Day 31: 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 31.

Today we feature The Flatlanders’ “More A Legend Than A Band” record — Kendall’s Album of the Day.

That record would spur interest in the three primary singer-songwriters that formed the core of The Flatlanders, and nobody benefitted more than Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Just three years after the release of that record, Gilmore was paired in the studio with legendary producer Emory Gordy, Jr., and created one of the definitive documents of his career — 1993’s “Spinning Around The Sun.” It captures an artist still at the top of his game more than 20 years after the original recordings on “More A Legend Than A Band” were committed to tape. It’s also your bonus pick of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

N.W.A

Straight Outta Compton (1988)

Why I Love It

When it comes to albums that made a huge cultural impact, this one has a spot reserved on the medal stand. N.W.A brought gangster rap into the mainstream with a lot of bullets. The track “F*** tha Police” ignited protests across the United States, but the honesty with which N.W.A painted a vivid picture of life on the Los Angeles streets in the 1980s makes this such an important record. It’s one of the most authentic albums ever made and is a perfect snapshot of its era. So much so that an N.W.A biopic of the same title was released in 2015. I also love to picture Kendall listening to it.

Album Highlights

“Straight Outta Compton,” “8 Ball (Remix)” and “Dopeman (Remix)”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Alright, alright, Cox. I did listen to it (again), and, of course, it’s not going to be my favorite album on the list. Like any important art, though, it does capture something worth examining — in this case, the seedy, gangsta street life of Compton, California, in the late ’80s. Compton isn’t exactly a model city these days, but it has cleaned up its act quite a bit since this album was released. Crime rates in the city have decreased by 70 percent over the past two decades, and maybe — just maybe — this album had a little bit to do with it by shining a spotlight on the city as one of America’s murder capitals. No, it’s not an album I have anything in common with, but if the ultimate legacy of this recording is that it played a role in changing the city’s future for the better, then I can be at peace with that.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

The Flatlanders

More A Legend Than A Band (1990)

Why I Love It

Featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, the original Flatlanders album was recorded in 1972, but wasn’t released until 1976 — and only on eight-track at that time.

Thanks to the individual successes of the band’s core trio in the years that followed, the band’s reputation grew until this 1990 release collected those earlier tracks along with some unreleased titles. “More A Legend Than A Band” was as accurate a title as it was a quick summary of the band’s short history together, but it revealed a sound that would prove to be influential on the burgeoning alternative country scene of the early ’90s. It’s a consistently engaging record that has become a cult classic.

Album Highlights

“Dallas,” “Tonight I Think I’m Gonna Go Downtown” and “One Day At A Time”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Texas country has held a special place in my heart for a long time. The Flatlanders are made up of three artists synonymous with the genre, which consistently produces so much great music it’s hard to comprehend. This album helped pioneer the sound that is still going strong today. I have seen Joe Ely in concert, and I have heard other acts cover some of these songs on several occasions in the last few years. That says it all.

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