...And Out Come The Wolves is a very close second for me. But I think if Life Won't Wait were to be released now? I would love it just as much. And that's sort of the divider there. It's an interesting record that still holds up; it's just more interesting to listen to. Yet, it still managed to stay firmly within the confines of "punk rock," it pushed the borders ever-so-slightly in a similar manner to the way the Clash did.
Which, one could argue means they simply retreated old territory but...When I was heading into my freshman year of high school? I didn't know shit about the Clash. Haha. And I wouldn't know shit about the Clash still if it hadn't been for Rancid, Green Day, etc. So yeah.
That being said? I've only seen them play a handful of tracks off this record over the years -- But that's probably because it's not really a "fan favorite" and didn't have any "big" singles (relatively speaking).
Those are fair points. I could not say if I would like Wolves as much if it were to have come out today. I would like to certainly think so, but my tastes have always been broad so it is a tough call. After Wolves, though I would probably go Life and Lets Go! at a tie. Depending on the day I might say one then the next day the other. Then after those two, Rancid 2000 and Invincible. Then their first self titled followed by Dominoes. Not including the split with NOFX to keep it simple.
While I do like Rancid 2000, I thought it was a retreat and easy record to write after the fans not receiving Wolves well. So looking back, I have a certain stigma of it. I only hope that is the record they truly wanted to make then.
The point you make about no singles I agree with. What I love about Life is that I haven't heard anyone who has the same favorite song it seems like. Some like the Wolf or 1998 or Hooligans or Hoover St or Bloodclot or New Dress, etc.