We featured The Byrds' "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" album earlier in our countdown, and that album was the template for much of the country-rock that followed in the 1970s.
Bands like Poco, the Eagles, Pure Prairie League, and Crosby, Stills & Nash all plowed similar ground in the years to follow, and Chris Hillman's reputation as a musical pioneer grew steadily.
One of our albums below features more of Hillman's work later in his career, but in the interim, he recorded a couple of albums with J.D. Souther and Richie Furay as The Souther Hillman Furay Band. Their self-title debut is your bonus pick of the day.
- Kendall Webb
CHUCK'S ALBUM OF THE DAY
The Wall (1979)
Why I Love It
The first rock and roll T-shirt I ever owned featured art from this double album. For my money, it's the best concept album of all-time. It's the sweeping story of the main character, Pink, and how his life is a wall being built a brick at a time. The music is amazing, and the storytelling is second to none. There is also an accompanying movie to the album starring Bob Geldof worth seeing. I still listen to this entire album at least two or three times a year. It's a masterpiece.
"Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" "Mother" and "Comfortably Numb"
Kendall on Chuck's Album of the Day
This is one of those no-brainers that's on every critic's list of the best albums of all-time. I didn't grow up in a classic rock household, so I was in college before I heard it. But like Chuck, it's an album I still listen to at least once or twice a year.
KENDALL'S ALBUM OF THE DAY
The Desert Rose Band
The Desert Rose Band (1987)
Why I Love It
Chris Hillman's entire career prior to the release of this album pointed in this direction.
A founding member of The Byrds, he was still around when Gram Parsons joined the group and together they helped craft one of rock music's all-time masterpieces - the "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" album. That record served as the template for the country-rock they would record later in the Flying Burrito Brothers, a partnership that resulted in another masterpiece (Gilded Palace of Sin).
By the time the mid-'80s rolled around, country music's new traditionalist revolution was just getting started, and Hillman's country-rock was finally ripe for the mainstream country charts. The Desert Rose Band was the vehicle, and this debut album stands as one of the finest documents of Hillman's long career while attesting to his credentials as an innovator in multiple genres of popular music.
"One Step Forward," "Love Reunited" and "He's Back And I'm Blue"
Chuck on Kendall's Album of the Day
I was familiar with the Desert Rose Band's hits, but I had never sat down and listened to this whole album. My initial response is it foreshadowed the direction country music took in the 1990s, which is quite a compliment. This vibrant debut record is full of great hooks and great songs. Good choice, Kendall.