Day 8: The Coronavirus Countdown - 100 Days of Great Music

Well, we finally have an update on John Prine, and the good news is, he's still alive and fighting. He has pneumonia in both lungs and still requires a ventilator to breathe. He's been in ICU for eight days now so keep Mr. Prine in your thoughts and prayers.

No further updates on Asleep At The Wheel's Ray Benson, but we do mourn the passing of the great Bill Withers today. Withers is not a coronavirus victim, but it's impossible to ignore the passing of such a musical giant during a national emergency like the one we are currently experiencing.

Withers' 1972 recording "Lean On Me" from his Still Bill album has become an anthem of sorts during troubled times with its message of hope and strength and endurance in the face of life's trials and tribulations:

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on

We're leaning on your song, Mr. Withers, to help us through this. We've also got a couple of albums here today to lift you up and brighten your day as well.

- Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb


Van Halen

Van Halen (1978)

Why I Love It

When it comes to debut albums, this one is tough to beat. Van Halen forced the rock and roll world to sit up and take notice with its 1978 monster debut. Who knows how many kids Eddie Van Halen inspired to pick up a guitar because of this album? For me, this record was the harbinger of the 1980s salad days of metal. And it still holds up today.

Album Highlights

"Runnin' With the Devil," "Eruption" and "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"

Kendall on Chuck's Album of the Day

Much of what happened in rock music after this album couldn't have been achieved without it, and Van Halen's influence echoes down through the decades since this album hit the shelves. It is truly a seminal album in the history of rock music - one that reaffirmed and then redefined the role that rock guitarists play in the genre's mythos. One of the true guitar gods of all time at his best.


Brinsley Schwarz

Nervous On The Road (1972)

Why I Love It

One thing I hoped to do with this list is uncover a few gems that you might not be familiar with. Brinsley Schwarz is one of those picks.

Constructed around the songwriting of Nick Lowe, this was arguably pub rock's finest moment on record, and I would put this on a short list of the best overlooked rock and roll records of all time. The energy feels spontaneous, and the performances capture a band that clearly seemed to be enjoying each other's company and feeding off that energy in the studio. There are other Brinsley Schwarz records worth your time, but "Nervous On The Road" serves as a good introduction to both the band itself and the pub rock sub-genre they helped to define.

Album Highlights

"Happy Doing What We're Doing," "Don't Lose Your Grip On Love" and "Nervous On The Road (But Can't Stay At Home)"

Chuck on Kendall's Album of the Day

This is the album on Kendall's list I know the least about. I'm so glad he included it. What a great sound and a fantastic record. I will definitely familiarize myself more with Brinsley Schwarz.

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