Day 81: 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 81.

With a couple of great guitarists in the spotlight today, it’s a good day to salute the guitar gods.

Kendall’s pick of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood features the former blues-rock legend on his 1983 debut. Vaughan is often named in the top 15-20 rock guitarists of all time.

But Chuck’s selection of Bon Jovi’s New Jersey album also features the work of a darn good guitar slinger. Richie Sambora is the guy supplying the lead guitar solos on this album, and he sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves when rock’s all-time great guitarists are discussed.

Of course, one name stands universally above them all. Jimi Hendrix has probably topped more polls and lists of the greatest guitar gods than anybody else, and it’s hard to argue with. A review of his work has to start with the 1967 album Are You Experienced? released by his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. You might as well check it out because it’s your bonus pick of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Bon Jovi

New Jersey (1988)

Why I Love It

Bon Jovi built its career on quality arena rock anthems and top-notch power ballads that combined to give the band a super likeable sound. Bon Jovi hit the big time with its third album, Slippery When Wet, which included four enormous chart-topping hits. With this follow-up two years later, the band proved that it could still party and throw down a love song with the best of them. The result is a spectacular rock and roll record. Along with the anthems and ballads, Bon Jovi tries a little bit of everything on this album. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora, who wrote all 12 tracks, also maintained the sound that legions of fans had come to expect from the band. The album yielded five hits and remains one of my favorite records of the hair metal era. I go back and listen to it in its entirety on a regular basis.

Album Highlights

“Lay Your Hands on Me,” “Born to Be My Baby” and “Living in Sin”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

This album is quintessentially Chuck. It’s from that late ’80s period just after the Chuckster graduated from high school and was spinning his wheels a bit while trying to figure out which direction he was headed. I met him two years after this album was released in 1988, and that’s where the musical exchange started to take place. And I remember what a big fan he was of this album by Bon Jovi, and they’ve always stood out as one of the bands I identify with Chuck. And hey, as hair bands go, this was a pretty darn solid pop-rock album.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Texas Flood (1983)

Why I Love It

I arrived in Austin in July of 1992 — less than two years after Stevie Ray Vaughan’s tragic death in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990.

I knew a little bit of his music by then, but his death was still a fresh wound for many fans in and around Austin where he made his mark so I started to dig deeper. Somewhere along the way, I heard Texas Flood for the first time and began to explore the rest of his catalog.

Vaughan was just 35 years old when he passed away, but he already had built a reputation as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of blues and rock. And that’s what I would call the music on this album — blues rock, or more specifically, Texas blues rock or even electric Texas blues. Whatever you call it, like any classic blues, it has aged well, and it still pulls me back in for another spin on a regular basis. More than any other artist in the early ’80s, Vaughan’s mainstream success sparked new interest in the blues, and his influence on the modern blues scene rivals that of any of the blues legends that preceded him.

Album Highlights

“Pride And Joy,” “Texas Flood” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

I am a bit ashamed this album didn’t find its way to my list. I have been listening to the amazing Texas blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan for as long as I can remember. One of the greatest debut albums of all-time, this record is a shining example of the legendary guitar virtuosity that brought the Dallas native to superstardom before he tragically died in 1990. His legacy is alive in this tremendous album that includes some of his most memorable tunes. As a Texan, I am so proud of his life and career. I wish I could have seen him play live.

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