Ride Like the Wind

from the album Christopher Cross

Released February 15, 1980

Format 7″ single

Recorded 1979

Genre Soft rock

Length 3:56

“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 US charts for four consecutive weeks, 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.

This soft rock classic tells the story of a condemned man 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 apparently in pursuit of him will not be able to reach him.

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. I took acid. So I wrote the words on the way down from Houston to Austin on acid.”

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


7″ single
“Ride Like the Wind” (Factory Edit) – 3:58
“Ride Like the Wind” (Subway Mix) – 4:09
CD single
“Ride Like the Wind” (Factory Edit) – 3:58
“Ride Like the Wind” (Factory Mix) – 5:51
“Ride Like the Wind” (piano version) – 5:32
“Ride Like the Wind” (Oceanic Remix) – 5:22
“Ride Like the Wind” (Subway Mix) – 4:00