Day 70: 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 70.

It may not be obvious, but there’s a direct connection between Elvis Presley (Kendall’s pick) and Death Cab for Cutie (Chuck’s pick).

“Death Cab for Cutie” is actually a song by a band named Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and it was released on an album titled Gorilla in 1967 — your bonus pick of the day. It was also featured in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour film.

One of the songwriters shaped the song to be a parody of Elvis’s 1957 hit “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear.” In 1997, Ben Gibbard named his band after the song, and the rest is history.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Death Cab for Cutie

Narrow Stairs (2008)

Why I Love It

I became a Death Cab for Cutie fan after I heard the song “Transatlanticism” on the HBO series Six Feet Underback in the day. When I got around to listening to the full album by the same title, I was hooked. But the Seattle quintet, which got its name from an old song of the same title by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, knocked it out of the park with this amazing sixth record. The music jumps from one genre and mood to another from track to track, complete with incredible lyrics, arrangements and musicianship. Lead singer Ben Gibbard has such a fantastic voice combined with a special gift as a songwriter. In fact, the three songs I listed in the Album Highlights below are, for my money, some of the cleverest lyrics I have ever heard. But there is not a bad song on this album. It’s another one that I have to listen to from start to finish any time I pull it up.

Album Highlights

“Cath…,” “Talking Bird” and “Long Division”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

This is one of my favorite alternative modern rock bands, and I considered their 2003 album Transatlanticism for my own list. But this may be an even better pick in terms of showing the band’s growth in the years that followed. Solid pick here by Chuck and worth your time.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Elvis Presley

Moody Blue (1977)

Why I Love It

There are better Elvis studio albums, and Chuck gave you Elvis’s 30 No. 1 Hits if you’re looking for more of a career retrospective.

But this was the last album released during Elvis’s lifetime, and it featured some of his biggest hits in the ’70s including the title track and “Way Down.”

We had a copy of this in our house — technically, my brother’s record who was a big Elvis fan — and it’s hard not to think about this album and picture the blue vinyl it was pressed on. The album is a mix of Elvis’s final studio recordings recorded at Graceland and some live cuts from appearances Elvis made during the late ’70s.

Album Highlights

“Moody Blue,” “Way Down” and “It’s Easy For You”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Man, I love this pick. I have been an Elvis fan from the first note of rock and roll music I ever heard. This record turned out to be the King’s last — and what a fitting way for him to go out. It’s an amazing record that displays how great Elvis was when he was firing on all cylinders. “Way Down” and the title track, both recorded at Graceland, are two of my favorite songs in all of his catalog. What an incredible talent. I wish he could have been around longer, but I am glad for the music and considerable legacy he left us.

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