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Ride Like the Wind

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"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."[1]

In 1999, the satirical newspaper The Onion published a story with the headline, "Christopher Cross Finally Reaches Mexican Border";[2] the headline was a reference to the song, and the three-sentence story made several specific allusions to the lyrics. Cross appreciated the honor.[1]

East Side Beat version

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. The Factory Edit was included in FFRR Records' "Only for the Headstrong" compilation album released in 1992.[3]


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

Laurent Wery version

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

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.[4]

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Belgium March 30, 2013[5] Digital download La Musique du Beau Monde

Other versions

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; In 2005, Germans producer Pit Bailay recorded 5 versions for his album Ride Like the Wind. 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.[6] It is briefly sung by a snail in the 2016 film Sing.

See also

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


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