Rust Never Sleeps (1979) Poster

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A great piece of Rock History!
This movie captures the electrifying spirit of Neil Young & Crazy Horse in the best era of their carer! Direction is great and the performances of all the songs are mind blowing! Cortez The Killer, Hey Hey - My My & Powderfinger are played in a way that the only thing you can do is wish you have been in Cow Palace too in 1978! The stage set-up is excellent and Neil wants to show with the gigantic speakers and mikes that the music is the star here and not the musicians! A must see for all rock fans and the DVD edition is a great chance to once again yell: Rock N' Roll will never die! If you like rock music we will love this, one of the greatest rock music movies ever put on screen
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Just another line in the field of time.
dbdumonteil12 July 2005
I certainly love Neil Young and I must say I was disappointed with his first self-made effort "Journey through the past" .As I do not go much for the CSN stuff the idea of a filmed concert with Crazy Horse was really exciting.Besides,Young was then at the height of his powers,after releasing one of his very best records "rust never sleeps".Sadly ,afterwards,then came a period of barren inspiration-but Young's career was buoyant again in the nineties-,but that's another story.Suffice to say that Neil Young's epiphanies were numerous and brilliant ,he is second only to Bob Dylan.

The film features almost the same songs as the soundtrack album "live rust" although for instance the marvelous "thrasher" is not included in the record (and "tonight's the night" ,on the other hand,was not in the film ).Half acoustic,half electric ,Young plays like a person possessed and he revisits his catalog with gusto.Particularly impressive is his reggae version of "Cortez the Killer".

The "star wars" stuff did not impress me.It's the singer and the songs which matter.The film begins with Hendrix's "star spangled banner" and the Beatles' "a day in the life" on the PA.
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Really exciting
Paul Mrocek19 July 2009
At last I've been able to see this concert, which I've had on vinyl since I was young!!!! hahahaha. One of my favourite live rock albums ever, and on video its really exciting. Neil Young, some 30 years later, is still one of the best performers on stage. In fact, last year (2008) he played in Rock In Rio in Madrid and I saw the concert on TV: it was simply mind-blowing!!!! In this video, though, something has got on my nerves: the monks with torch lights plundering around the stage, and making so much noise as they go on changing the stage!!!! Was that meant to be like that??? Its really annoying. As it is the Stage announcements after My My Hey Hey (Out of the blue). The highlight, for me, is Like a Hurricane: rock'n'roll will never die indeed!!!
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My heart needs protection and so do i
zack skywalker2 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
wow, not only are the songs absolutely incredible but the imagery and loose end style is phenomenal. This movie is not just a rock film, its like an intense time warp journey through space. From the little sand people to the stage announcements, everything fits perfectly. This is the complete F***ing opposite of a washed up rock star. Neil delivers the smartest and most visually breathtaking performance of the decade. He makes every song interesting with Jamaican accents, giant amps, Rust-O-Vision goggles and characters that come seemingly from nowhere and depart into the recesses of the strange twenty foot tall amplifiers This film will blow your mind and leave you a changed person 100/100
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Crazy, Crazy, and Neil mounts The Horse
pwoods126 March 2006
I saw this concert film when it was first released in Australia and still have respect for the fact that it wasn't edited to present Neil as a 'star': like a lot of his albums, it's a "warts-and-all" presentation.

Another commentator bemoaned the fact that "Tonight's The Night" wasn't included in the footage. I dunno. Perhaps it was, even as late as then, a too-sensitive subject for Neil and The Horse to explore on stage. Then again, there had to be differences between "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Live Rust".

"Rust" as a 'show' was a concept: a piece of theatre that sometimes didn't work and at other times captured the sheer vitality and looseness which has been a trademark of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

The 'road-eyes', apart from being an atrocious pun (both linguistically and visually) can be seen as a comment, by Young, about the almost non-presence of roadies in the audiences' perceptions. The visual reversal of size: roadies small/equipment big is, as another pointed-out, an almost surreal juxtaposition. Acoustic Neil, crawling out of his sleeping bag, and later indicating that when he gets big he wants a real guitar, is his trademark self-deprecating humour.

