Rust Never SleepsNeil Young and Crazy Horse
As far as pure songcraft goes, it hard to beat this 1979 offering from young and crazy horse. By the end of the '90s, Young, Talbot, Molina and Sampredo had refined their crushing sonic assault to the extent that they could bludgeon the listener with wagnerian riffs and rhythms (the entropy hymn Hey Hey, My My) or provide just enough grit to keep young's far-out lyrics from ascending into the stratosphere (Ride my Llama.) Songwise, Rust is a schizophrenic album. Young moves from the brilliant surrealist imagery of Pocahontas, with it's evocation of "Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me", to the sharp narrative perspective of the equally transcendent Powderfinger and the good-humored social commentary of Welfare Mothers.