After the worldwide success of 'Harvest' in 1972, Neil Young's album sales were reducing. The albums were still getting relatively good sales, but over a longer period of time from release, and not in the numbers that 'Harvest' achieved.
He remained a massive live draw, and equally in demand by peers and former band-mates (Young appeared in The Band's Last Waltz and reformed Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1974).
During his 1978 Tour, a number of shows were recorded.
Performances were then selected and over-dubbed in the studio where necessary and then released under the title 'Rust Never Sleeps' in June 1979.
And then 6 months later, another show (or set of shows - I'm not 100% sure?) was selected and released as 'Live Rust'.
Two live albums within 6 months of each other - taken from similar recordings from the same tour. Add the fact that Neil Young had only a couple of years earlier released a Greatest Hits/Best Of set ('Decade'), there is the feeling that he was just milking the cash cow in lieu of any new inspiration.
'Live Rust' was intended as the soundtrack accompaniment to the Rust Never Sleeps film that was also doing the rounds (at one point old Neil was informing the record company this album was also to be called 'Rust Never Sleeps').
The earlier album contains 9 tracks, 'Live Rust' was a double-disc set with 16 tracks
Only "Sedan Delivery", "Powderfinger" and "Hey Hey My My" (in both acoustic (Out Of The Blue) and electric (Into The Black) variants) appear on both.
But which is better?
'Rust Never Sleeps' is the shorter and perhaps the easiest to consume, but also was cleaned up and overdubbed in the studio - as a result the audience noise is muted. 'Live Rust' however gives a more "full show" feeling.
'Live Rust' repeats the trick of 'Rust Never Sleeps' by starting in acoustic territory and then going into full-on incendiary electric land.
And when it comes to the second half, one can only revel in the tightness and power of Crazy Horse.
Personal choice: the presence of "Like A Hurricane" means 'Live Rust' wins.
Hey Hey My My (Out Of The Blue)
Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)
Like A Hurricane