I have only one main criticism about "Rust Never Sleeps" - and that is purely that the cinematic/reproduction quality of the video was so abominably terrible. Still, that's production values for you. I'd probably have "bitched about" technicalities to do with a performance of a Shakespearean play, had I been there in Elizabethan times. Huh, yeah. I'd have been outside, sweeping-up horse-droppings to resell for fuel.
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One of the best live concerts ever
Harm Kuijpers7 January 2005
Rust never sleeps is certainly one of the best live concerts ever and probably the best of it's decade Groundbreaking for it's time and still a classic today I can't tell you how much I LOVE it. The opening with the Hendrix underscore and the Beatles's 'a day in the life' and then Neil stars singing; just him and his guitar at their live acoustic best. It's the perfect mix of electric and acoustic, old and new and set the standard for live shows from then on. And the best part is that it lasts for 2 whole hours nowadays concerts just last 90 mins or so. Before i bought this DVD I already owned a couple of his albums among which the rust never sleeps album but this DVD pursued me to buy even more. I now own almost 20 of his cd's and i bought mu first cd just under a year ago: Harvest. That shows the shear quality of him as an artist.
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The best concert film ever from the finest musician ever.
russdem16 September 1999
All rock and roll fans should see "Rust Never Sleeps" . Neil Young is incomparable to any one else in music . Fans should also seek out "Neil and Me" written by his father , Scott Young. Even though it's over 20 years old the concert film has not lost any of its power - get ready to watch it over and over.
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Yes, we do need to see the Jawas
Andy-4221 December 2002
Another reviewer complained about the opening with the Jawas. On one hand, I see how it slows the beginning of the film.


As a fan of live music, I have to say that the best concert videos are those that capture, as well as possible, the essence of the live show. If part of going to the show was the theatrics, then why not include it in the film?

Too much of today's pre-packaged pop may be choreographed, but has no sense of theater. I'm not saying that Jawa roadies are the height of performance art, but it's something.

Overall - I'll echo everyone else: great slice of Neil's career. I always pause whatever I'm doing when I hear Sugar Mountain, and I'm still not sure why.
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Great Music
Michael_Elliott25 May 2010
Rust Never Sleeps (1979)

*** (out of 4)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse take the stage at the Cow Palace for this show that took place on October 22nd, 1978. Many Young fans consider this tour to be one of his best and we get many classic tunes including: Sugar Mountain, After the Gold Rush, My My Hey Hey (both versions), The Needle and the Damage Done, Cinnamon Girl, Like a Hurricane and Welfare Mothers. It seems this tour was highly thought of but at the same time this film seems to draw some heat. This was my first time viewing it and my first time seeing any Young performance from this era and I must admit that I really liked it. I agree with some of the negative press that the filming was quite poor as much of the concert doesn't go to film very well as it's dark, grainy and at times the camera doesn't seem to know what it wants to focus on. There's a stage act going on but none of this is captured very well. Having said that, the music is certainly the most important thing here and the performances are terrific. Young does some solo numbers, which are excellent as are the stuff with Crazy Horse. Some of the highlights including a rocking version of Like a Hurricane and a very somber The Needle and the Damage Done. Even some of the lesser known tunes come off extremely well. Young's vocals are very good and the guitar playing is tops as usual. The film kicks off with some Hendrix and Beatles so that's never a bad thing.
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teejay1716 June 2006
This is a terrific film, not so much for the concert, but the actual experience; those who saw Young play at the Cow Palace in San Fransisco, (where Rust Never Sleeps was filmed) would undoubtedly agree--the disclaimer, of course being those who could actually remember the event as something more than a drug-haze. Nevertheless, this film is fantastic because the selection of songs that Young plays are some of his finest, and these selections are both acoustic and electric.

This film also shows why it is that Crazy Horse is the band Young selects when he chooses to rock out. The band members accompany his guitar solos with triumph, giving the music a melodic and hypnotizing effect; specifically, songs like "Like a Hurricane" and "Cortez the Killer"--which are good in their own original form--get a new life in this film; the songs linger, sometimes they stray, but never in a negative way. Anyone who likes live performances, particularly live performances that take on a sort of ad-lib aspect, will not be disappointed with Rust Never Sleeps.

