Day 11: 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 11. At the time Kendall originally wrote this (April 6), we found out that an ’80 music legend was battling the coronavirus.

We got the surprise news that Duran Duran bassist John Taylor has also been battling the coronavirus. It appears that Mr. Taylor is on the mend, and we ask you to save a prayer for him, too.

So our bonus pick of the day comes from Chuck — the band’s 1982 album “Rio.” The album is a hit machine for sure, but part of the band’s appeal has always been visual. “Rio” was released several months after MTV launched, and Duran Duran became a staple of the video revolution. They were trendsetters in the video format, and dominated programming with songs like “Rio,” “Hungry Like A Wolf” and “Save A Prayer.” The album may sound a bit dated — you certainly know it’s from the early ’80s — but it laid the foundation for Duran Duran to become one of the biggest bands of the entire decade.

After you give that a spin, keep on rocking with our two daily picks below.

– Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

They Might Be Giants

Flood (1990)

Why I Love It

This album immediately takes me back to my college days. I had never heard of They Might Be Giants when their infectious third record dropped. Once I finally came around to the album, it was love at first listen. I have always enjoyed the originality, humor, cleverness and sheer joy of this collection of songs. Geek rock at its finest.

Album Highlights

“Birdhouse in Your Soul,” “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and “Whistling in the Dark”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Who knew this would be geek rock day? We’re counting down my picks from A to Z and Chuck’s picks from Z to A, and it lined up perfect — the geeky polish of Chuck’s pick They Might Be Giants contrasting with the low-fi weirdness of Camper Van Beethoven. All of which falls under the banner of “college rock,” and if you know me and Chuck as well as you think you do, it’ll all make perfect sense.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Camper Van Beethoven

Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)

Why I Love It

Listen. This is a weird album. There’s no denying that. I stumbled onto it in the early days of alternative country because I saw it mentioned again and again as an influence — mainly because Camper Van Beethoven used a fiddle in what would otherwise mostly be considered rock music.

College rock, that is.

If you were around in the late ’80s and early ’90s you know what I’m talking about — those funky, weird college radio stations that played stuff from independent labels you had never heard of and mostly existed in big college towns like Austin. This album goes even a step beyond your traditional college rock, though, by incorporating elements of world music, and I guess I love it partly because it brings to mind another era when I was in college at the University of Texas at Austin.

Album Highlights

“Border Ska,” “Where The Hell Is Bell?” and “Take The Skinheads Bowling” (told you it was weird)

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

If you’re a big Counting Crows fan, which I am, you have heard of Camper Van Beethoven. This is a fun record by a band that was never in the mainstream. If you’re a child of the 1980s, you will dig it.

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