Day 64: 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 64.

Today’s picks include an album from 2004 filled with musical and lyrical allusions to classic rock (Chuck’s pick) and a new traditionalist country album from 1986 that leaned heavily on classic country sounds from an earlier era.

So how about a bonus pick from a classic country-rock band to bring it all together?

Pure Prairie League released its self-titled debut album in 1972, but hit the big time in 1975 with the single “Amie” which made it to No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1978, they added a young singer and multi-instrumentalist by the name of Vince Gill, who ended up giving the band its biggest chart hit when he sang the lead on “Let Me Love You Tonight.” The song made it to No. 10 on the Hot 100 while reaching the top spot on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary list and was included on your bonus pick of the day — the band’s 1980 set Firin’ Up.

Gill would soon branch out on his own as a solo artist eventually making the switch to country music full-time where he carved out a Hall of Fame career as one of the biggest artists in the genre in the ’90s.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Eagles of Death Metal

Peace, Love and Death Metal (2004)

Why I Love It

I remember smiling the first time I heard this band’s name, but I didn’t know a lot about them or their music until after the tragic terrorist attack that killed 89 people at one of their shows in Paris in 2015. I had heard and enjoyed a song or two before then, but I realized what I had been missing when I popped this record in and cranked it up. This album is pure joy, which oozes from the duo of Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme on every tune. Some include false starts or a little conversation leading into the next song. They sound like they are having such a ball in the studio — and that joy is infectious. You can’t help but tap your toes and enjoy yourself while listening to this album. Hearing it for the first time after the tragic chapter in the history of the Eagles of Death Metal, it’s also a reminder of the healing power of music. If I’m in a bad mood, this is my go-to music.

Album Highlights

“Flames Go Higher,” “Kiss the Devil” and “San Berdoo Sunburn”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

If you’re thinking death metal really isn’t your thing, then good news — Eagles of Death Metal aren’t really a death metal band as the name is just intended to be humorous more than anything. This album has more of a bar band plays classic rock aesthetic, and like Chuck pointed out, there’s some banter that’s captured in between songs. It’s just a fun record that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

The O’Kanes

The O’Kanes (1986)

Why I Love It

One of my favorite eras of music in any genre is the mid to late ’80s in country music.

It was the music of my junior high and high school eras, and it was a time known for one of country music’s periodic traditionalist revivals. The O’Kanes were right in the midst of that new traditionalist revolution, and this album definitely harkens back to a more traditional style of country music.

Heck, even the bass player here is playing a stand-up bass. The music is filled with catchy hooks, and the harmonies bring to mind The Louvins and the Everlys. Jamie O’Hara and Kieran Kane (get it … The O’Kanes?) were born to sing together, and even though it didn’t last long, the music they made over the span of three albums impacted me deeply. My featured pick is their self-titled debut album — an endearing and enduring pick that, nevertheless, has been relegated to the dust bin of time with just the occasional spin on classic country stations. For me, it’s still in regular rotation, and I can’t imagine a time when it won’t be.

Album Highlights

“Oh Darlin’ (Why Don’t You Care For Me No More),” “Can’t Stop My Heart From Loving You” and “Daddies Need To Grow Up Too”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Here’s another great late 1980s country offering from Kendall. I recall this album getting some buzz upon its release, and I immediately liked what I heard. This record is a testament to the immense talent of Jamie O’Hara and Kieran Kane as musicians and songwriters. When two singers are blessed with voices that mesh this well get together, great music is the inevitable result. That holds true on this remarkable debut record. It had been a while since I last listened to it until we did this countdown, but I really enjoyed hearing it again after a long time.

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