Year Released: 1979 (by days it’s technically not an 80’s album… Talk to my lawyer, pal)

Notable Songs: “Sailing”, “Ride Like The Wind”, “Never Be The Same”

Album MVP: “Sailing” 

Why I Loved It: This album was released at the end of December 1979 but didn’t have a single off it until 1980, so this is being rightfully categorized as an 80’s album. Get over it if you don’t like it.  This is one of the best soft rock/yacht rock albums of all the times, man. “Sailing” is the Christopher Cross crowning achievement (No. 37 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80s countdown last year.) and a leading jam of the Yacht Rock era.  As I wrote in my review of the song, what could possibly define Yacht Rock better than a song about freegin’ Sailing? “Ride Like The Wing” and “Never Feel The Same” were amazing singles that never get their just due because they’re so overshadowed by “Sailing.”

Commercial Success: This self-titled debut album was a smashing success for Cross both commercially and critically, selling more than five million albums in the United States and rising to six on the Billboard Top 200.  “Sailing’ hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go on to win a Grammy for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Arrangement of the Year. That’s some pimp shit right there. “Ride Like The Wind” peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and finished 17th on the year-end Billboard Hot 100. “Never Be The Same” made it No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top of the Adult Contemporary charts.

Fun Facts: From on “Ride Like The Wind”: “This soft rock classic tells the story of a condemned man on the run to Mexico. The storyline is one not often heard on Adult Contemporary radio, but the precise instrumentation and soaring background vocals, which were provided by Michael McDonald, helped make the song a big hit.

What you probably didn’t know about the song: Christopher Cross was on acid when he wrote the lyrics. “We were living in Houston at the time, and on the way down to Austin to record the songs, it was just a beautiful Texas day,” he told us. “I took acid. So I wrote the words on the way down from Houston to Austin on acid.”

Speaking about his inspiration for the outlaw theme in this song, Cross told us: “I grew up with a lot of cowboy movies. Serials and stuff, like The Lone Ranger and these cowboy serials where they were always chasing the bad guy. And I lived in San Antonio near Mexico, so there was always this anarchistic allure about if you could get to Mexico, you could escape the authority. Also, Mexico was a place where you could go down there and drink and do all this debauchery that as a kid, you think sounds really cool. So getting to the border in Mexico was a fascinating thing to me.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity