Day 69: 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 69.

Chuck’s pick from Def Leppard was released at the height of rock music’s hairband era, and just before grunge and alternative music began to take over.

In between, there was still a lot of straight pop music that was hitting the charts, and Wilson Phillips arrived in 1990 with their debut album. The band was a trio — the two daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson teamed up with Chynna Phillips (Kendall’s pick of the day) who was the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas.

Not surprisingly, their pop sensibilities were strong, and they seemed to have their finger on the pulse of pop fans who weren’t interested in what was happening in rock music at the time. This was straight up, sugary pop music filled with hooks that got in your head and lived there for days, and eventually, the album went five times platinum. That album, the eponymous Wilson Phillips, is your bonus album of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Def Leppard

Hysteria (1987)

Why I Love It

After Def Leppard took the rock and roll world by storm with its third album, Pyromania, the English quintet had the daunting task of following it up. But it seemed like the record might never see the light of day after drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in car accident on New Year’s Eve 1984. However, he summoned his intestinal fortitude and learned to play his left-handed drum parts with foot pedals. More than three years after Def Leppard began recording the album, it was finally released. Through all of the trials and tribulations to make the album, the band came through with flying Union Jack colors to make a masterpiece. Hysteria reached No. 1 in the US and the UK and spawned seven hit singles. It’s a sleek, thoroughly enjoyable album that I have come back to time and time again. How much do I love this band? When I was about 13 years old, I drew the Def Leppard logo in blue marker on my bedroom door. True story. My mother was thrilled. It was totally worth it.

Album Highlights

“Women,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Hysteria”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

This is Def Leppard at the height of their powers in the late ’80s, and that means exactly what you think it does — this is an album that’s filled with recognizable hits and hooks that still sounds great more than three decades (is that possible?!) later.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Chynna Phillips

Naked and Sacred (1995)

Why I Love It

I was one of the five million or so folks who bought Wilson Phillips’ debut album, and I still love it to this day. But even that one pales in comparison to this solo debut from Chynna Phillips.

This album is filled with catchy hooks, but something about it still feels substantial. This isn’t just lightweight, throwaway pop music; it’s a document of an artist revealing more of herself than she ever could have in a trio like Wilson Phillips.

Indeed, the title Naked and Sacred captures the theme of this entire soul-baring album even though it’s named for the title track that kicks the album off. It’s a fantastic single, and one of nine that Phillips helped to pen on the album. Other highlights include “Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me,” a Diane Warren composition that was also recorded by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Album Highlights

“Naked And Sacred,” “When 2000 Comes” and “Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

This album has been a longtime favorite of Kendall’s. I had no doubt that he would include it on his list. It’s a great solo record by one-third of a great band, Wilson Phillips. Being a big fan of her parents’ band, the Mamas & The Papas, and Wilson Phillips, I love this album, too. The title track is fantastic. I wish Chynna would have released more solo efforts in between working with her band. Good stuff all around.

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