All the kudos Neil Young earned for Rust Never Sleeps he lost for Live Rust, the double-LP live album released four months later.
Rust Never Sleeps, its aphoristic title drawn from an intended advertising slogan, was an album of new songs, some of them recorded on Neil Young's 1978 concert tour.
Six years went by between the release of Crazy Horse's third album, At Crooked Lake, and its fourth, Crazy Moon, and a lot of water went under the bridge in the meantime. Crazy Horse was, in effect, three different bands on its first three albums because the only constants were bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina as lead singers, songwriters, guitarists, and keyboardists came and went. The band name seemed to be retired by 1973, but in 1974 Talbot and Molina hooked up with singer/guitarist Frank Sampedro as Crazy Horse, leading to sessions with their erstwhile employer Neil Young that resulted in the Young/Crazy Horse album Zuma. At the same time, they recorded some Crazy Horse tracks that sat around for years, finally being finished off in the summer of 1978 for release here. The result is the first album since their debut, 1971's Crazy Horse, that sounds identifiable as the band that backs Young.
Since Crazy Horse first came to public attention as the backing band for Neil Young in concert and on his albums Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and After the Gold Rush, it makes sense to expect that the band on its own would play something similar to the hard guitar rock and country-rock heard on those albums, albeit without Young's distinctively quirky singing and songwriting, and that is what one hears to a large extent on the debut album Crazy Horse. (Although this is their first recording under that name, core members Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot, and Ralph Molina have appeared previously on record as part of the doo wop group Danny & the Memories and the rock band the Rockets.) But there is more going on than that. Also joining in, as singers and songwriters as well as sidemen, are veteran arranger/producer Jack Nitzsche and guitarist Nils Lofgren, while Ry Cooder adds slide guitar to a number of tracks. The result is a varied group of songs that range in style from rock and country to blues and folk.