Day 99: 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 99.

Each of us set out to pick 100 of our favorite albums. The intention was simply to focus on personal favorites rather than trying to pick a list of the 100 greatest albums of all-time.

When we got done with those lists, we compared our choices, and 12 of our picks were the same. So we decided to rank those 12 picks in order and present them in descending order from No. 12 to No. 1. Today we present No. 2.

– Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

ALBUM OF THE DAY

No. 2

Coldplay

X&Y (2005)

Highlights

“Square One,” “Fix You,” “Speed of Sound,” “The Hardest Part,” “Swallowed In The Sea” and “Til Kingdom Come”

Chuck’s Take

While I understand that Coldplay isn’t every music fans’ cup of Earl Grey tea, I can’t fathom how anybody could listen to a song like “Fix You” and not acknowledge its greatness. It’s one of 13 incredible tracks on this album by one of the most enormous bands on the planet. The thing that has always impressed me about this record is that it is a follow up to the marvelous one-two punch of Coldplay’s first two studio releases, Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. X&Y is a progression from those two great albums that helped the band lay the foundation for mega stardom. I’ve always thought a lot of Coldplay’s music has a dreamlike quality to it because of the lyrics, especially on songs like “Speed of Sound” and “Swallowed in the Sea.” It’s almost like you already know the songs by heart the first time you hear them. I unapologetically love this band and this album.

Kendall’s Take

If Coldplay wasn’t the biggest rock band in the world when this album arrived in 2005, they were well on their way to claiming the title. X&Y contained some of their best work at the time, and still to these ears, stands out as their crowning achievement.

It’s also one of those records that fit the mold that Chuck and I have both talked about here – an album that represents a band taking it to another level from an artistic standpoint. The album was their third studio set following Parachutes (2000) and A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002). Both of those are incredible records that fueled Coldplay’s rise to the top of the rock world, but this was the album where they began to leave every other band behind. The London quartet was fronted by the dynamic Chris Martin whose strong stage presence ensured that the band also became renowned for its live performances, too, cementing their reputation as a band that could also deliver in front of an audience. Those audiences included ever larger stadium and festival crowds as the band quickly became one of the world’s biggest touring acts.

I saw them at the height of their powers in Nashville during the Viva La Vida tour on June 6, 2009. The opening act? None other than Snow Patrol, a consensus pick on our countdown that we featured a few days ago. Both bands were in top form, and it remains one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen.

BONUS ALBUM OF THE DAY

Keane

Perfect Symmetry (2008)

Why I Love It

The “geniuses” that run the music business aren’t the most creative folks in the world.

Since the beginning of recorded popular music, they’ve always been driven to find artists that are similar to the biggest acts of the moment. So when Elvis was the flavor of the month in the ’50s, they spent their time looking for Elvis clones, and when The Beatles were riding high on the charts in the ’60s, every major label was looking for the next quartet of mop tops to force down our throats and ears. And when Coldplay was riding high 15 years ago, the hunt was on for the next post-Britpop band that could take the world by storm.

Fortunately, there were some good candidates at the time, and Keane was one of the bands that stepped up to the plate. The quartet distinguished itself with a heavier reliance on the piano as the lead instrument instead of the guitar driven-sound that fueled most of the bands in the post-Britpop scene. Their 2008 album is a great place to start exploring their catalog with winners like “The Lovers Are Losing.”

Album Highlights

“Spiralling,” “The Lovers Are Losing” and “Love Is The End”

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