Ride Like the Wind

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"Ride Like the Wind"
Ride Like the Wind cover.jpg
Single by Christopher Cross
from the album Christopher Cross
B-side"Minstrel Gigolo"
ReleasedFebruary 15, 1980
GenrePop rock, post-disco
  • 4:32 (album version)
  • 3:56 (single version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Christopher Cross
Producer(s)Michael Omartian
Christopher Cross singles chronology
"Ride Like the Wind"

"Ride Like the Wind" is the debut single by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross. It was released in February 1980 as the lead single from his Grammy-winning 1979 self-titled debut album. It reached number two on the US charts for four consecutive weeks, behind "Call Me" by Blondie. On the album's inner sleeve, Christopher Cross dedicated this song to Lowell George, formerly of the band Little Feat, who had died in 1979. It features backing vocals by Michael McDonald and a guitar solo by Cross.[1]



The lyrics of the song tell the story of a condemned criminal on the run to Mexico. Told from a first-person point of view, it describes how an outlaw and convicted multiple murderer, on the run from a death-by-hanging sentence, has to "ride like the wind" to reach "the border of Mexico," where, presumably, the posse in pursuit of him will not be able to reach him.

Cross described "Ride Like The Wind" as "sort of a romanticized Western where the bad guy gets away."[citation needed] The setting can be surmised to have been from the time before the United States and Mexico signed their mutual criminal-extradition treaty.


Cross was high on LSD 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. I took acid. So I wrote the words on the way down from Houston to Austin."[2]


In 1999, the satirical newspaper The Onion published a story with the headline, "Christopher Cross Finally Reaches Mexican Border";[3] the headline was a reference to the song, and the three-sentence story made several specific allusions to the lyrics. Cross appreciated the honor.[2]


East Side Beat version[edit]

"Ride Like the Wind"
East Side Beat-Ride Like the Wind.jpg
Single by East Side Beat
ReleasedNovember 18, 1991 (1991-11-18)[9]
Length3:58 (Factory edit)
Songwriter(s)Christopher Cross
Producer(s)Dave Seaman, Phil Kelsey
East Side Beat singles chronology
"Ride Like the Wind"
"Alive and Kicking"

In 1991, Italian dance music group East Side Beat remixed "Ride Like the Wind" in a style typical of early 1990s dance music. There are five remixes in total. Two versions are found on the 7-inch single and an additional three are on the CD single. The Factory edit was included on FFRR Records' Only for the Headstrong compilation album released in 1992.[10]

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • 7-inch single
  1. "Ride Like the Wind" (Factory edit) – 3:58
  2. "Ride Like the Wind" (Subway mix) – 4:09
  • CD single
  1. "Ride Like the Wind" (Factory edit) – 3:58
  2. "Ride Like the Wind" (Factory mix) – 5:51
  3. "Ride Like the Wind" (piano version) – 5:32
  4. "Ride Like the Wind" (Oceanic remix) – 5:22
  5. "Ride Like the Wind" (Subway mix) – 4:00


Laurent Wery version[edit]

"Ride Like the Wind"
Single by Laurent Wéry featuring Joss Mendosah
ReleasedMarch 30, 2013
GenreDance, house
LabelLa Musique du Beau Monde
Songwriter(s)Christopher Cross
Producer(s)Laurent Wéry
Laurent Wéry singles chronology
"I'm Going In"
"Ride Like the Wind"
"Up 2 the Sky"

Belgian DJ Laurent Wéry released a cover version of the song, which features vocals from Joss Mendosah. The song was produced by Laurent Wery. It was released in Belgium as a digital download on March 30, 2013. The song peaked at number 26 in Belgium.

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Ride Like the Wind" was first released on YouTube on April 8, 2013, at a total length of two minutes and fifty-four seconds.[28]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
1."Ride Like the Wind" (Original Extended) (feat. Joss Mendosah)4:38
2."Ride Like the Wind" (Original Radio Mix) (feat. Joss Mendosah)2:53


Chart (2013) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[29] 26

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium March 30, 2013[30] Digital download La Musique du Beau Monde

Saxon version[edit]

English heavy metal band Saxon released a cover of "Ride Like the Wind" as the first track on their 1988 album Destiny.

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Ride Like the Wind" was first released on YouTube on August 7, 2013.[31]


  1. ^ Beato, Rick. "The Greatest Guitar Solo You Can't HEAR!". YouTube. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg (2014). "Interview: Christopher Cross, Songwriter". Songfacts, LLC. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Christopher Cross Finally Reaches Mexican Border". The Onion. February 10, 1999. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Christopher Cross – Ride Like the Wind". Top 40 Singles.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 204.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 67.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1980)". RPM. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Pop Singles" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-10
  9. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. November 16, 1991. p. 21.
  10. ^ "Various - Only For The Headstrong". Discogs.com. November 22, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8, no. 50. December 14, 1991. p. 37. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  14. ^ "European Dance Radio" (PDF). Music & Media. January 18, 1992. p. 32. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  15. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Ride Like the Wind". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  20. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9, no. 10. March 7, 1992. p. 18. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ "East Side Beat – Ride Like the Wind". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "1991 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. January 11, 1992. p. 20.
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1992" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  26. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 1992". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1992" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Laurent Wery feat. Joss Mendosah - Ride Like the Wind (Official Video). YouTube
  29. ^ "Laurent Wery feat. Joss Mendosah – Ride Like The Wind" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  30. ^ iTunes - Music - Ride Like the Wind (feat. Joss Mendosah) - Single by Laurent Wery
  31. ^ Saxon - Ride Like the Wind (Official Video). YouTube