Ride Like the Wind

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"Ride Like the Wind"
Single by Christopher Cross
from the album Christopher Cross
Released February 15, 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded 1979
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:56
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Christopher Cross
Producer(s) Michael Omartian
Christopher Cross singles chronology
"Ride Like the Wind"

"Ride Like The Wind" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross. It was released in February 1980 as the lead single from his Grammy-winning self-titled debut album. It reached number 2 on the U.S. charts, behind Blondie's "Call Me." 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.


According to an interview by Guitar 2001 Magazine, guitarist Eric Johnson performed on "Ride Like the Wind," but his contributions were not included in the final version.[citation needed]

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.

The story told in the lyrics, according to Cross himself, is "sort of a romanticized Western where the bad guy gets away."[citation needed] 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 apparently in pursuit of him will not be able to reach him. Cross is Texan, and the narrator, presumably, drew his death-by-hanging sentence from a criminal court in Texas, where hanging was then a permissible method of execution of convicted criminals who had been sentenced to death.

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."[1]

In 1999, the satirical newspaper The Onion published a story with the headline, "Christopher Cross Finally Reaches Mexican Border,"[2] which was a reference to this song. Cross appreciated the honor[citation needed].


Chart (1980) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 31
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 69
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 24

East Side Beat version[edit]

"Ride Like the Wind"
Single by East Side Beat
Released November 29, 1991
Format 7" single, CD
Recorded 1991
Genre Dance, house
Length various
Label FFRR Records
Writer(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" single and an additional three are on the CD single.


7" 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


Chart (1991/1992) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 4
France (SNEP)[6] 12
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 23
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 3

Laurent Wery version[edit]

"Ride Like the Wind"
Single by Laurent Wéry featuring Joss Mendosah
Released March 30, 2013
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre Dance, house
Length 2:53
Label La Musique du Beau Monde
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 onto YouTube on April 8, 2013 at a total length of two minutes and fifty-four seconds.[11]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
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 performance[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 26

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium March 30, 2013[13] Digital download La Musique du Beau Monde


"Ride Like the Wind"
Single by Natalia
from the album Overdrive
Released May 19, 2014
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Genre Pop music
Length 3:14
Label Universal Music
Writer(s) Christopher Cross
Producer(s) Danny Corten
Natalia singles chronology
"A Girl Like Me"
"Ride Like the Wind"

Ride like the wind is the 27th single of Belgian singer Natalia. It was released in Belgium on May 19, 2014. It's the fourth single of her album Overdrive. Natalia also released a Spanish version of the song called Ride like the wind/Cabalgaré. The videoclip was shot in Malta and was released the same day as the song.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Ride Like the Wind" (Radio Edit) 3:14
2. "Ride Like the Wind/Cabalgaré" (Spanglish Version) 3:14

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium March 19, 2014[14] Digital download Universal Music

Other versions[edit]

The song has been covered by Freddie Hubbard on his 1982 album Ride Like The Wind, as well as by Taka Boom on her 1983 album Boomerang; British heavy metal band Saxon on their 1988 album Destiny, American heavy metal band Speeed on their 1999 album Powertrip Pigs and Norwegian heavy metal singer Jorn on his 2012 album Bring Heavy Rock to the Land. In 2013, the song was covered by Robin Thicke and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) for the film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and its soundtrack (which also includes the original version). The song was also heard at the beginning of the film. In promotion of the film, Cross and Ferrell sang the song together on Jimmy Kimmel Live.[15]

See also[edit]

Break Like the Wind, a 1992 album by the semi-fictional band Spinal Tap.


External links[edit]