Rust Never Sleeps (1978)

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Released 6-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Photo
Lyrics
Script
Gallery-Road Eyes
Theatrical Trailer
Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 116:30 (Case: 120)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bernard Shakey
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Neil Young
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Neil Young


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, An entire song is performed after the credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Rust Never Sleeps, a concert fantasy, was chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1987 as one of the
"Greatest live performances of the last twenty years."

    A bold statement indeed printed on the back cover of this disc, and in late 1978 I can imagine this semi-theatrical style show being all the rage with fans wanting just a little more out of their concerts. Neil Young was certainly the type of performer who could stretch the boundaries of what a concert was all about.

    Neil Young has been in the business a long while. This performance was filmed in October 1978 and 25 years later he's still packing them in. A Canadian, he started out when he joined the group Buffalo Springfield, a Californian based folk-rock group that achieved fame in the late 1960s with hits such as For What It's Worth, a song that has arguably encapsulated 60s America more than any other. Neil left Buffalo and effectively went solo, with his backing band which he named Crazy Horse. His first self-titled solo album was released in 1969 to luke-warm response, but it was the hugely successful Harvest album in 1972 that captured the imagination of the public and gave us the song Heart Of Gold, a number one hit around the world. He has also been involved in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (he's the bit at the end) in between other solo albums.

    This concert film was apparently poorly received by the critics at the time of release, though the accompanying album of the same name did better. It features, like the concert film, half acoustic and half electric performances.

    The overall image quality of the concert is rather poor, being extremely dark and dingy (see below for more details). The theatrical component revolves around the Road Eyes, a group of pseudo-roadies dressed like the Jawas in Star Wars, complete with gleaming beady eyes. They roam around stage between songs (and for about eight minutes before the show starts), setting up all manner of strange equipment and oversized concert gear.

    Neil Young appears out of a box they have on stage, and launches into several acoustic numbers before moving onto some more electric based material when the full Crazy Horse band join him in the second half of the show.

    The following songs are performed in the show which clocks in at just under two hours:

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Track Listing

1. Sugar Mountain
2. I Am A Child
3. Comes A Time
4. After The Gold Rush
5. Thrasher
6. My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)
7. When You Dance I Can Really Love
8. The Loner
9. Welfare Mothers
10. The Needle and The Damage DOne
11. Lotta Love
12. Sedan Delivery
13. Powderfinger
14. Cortez The Killer
15. Cinnamon Girl
16. Like A Hurricane
17. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
18. Tonight's The Night

Transfer Quality

Video

    There is not a whole lot to get excited over in the video department, unfortunately. The transfer on offer is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, but it does not feature 16x9 enhancement.

    Only a moderate level of sharpness is attained, with some shots being very blurry. There is no edge enhancement present which is always a blessing. Shadow detail is really quite appalling with a general dingy haze over everything on stage and the audience completely lost in the gloom. There is also some mild low level noise present on occasion, but it is not overly annoying and grain is present pretty much everywhere, although it sort of adds to the dingy spectacle. Colours are really nothing to get excited over, with a dull red haze dominating most of the performance. Overall, I would rate this as a poor transfer, but I will be slightly more lenient than normal and say all the problems are source related and there really wasn't much more that could be done with it.

    I saw no MPEG artefacts and other than the problems mentioned above, the transfer is free from other tape based imperfections.

    There are no subtitles which is always a negative.

    Despite this being a dual layered disc I was unable to pick the layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Well, if there was ever a case of chalk and cheese between video and audio on a DVD, then this is it. There are three audio soundtracks on this disc and thankfully the problems associated with the video quality are not replicated here. The audio soundtracks are all excellent, with the full bitrate dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks being the stand-outs. It really is hard to grasp just how good the audio is when comparing it to the video.

    In fact, I would label both surround tracks as superb, not quite matching the top shelf offerings of the really good discs, but they are close. Given the source material that was remastered is 25 years old, the remixing job done here is excellent. The vocals are exquisitely rendered with crystal clear representation. There is defined separation of instruments, with this being especially prominent in the early stages of the concert, during the acoustic set. Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts tracks are very similar in their delivery and I can't find any compelling reason to favour one over the other. The only real negative is the bizarre antics of the roadies (or Road Eyes as they are called) and the noise they make when wandering around the stage. Crashing into things and clumping around very loudly between songs spoils the enjoyment of the performance. Perhaps they could have been muted just a little.

    The surround soundtracks do feature fairly consistent surround use, dominated by the audience sounds and some fill-in for instruments and vocals.

    The subwoofer is used a little, but it is so slight it never draws attention to itself.

    I would almost recommend turning off your television and just listening to this one.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Gallery-Photo

    35 full colour and black and white photos. They show both backstage and concert antics.

Lyrics

    All the lyrics for all the songs on the disc.

Script

    Several pages from a notebook showing a rough outline of the concert and what lighting, special effects, and positions the Road Eyes should take.

Gallery - Road Eyes

    A strange 44 second homage to the Road Eyes, presented only as a series of stills.

Theatrical Trailer

    A 2:23 trailer for the 'film'. This is really just a series of images from the concert with the audio of Hey Hey My My playing. From the audio quality here you will understand how much better the remixed soundtracks are.

Credits

    A scrolling screen of credits for those involved in the concert and the DVD presentation.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 and Region 2 discs are exactly the same as the Region 4 version.

Summary

    While certainly capturing an important moment in the career of the legendary Neil Young, the quality of the video on offer here leaves a lot to be desired and would probably only really appeal to fans of the man. The audio quality on the other hand is superb. Clear, concise, dynamic, and a real aural treat.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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