Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) (1979) – Neil Young

Neil Young songs have been coming here thick and fast, but I’m reluctant to admit I haven’t got that many in my collection. Like David Bowie (the previous artist to feature here), I wish I had delved more into Young’s discography. Today’s song Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) is from Young’s 1979 live album Live Rust. Yeh, you know the tour; where his roadies dressed as Jawas (see image inset). Trippy huh?

Combined with its acoustic counterpart My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue), the song bookends Young’s 1979 album. The song was influenced by the punk rock zeitgeist of the late 1970s, in particular by Young’s collaborations with the American art punk band Devo, and what he viewed as his own growing irrelevance. The lyrics, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away” were widely quoted by his peers and by critics. The song later appeared on Young’s Greatest Hits in 2004.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

Out of the blue
and into the black
You pay for this,
but they give you that

Young used the phrase “rust never sleeps” as a concept for his tour with Crazy Horse to avoid artistic complacency and try more progressive, theatrical approaches to performing live. The album won Rolling Stone magazine’s 1979 critics poll for Album of the Year and peaked at Number 8 on the US and Australian Billboard charts. I really like this heavier rock sound from Neil and how his strained voice interfaces with it.

1. Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
3 comments on “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) (1979) – Neil Young
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Oh how I love this and Neil… that is the dirtiest guitar ever… It brings back a lot of memories. In high school we needed a drummer and this guy found out and sent us a tape with him drumming to this song. I’ve been friends with him ever since.

    Matt…off topic. I’m going to post about this Sunday but after Sunday I’m taking a month long break from the blog. My work and house projects need to be done…just wanted to tell you in case you miss my post…. another reason is I need to recharge my batteries so to speak.

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