Friday, October 31, 2008

Christopher Cross

Ride Like The Wind


Christopher Cross was a solid musician who perhaps arrived at the wrong time. Extremely talented, he enjoyed initial success but that success came at the same time of MTV. Not know for flashy clothing or new wave sound, he was not a regular on MTV video rotation. Perhaps MTV’s success was a determent to Christopher’s. Anyway, we here at The Totally Awesome Big 80’s like Christopher Cross and we hope that you do to.

Christopher Cross (born Christopher Geppert on May 3, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. His debut album earned him all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards in one year, a feat that is yet to be equaled. He also received an Oscar and a Golden Globe relating to his work with music in hit films.
He is best known by most for his Top Ten hit songs, "Sailing", "Ride Like the Wind", and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," the latter of which he performed for the film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. "Sailing" earned three awards at the 1981 Grammy Awards Ceremony, while "Arthur's Theme" won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 (with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.)

Cross first played with a San Antonio based cover band named Flash before signing a solo contract with Warner Bros. Cross released his self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross in 1979, which garnered him five Grammy Awards. He is the first and only artist to personally receive all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards (Best Record, Song, Album, and New Artist) in the same year. Hits from this album included "Sailing", "Ride Like the Wind" (featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald) and "Never Be the Same".

His second album, Another Page, which came out in 1983, included the hit songs "Think of Laura", "No Time For Talk", and "All Right." "All Right" was used by CBS Sports for its highlights montage following the 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, won in an upset by North Carolina State, which defeated the University of Houston in the championship game, 54-52. Although Another Page sold respectably, it did not nearly live up to the high expectations set by his debut album.

Cross released his third album Every Turn of the World in 1985. However, the album failed to produce any top 40 hits, and did not sell well. He went on to make three more albums in the 90's and although some of his releases have gained critical response, he has failed to catch the mass audience he once enjoyed. After his decline in fame in the mid-1980s, Cross has toured and opened for various acts since the 90's and releasing his second Greatest Hits package in 2002.
Cross completed a new Christmas album and on November 15, 2007, which was released exclusively on iTunes and is slated to be in general distribution for the 2008 season. Christopher has just finished recording a new acoustic album of his hits titled "The Carlye Sessions". He is also working on a new studio album that is expected to be released in the spring of 2009. Today, he does about 100 live performances a year.

In recent years, his daughter, Madison has become a singer and actress.

US HOT 100
Serial number
From album
"Ride Like The Wind"
Warner 49184
March 1980
Christopher Cross
Warner 49507
July 1980
Christopher Cross
"Never Be the Same"
Warner 49580
October 1980
Christopher Cross
"Say You'll Be Mine"
Warner 49705
April 1981
Christopher Cross
Christopher Cross
"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Warner 49787
August 1981
Arthur (Soundtrack)
"All Right"
Warner 29843
January 1983
Another Page
"No Time For Talk"
Warner 29662
May 1983
Another Page
"Think of Laura"
Warner 29658
December 1983
Another Page
"A Chance For Heaven" (Swimming Theme from 1984 Summer Olympics)
Columbia 04492
Official Music of the XXIIIrd Olympiad (1984)
"Charm The Snake"
Warner 28864
Every Turn Of The World
"Every Turn of the World"
Every Turn Of The World
Academy Award for Best Song, 1981, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, 1981, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Grammy, 1981 - Record of the Year - "Sailing"
Grammy, 1981 - Album of the Year - Christopher Cross
Grammy, 1981 - Best New Artist - Christopher Cross
Grammy, 1981 - Best Arrangement - "Sailing"

Christopher Cross (1979)
Another Page (1983)
Every Turn of the World (1985)
Back of My Mind (1988)
Rendezvous (1992)
The Best of Christopher Cross (1993)
Window (1995)
Walking in Avalon (1998)
Greatest Hits Live (1999)
Red Room (2000)
The Very Best of Christopher Cross (2002)
A Christopher Cross Christmas (2007)

In popular culture

He is one of the many recurring characters on the Channel 101 series Yacht Rock, which featurized the fictionalized lives of soft/smooth and Yacht rock musicians from 1978-1984. Some of his collaborators, such as Michael McDonald, are also featured on the series.

Many people associate "Think of Laura" with the Luke and Laura plotline of the soap opera, General Hospital, which was very popular at the time, but it was actually written about a friend of Christopher's girlfriend at the time (named Laura) who had recently been killed by a stray bullet while riding in the back of a car.

Chris Griffin of Family Guy, is named after him, as his full name is Christopher Cross Griffin.

In the Seinfeld episode "The Millennium", Newman reveals that he booked Cross for his Millennium Eve party, which he has been planning since 1978.

Cross' single "Ride Like the Wind" is included in the Time Life compilation Soft Rock.

"Ride Like the Wind" was used as a video in an episode of Second City Television. Rick Moranis plays the part of Michael McDonald doing the backing vocals. He rushes to the studio and arrives just in time to sing the background vocals Such a long way to go.

In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman mentions listening to a Christopher Cross compilation tape while working out at a health club.

"Ride Like the Wind" was featured in the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star .
In the show "Home Movies" he is mentioned briefly by Brendon in the episode "Directors Cut"

Cross contributed backing vocals, (along with The Beach Boys' Carl Wilson,) to David Lee Roth's 1985 hit "California Girls."

Cross performed the song "Sailing" alongside the pop band 'Nsync at the Fourth Annual Blockbuster Awards in 1999.

Cross also performed lead vocals on "So Far Away", a song from Alan Parsons' album On Air. When Parsons was touring in support of that album, Cross would sometimes join the band onstage to sing the song if he was available.

Cross spent much of his youth living in a home on Newbury Terrace in Terrell Hills, just outside San Antonio, Texas. That home had earlier belonged to the Cummins family and another notable San Antonian, the historian and author Light Townsend Cummins, grew up in that same house a decade earlier. It has since been demolished.

A small snippet of Cross' early hit, "Sailing" was played in the DreamWorks film "Flushed Away"

External links
The Official Website

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