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Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Way Down In The Rust Bucket


Released: 26th February 2021

4xLP£63.99Out of Stock
2xCD£13.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched today.

Deluxe Boxset: 4xLP/2xCD/DVD in foil numbered box
LP Boxset: 4xLP
CD: 2xCD

Recorded on November 13th 1990 in Santa Cruz, CA, where the band were rehearsing for their upcoming Weld tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse played a club show at The Catalyst which is now released here for the first time.

The show comprised three different sets along with a 12 minute encore of Cortez The Killer and all 3 sets including that encore are brought together here in over 2 hours of music. Said to be one of the great live shows that Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed, the album includes live versions of songs from their Ragged Glory album, released just prior, along with classics from across their catalogue.

Growing up in a semi-rural Glasgow suburb in the mid-90s, far away from culture, far away from the internet and far away from what I needed, the goods came in dribs and drabs. When you're trying to find out who you are, trying to match the sound in your head with what you can find, a caravan park in an old army barracks is tough terrain. Like a lot of 90's 14 year old kids, Nirvana's sludge and acidic take on power pop was the first thing I heard that made me realise there was some sound, some distortion that ripped a gash in my mind the way I wanted it to. But Nirvana, and specifically the much-reported suicide letter of its frontman Kurt Cobain, introduced me to Neil Young and for whatever reason that's the sound I really heard, what I really needed.

I first heard the Crazy Horse line up on Rust Never Sleeps, skipping straight to the Cobain-quoted Hey Hey My My track that brings the set to a gut-crunching end. Obsessed doesn't really cover what I became over that sound. I bought a guitar, I learned and played the Hey Hey My My riff to my brother before he was born. He loves Hip Hop and Trap now. Fortunately my cousin James was a big fan of Neil Young and taped me all the records he had. I loved it all, the acoustic stuff, the orchestrated self-titled album-era, the Ditch trilogy but when I got to Ragged Glory, now THIS was the shit. This was the guitar I could listen to forever burrowed deep into my brain. The way that massive, monolithic, galaxy searing E-minor chord is torn asunder by feedback, the band diligently but barely nailing the groove down. Falling apart into new ragged forms.

I got the flu around the time I heard Ragged Glory. I'd been playing guitar for a year or so. For the next week, when I was awake enough, I sat down with a CD of it and transcribed the whole album into guitar tab. It was probably completely off and wrong but I won't let the facts distort a good story. Twanging away the melodic riff to Country Home on a barely in-tune, uncommitted Argos-bought guitar. In many ways, the lyrics to Ragged Glory weren't really the point, but that lurching, wild, fuzz-to-heaven sound hit some spot behind my eyes the right way. Did I know White Line was (probably) about cocaine? No. What's Love To Burn about? I didn't know but I was lost in that sound and didn't want to ever leave.

The fact that so much of Neil Young's live career was documented is a continual source of joy. Way Down In The Rust Bucket is a newly unearthed, full concert of the Ragged Glory-era Neil Young & Crazy Horse band in Santa Cruz, in 1990. No other phrase captures the rough-as-gravel-made-of-diamonds grit of this band at their peak. Which they are here. Ralph Molina, Frank Sampedro, Billy Talbot, Neil Young, just casually transcending this mortal plain with some of the most pulverising Rock & Roll you'll hear. It's pure alchemy. The Goods. I have 2 boxsets in my collection and this is going to be the third and it's releases like this that remind me that my job is liking music for a living and that's pretty cool.