Still, Christopher Cross proved an album distinctly of its moment, a polished soft-rock gem that blended sweeping, pillow-soft balladry with pop songcraft and a dash of flash from Cross' underrated guitar skills. The record was the work of a singer-songwriter and a band that had paid its dues in Texas clubs, but the liner notes also read like a Who's Who of late-'70s studio rock, listing session pros like Larry Carlton and Jay Graydon as well as superstars like Don Henley and Cross' friend and fellow five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald.
The fates were aligned, but it didn't last. Suddenly in the spotlight, Cross struggled to cope, creatively as well as personally. Never the most prolific songwriter, he found himself in the same situation that's plagued many artists who had years to perfect their debut, scored a big hit and were expected to deliver an even bigger follow-up right away.
A solid chunk of Christopher Cross was anchored with Cross' rock guitar, but the ballads really sold the record — a direction he cemented by co-writing and performing "Arthur's Theme Best That You Can Do ," the Oscar-winning theme from the Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore romantic comedy Arthur , the following year. At the same time, MTV was taking off, making it more important than ever that an artist have a compelling visual image to go with their sound.
Cross, with his thinning hair, patchy beard and husky build, didn't fit the mold. It wasn't an insurmountable problem — not every artist in the '80s looked like a matinee idol — but his increasingly ballad-focused approach made it more difficult. Meanwhile, the months after Christopher Cross ' stratospheric success stretched into years, and without a new album to tie into "Arthur's Theme," his momentum cooled.
In the midst of all this professional and creative upheaval, Cross had no shortage of personal distractions — chiefly the end of his first marriage, which concluded in divorce in After the split, the year-old Cross started dating, entering into a new relationship with a year-old college student. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version.
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