Day 44: 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 44

We’re counting Chuck’s picks down from Z to A while following Kendall’s selections from A to Z, and this is the point where our lists cross. Chuck had a Chris Knight album in our previous day’s list, and today, Kendall follows up with a different Knight record.

Chuck, meanwhile, has a Kiss album on the agenda, and it’s a good day to examine one of the band’s influences. Alice Cooper is acknowledged as “The Godfather of Shock Rock,” and it’s easy to see his influence on Kiss’s music and appearance. Cooper’s breakthrough, critically speaking, came on 1971’s “Love It To Death,” with legendary producer Bob Ezrin at the controls. That’s your bonus pick of the day, and not surprisingly, it’s Ezrin manning the board again for Chuck’s Album of the Day below.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Kiss

Destroyer (1976)

Why I Love It

When I was a kid living in Austin, Texas, Kiss was everywhere — on the radio, on TV, on lunchboxes and trading cards and in comic books. The band was larger than life because it had a great gimmick and made great music. This is one of the albums that fueled my love of rock and roll. I know and love every track on it to this day. It’s honestly the album I have probably listened to the most in my life. “Beth,” sung by drummer Peter Criss, was the first power ballad I ever heard. One Halloween around the time this album was released, I went as bassist Gene Simmons in full make-up.

Album Highlights

“Detroit Rock City,” “Great Expectations” and “Do You Love Me”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

A solid pick here from Chuck with one of the strongest artistic statements from Kiss. The album features the hits “Detroit Rock City” and “Beth,” and it might be my favorite record by the band during their first run of hits in the ’70s.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Chris Knight

Chris Knight (1995)

Why I Love It

As both Chuck and I pointed out, this is the second day in a row that we’ve featured Chris Knight on our countdown.

I went with Chris’s 1995 debut album which remains one of my favorite records of all time. It kicks off with the rebel anthem “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me” and it’s a songwriting tour de force from there through the final track “William.” Steve Earle’s influence is apparent, but Knight’s hero John Prine also appears to have shaped Knight’s own style. That isn’t to say he isn’t his own man — Knight’s a distinctive artist, and his story songs are in a class of their own. He’s still making solid records including his 2019 release “Almost Daylight” which features a duet with Prine on the latter’s “Mexican Home.”

Album Highlights

“It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me,” “Framed” and “Love And A .45”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

If you saw our previous post, you know I am on board with Chris Knight. I had A Pretty Good Guy on my list, but this album could have just as easily been my pick. “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” is the first song I heard by him and is still my favorite. The songwriting is clever and powerful. I love it.

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