Day 74: 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 74.

Our two featured albums were released almost 50 years apart, and you won’t find much to connect Frank Sinatra (Kendall’s Pick) to Collective Soul (Chuck’s Pick) other than the opening paragraphs of this story 11 years ago from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

So we looked at the halfway point of these albums from a time standpoint to see what was happening in 1980. And, of course, that takes you to the post-disco era in pop music while country music was trying desperately to cross over with Urban Cowboy.

But it was also the year John Lennon was shot down in cold-blooded murder outside the entrance to his apartment building in New York City on December 8. He released the final album of his lifetime — a collaboration with his wife Yoko Ono titled Double Fantasy — about three weeks prior to his murder, but it’s his 1971 album Imagine that still stands as his greatest and best-known work after the break-up of The Beatles.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Collective Soul

Youth (2004)

Why I Love It

Collective Soul was already one of my favorite bands to come out of the 1990s when I saw them live for the first time in 2000. They leaped over the high bar I had set in my mind with a great, energetic rock and roll show. Four years later, they released this record, which I believe is the best in the band’s impressive discography. Lead singer Ed Roland has always had a knack for writing memorable hooks to go along with power chords, much like on Collective Soul’s debut single, “Shine.” The songs on this record are well-crafted earworms that stand the test of time. Even though this is the band’s sixth studio album, I believe it’s also a great place to start if you are not familiar with Collective Soul. It’s that good. I have now seen the band play live 11 times, and I plan to begin adding to that tally once things are back to normal. Fingers crossed.

Album Highlights

“Home,” “Perfect to Stay” and “Under Heaven’s Skies”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

My favorite Collective Soul album is their first self-titled record from 1995 (they released a second eponymous album in 2009) which included hits like “Gel,” “December” and “The World I Know.” I wasn’t at all familiar with this album, and just like that earlier record, it’s filled with cuts that stick to your synapses and beg to be heard again.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Frank Sinatra

In The Wee Small Hours (1955)

Why I Love It

In a house filled with the sounds of my dad’s classic country music albums growing up, this would have been more my mother’s style.

This is one of those records that will stop you in your tracks if you have any musical sensibilities whatsoever. It was Frank Sinatra’s first 12-inch LP, just as the format was really taking hold, and 65 years later, it still stands as one of the greatest long players ever released.

This is a sad album; while it’s ostensibly the ruminations of a lonely man in the hours just after midnight, it’s always hard to ignore the fact that Sinatra was already 39 years old here with his 40th birthday sneaking up on him in December 1955. It’s always sounded to me a bit like the 39-year-old Sinatra coming to grips with the approaching years of middle age, and the fact that some of the opportunities we squander in our youth can never be regained.

Album Highlights

“In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning,” “Mood Indigo” and “I Get Along Without You Very Well”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

I absolutely love that Kendall picked this album because it’s really when Frank Sinatra developed the musical style that made him one of the most iconic pop culture figures of the first 30 years of my life. This record oozes cool. Although I wasn’t around when this album was released, it makes me close my eyes and think about what life might have been back then when I’m hearing it. It’s hard to grasp listening to a song like “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” in 1955. I imagine some jaws dropped.

One thought on “Day 74: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: