Music Video of the Day: Ride Like The Wind by Christopher Cross (1980, directed by Bruce Gowers)

Ride Like The Wind tells the story of an outlaw who has been convicted of multiple murders and condemned to hang.  He is now trying to outrun the posse and reach Mexico where, apparently, the posse would have no jurisdiction.  The plot sounds like something from the Doobie Brothers so it’s appropriate that Michael McDonald provides the backing vocals.

Christopher Cross wrote this song while on acid and traveling between Houston and Austin and it went on to become the lead single off of his debut album and one of his biggest hits.  Cross would later go on to win an Oscar for writing the theme song for Arthur but, by his own admission, neither Cross nor his music were a good fit for the network that came to dominate pop culture in the 80s, MTV.

Speaking of MTV, the video for Ride Like The Wind clearly comes from a time when music videos were viewed as being a novelty.  If the video had been made a few years later, it probably would have dramatized the song’s story.  Instead, like many early music videos, it’s just a performance clip.

As for Cross, he’s still recording and performing and Ride Like The Wind continues to be a soft rock staple.  It was most recently covered by Belgian DJ Laurent Wery.