!? It’s a great album that was aged well and Rust Never Sleeps is a well deserved entry in my favorite 30 albums of all time.

What did you think of Rust Never Sleeps?

Place on the Definitive 200 List: Not on the List.

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