Day 4: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.

Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.

This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.

So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.

Here’s Day 4. On this day of the countdown the coronavirus claimed a country star of the 1990s …

The music world was hit hard by coronavirus news Sunday, especially the loss of country legend, Joe Diffie.

Diffie was a hit-making machine in the 1990’s, eventually piling up 35 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, including five No. 1 hits. His biggest hit was “Pickup Man” which spent four weeks in the top spot at the end of 1994 overlapping into 1995. Diffie casually became known as “The Pickup Man” due to the success of the song.

Diffie was 61 years old.

We didn’t envision this being a place to countdown the musicians and artists who have this. It’s about the music, but we’ll share what we learn about the music world as we go. In the meantime, our original intention was to share something positive with you each day that we do this. In our case, we decided to share music that we love in the form of 100 great albums apiece. So we do have a couple of recommendations for your listening pleasure today, and we hope you’ll enjoy them. (And for a bonus pick today, click the link here to explore Joe Diffie’s “A Thousand Winding Roads,” his 1990 debut, and one of the best country music debuts of that entire decade.)

– Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Weezer

Weezer (1994)

Why I Love It

With Ric Ocasek (the Cars) producing, Rivers Cuomo and the boys burst onto the scene with one of the best — and certainly most fun — rock and roll albums of the 1990s. Any time you are in a bad mood, this is your go-to record. The “Blue Album” is extra special for me because it was released right before I graduated from college. Long live nerd rock!

Album Highlights

“Buddy Holly,” “Undone (The Sweater Song)” and “My Name is Jonas.”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Even though it looks like it was made by four guys from your IT department based on the album cover, go ahead and give it a spin. I’ve had it on my iPod/iPad for years, and you’ll remember old favorites like “Buddy Holly.” These guys just sound like they’ve having a blast!

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Band of Horses

Cease To Begin (2007)

Why I Love It

I could have easily gone with Band of Horses’ 2006 debut “Everything All The Time” which featured their elegant anthem “The Funeral,” but something about this 2007 follow-up feels even more mature and fully-developed. This was the sound of a band that understood what it was becoming, and fully understanding the nuances of what it hoped to accomplish.

The anthemic qualities are still here, especially in the track opener (“Is There A Ghost”) and its follow-up (“Ode To LRC”), but Band of Horses finds more time on this album to explore the nooks and crannies of their own unique sound. That means finding even more room to feature Ben Bridwell’s unique vocals front and center on tracks like “No One’s Gonna Love You,”Detlef Schrempf” and “Window Blues.” They still let loose and have some fun — “The General Specific” would have felt right at home on their debut – but overall, this is a document of a band realizing they’re a big deal — and delivering the goods in the studio to prove it.

Album Highlights

“Is There A Ghost,” “Ode To LRC” and “The General Specific”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Sophomore jinx be damned. Kendall is right on the money with this pick. There is not a false step on this glorious album. I bought it the day it came out and vividly remember seeing the song title, “Detlef Schrempf” and laughing.

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