Day 9: 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.

And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.

Here’s Day 9. And now it’s time to tell you about the pop star that used to live in Chuck Cox’s apartment complex.

Chuck Cox’s mother used to work in the apartment management/leasing business, and once upon a time, she rented an apartment to Christopher Cross. True story, and for a little while, he was their neighbor.

Fast forward three or four decades, and Cross is one of the notable musical entertainers who has acknowledged testing positive for the coronavirus. From the sound of it, it’s hit him pretty hard. When we originally published this piece a few months ago, Cross was still fighting the disease. As of August, It appears he is on the road to recovery, though in April he acknowledged that the disease left him with brief paralysis.

He’s never been a favorite of critics, but his 1979 eponymous debut was mostly applauded and featured hits like “Sailing” and “Ride Like The Wind.” That’s your bonus pick for the day, but we’ve also got two solid picks below for your daily listening that we think you’ll enjoy.

– Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

U2

The Joshua Tree (1987)

Why I Love It

This is one of the most special albums on my list, and I assure you it would be in my all-time top 10 of greatest records.

Released my senior year of high school, this album always takes me back to those days and makes me smile. It’s also, in my opinion, a perfect album from start to finish. Best of luck picking a favorite track — they’re all great.

Album Highlights

“Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Running to Stand Still” and “Red Hill Mining Town”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

One of those monster albums that is still relevant more than three decades after its release and will continue to be another three decades from now. And while the hits deserve your attention — songs like “Where The Streets Have No Name, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With Or Without You” — Chuck is wise to direct you to some of the album cuts as well. There isn’t a bad track on the whole album.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

The Byrds (1968)

Why I Love It

With a big assist from Gram Parsons, The Byrds jumped into the deep end of the country-rock pool on this album after flirting with the sound on earlier efforts. It’s not too different from what Parsons was doing earlier with the International Submarine Band, but in this case, he had the muscle of a rock band that had already enjoyed considerable success to work with. The influence of this album would prove to be immeasurable — both of his Byrd-mates, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, would continue to mine the country-rock vein for years to come, and Hillman would eventually front The Desert Rose Band in the 1980s, enjoying a string of Top 10 country hits. So while country-rock may not have started here, it certainly is the album that proved it could be a viable, commercial sub-genre in the decades that followed.

Album Highlights

“You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “The Christian Life” and “Hickory Wind”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

You’ll get no argument from me here. The Byrds covering country classics and Bob Dylan tunes is one of the best left turns in music history. This is an undeniable classic that was massively influential.

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