Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)

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"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) (single).jpg
Single by Christopher Cross
from the album Arthur – The Album
B-side"Minstrel Gigolo"
ReleasedAugust 14, 1981
FormatLP; Cassette
GenreSoft rock
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen[1]
Producer(s)Michael Omartian
Christopher Cross singles chronology
"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
"All Right"

"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" is a song performed and co-written by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, which was the main theme for the 1981 film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981.[1] In the US, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts during October 1981, remaining at the top on the Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. Overseas, it also went to number one on the VG-lista chart in Norway, and was a top ten hit in several other countries. The song became the second and last American number one hit by Christopher Cross.[2] It was included as a bonus track only on the CD & Cassette versions of his second album Another Page, released in 1983.

The B-side of record, "Minstrel Gigolo," was the same song used on the back of Cross's debut single, "Ride Like the Wind."

Indie pop band Fitz and The Tantrums recorded a cover of this song for the soundtrack to the 2011 remake of the film.


The song was written in collaboration between Cross, pop music composer Burt Bacharach, and Bacharach's frequent writing partner and then wife Carole Bayer Sager. A fourth writing credit went to Minnelli's ex-husband and Australian songwriter Peter Allen,[1] also a frequent collaborator with Bayer Sager: the line "When you get caught between the moon and New York City" from the chorus was taken from an unreleased song Allen and Bayer Sager had previously written together.[3] Allen came up with the line while his plane was in a holding pattern during a night arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport.[4]

The song won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Original Song,[1] and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[5] In 2004 it finished at #79 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of the top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, Barry Manilow released a cover version.

Music video[edit]

The music video consisted of two acts, which are edited together in fade outs. Christopher Cross in one offers the song with some studio musicians in a recording studio and the other is the story the song illustrates.[6]


Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Christopher Cross Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny - Awards". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  3. ^ Bremer, K. (2013-04-26). "Peter Allen". Blue Desert Music. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  4. ^ "Song Facts". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  5. ^ Arthur (1981) Awards,
  6. ^ Rachid (2006-06-30). "Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme". Dailymotion.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  9. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on June 9, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  10. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  11. ^ " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". VG-lista.
  13. ^ >"SA Charts 1965 - 1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion)". Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  14. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  15. ^ " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Christopher Cross Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Christopher Cross Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Christopher Cross Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – Cross, Christopher – Arthur_s Theme (The Best You Can Do)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]