Wednesday, June 3, 1970

Musical Artist - Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross is an American singer and songwriter best known for his hit records Sailing and Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do). Cross released his eponymous debut album in 1979 and achieved almost immediate success. This album produced four top twenty hits - Ride Like the Wind, Sailing, Never Be the Same, and Say You'll Be Mine, and garnered Cross five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

Four years later, Cross release his second album Another Page, which contained the hit singles Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do), All Right, No Time for Talk, and Think of Laura. Cross' cultural presence was so great at this point that All Right was used for highlight montages related to the 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Think of Laura was use on the soap General Hospital in references to the famed soap romance between the characters Luke and Laura, and Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) was the theme song for the hit Dudley Moore comedy Arthur. Arthur's Theme ended up winning an Oscar as the Best Original Song.

Cross released his third album in 1985, and had decidedly less success. Every Turn of the World peaked at 127 on the Billboard Album chart, and the only single off the album was A Chance for Heaven, which topped out at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100, although it was used as the swimming theme for the 1984 Summer Olympics. In the years since, Cross has released twelve more studio albums, but none have reached the charts, and only one single from them has cracked the Billboard Hot 100. His career crashed and burned almost as suddenly as it had begun.

Cross (and others) have blamed the singer's sudden fall from grace on the rise of MTV, asserting that the channel's emphasis on visual presentation undermined the low-key performer's career. I'm not entirely convinced by this argument. After all, other soft rock acts like Lionel Ritchie were able to make the transition to the MTV era without too much difficulty, and pop music history is replete with examples of acts that rose to the pinnacle of stardom and then vanished almost as quickly - performers like Peter Frampton and Shannon come to mind. I think the more likely explanation is that Cross was kind of a one-trick pony when it came to songwriting, and he had just enough in his tank to fuel two albums.

Cross has an official website named Christopher Cross. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Musical Monday Selections:

08/26/29: Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
11/05/15: Sailing

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