The acoustic selections are also very fine, highlighting Young's capacity and talent to not only entertain and soothe as an individual, but one who can do it in grand style. "Grand Style" here, of course, does not mean someone coming across as your typical rock star, (because here Young doesn't), but rather, grand style in the sense that the man is a born musician that can strike a chord in any one's soul. Highlights of the acoustic set include "Sugar Mountain" and "After the Gold Rush," as well as such Young classics as "Comes a Time" and "My My, Hey Hey." Of course, the concert would not be complete without a wicked rendition of "Hey Hey, My My" the electric counterpart to the former, and the band here accompanies Young on this track exquisitely.
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colinmcsloy14 September 2004
Yes we do need to see Jawa's setting up the stage its funny. They even have an over-sized tuning fork to help Neil tune up. Also funny is the scientist explaining that if you put on the glasses provided you can see flakes of rust falling off Neil's guitar during the solos. I think the stage announcements and the fact that their isn't a real audience, just recorded noises from Woodstock add to the surreal/fake quality of the film, its Neils little dig at the huge corporate sponsored rock events that were starting to spring up at the time. Obviously the songs are great too, Hey Hey My My namechecking Johnny Rotten at a time when most of his contemporaries where acting like confused old men at the emergence of punk (By the by Young discovered New wavers Devo and Jonathon Richman).
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It's difficult to put into words the feelings I have when viewing RNS!
roosterkooster27 March 2004
I have been a Neil Young "fan" since 1970. That is probably the first time I heard his music or at least associated his music with him. I was living in the city (SF) with about 12 other folks way up off California St. It was a nice victorian on Lake St. The album (yep - 12" plastic) was Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. I was immediately drawn to the countryish twang of some of the songs (TLE, ENTIK, R&R,RD); I was mesmerized by Down by the River and Cowgirl in the Sand.

I first played the RNS movie while in Japan in 1982. I was on the vinyl CED format. I bought it at a record store above the Yokohama train station. I was awed by the quality and choice of material. Neil must have tapered his interaction with audiences during the mid-late 70's. Early on he was such a blabber mouth - not a bad thing - but on RNS he was "courteous" but focuses on the presentation. Almost all the songs were superbly executed. This contains is my favourite Powderfinger arrangement. The screw-up on Thrasher demonstrates a professional just slyly grinning it off and rewinding a tad to recover nicely without skipping any of the lyrics. I have always wondered how he screwed that part up? "they were...rock formations" - he forgot "lost in". I only wish he had put this version of thrasher on the "live rust" lp/cd.

The roadeyes and woodstock bits were a drag but on the cd version can be effortlessly, immediately bypassed. I am 54 years on and I have a lot of concerts under my belt and many Firday or Saturday nights were at Winterland and the Fillmore West seeing the greats of the day. imagine Led Zeppelin at the Fillmore; bumping into Janis at the Fillmore; There was no sense of star ego then. It was a different thing. Carlos Santana talking to myself and others on the street after a concert. he was walking alone. Those days are gone forever. What the heck happened?

Rust Never Sleeps is superb. The music isn't flawlessly performed but it is real and really, really good. Perhaps some do not know that many Neil Young recordings are essentially live takes - not a bunch of crappy track takes and overdubs to create the sound some record exec wants to sell to an unsuspecting public.

The simplicity of many of the RNS songs are their beauty in disguise. From the gentle acousticals to some of the blistering industrial tunes (Sedan Delivery, Powderfinger, ...) its unlike any video/movie/musical I have ever seen/heard. Neil was at his best. The horse was up for the task.

This is a must-see for anyone who thinks live music sucks!
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bluehaven22 August 2002
I saw this film when it was first released in a small but packed theatre. After the film ended, the entire audiance rose up and applauded the film, as if giving Neil a standing ovation. This is the only time I ever saw an entire audience applauding a film. For anyone who wants to see Neil Young in his prime, this is it. It is the best concert film I have ever seen, bar none. Keep your eyes on the Road Eyes. One of them is Neil Young's wife (you can see her dancing back stage). As Rolling Stone once said, "This guy's the best."
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The best concert i have ever seen!
baghira.disney16 December 2000
I come from germany and i have seen the video on TV in 1997. I was a neil young fan before, but i have never seen a concert like this. "It makes me feel free". And if i hear rock- musik like this, i don`t need drugs to fly away.
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Very good, but not great.
pinkflyd28 January 1999
As far as song selection goes, this is probably the best Neil Young concert movie out there. "Sugar Mountain", "After the Gold Rush", "My My Hey Hey", "Cinnamon Girl", "Like a Hurricane", and "Tonight's the Night" are all featured here. The only problem? This movie could have been trimmed by at least 15 minutes. Do we really need to see people dressed up like Jawas setting up the stage?
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