2. "Honky Tonk Heroes"
Billy Joe Shaver may have written most of Honky Tonk Heroes, including the title track, but it was Waylon Jennings who injected the album with roughnecked, rocky-tonk attitude, bridging the gap between the rootsy twang of country music and the rule-breaking stomp of rock & roll. Jennings also threw a bone to his road band, the Waylors, who had been contractually blocked from performing on any of his RCA records previously. Fueled by the hard-won freedom to finally call his own shots — and, if the album's cover art is any indication, a good bit of alcohol — Jennings turned "Honky Tonk Heroes" into the mother of all outlaw country tunes, birthing an entire movement in three minutes and 36 seconds.