Sailing (Christopher Cross song)

"Sailing" is a 1980 soft rock song written and recorded by American artist Christopher Cross. It was released in June 1980 as the second single from his eponymous debut album (1979). The song was a success in the United States, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 30, 1980, where it stayed for one week.[2] The song also won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Arrangement of the Year, and helped Cross win the Best New Artist award.[3] VH1 named "Sailing" the most "softsational soft rock" song of all time.[4]

Single by Christopher Cross
from the album Christopher Cross
B-side"Poor Shirley"
ReleasedJune 15, 1980
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Christopher Cross
Producer(s)Michael Omartian
Christopher Cross singles chronology
"Ride Like the Wind"
"Never Be the Same"
Audio sample
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The song was recorded in 1979, utilizing the 3M Digital Recording System, making it one of the first digitally recorded songs to chart.[5] In his Grammy acceptance speech, Cross acknowledged "Sailing" as his favorite song on the album and that originally it was not meant to be a single.[6] The song was later identified as an archetype of the genre that later became known as yacht rock [7] (Cross and similar artists referred to the style as the West Coast sound at the time).[8]


Covers and samples

Since its debut, "Sailing" has been covered by artists including Avant, Barry Manilow (on his 2007 album The Greatest Songs of the Seventies), Greenskeepers, NSYNC [9] (on their 1997 album 'N Sync), George Benson, Phajja, Patrick Yandall, and the duo of Moya Brennan, Cormac de Barra & Rodney Franklin.[10]

The song was sampled in the Puff Daddy song "Best Friend", from his 1999 album Forever,

Film and television appearances


Chart (1980–81) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 46
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 38
Canadian Adult Contemporary (RPM) 1
Canadian Top Singles (RPM) 1
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 21
Italy (FIMI)[16] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 18
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 8
Spain (AFYVE)[19] 24
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 48
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 10

Year-end charts

Chart (1980) Rank
Canada Top Singles[20] 24
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 32

See also


  1. Lecaro, Lina (November 19, 2016). "This Monthly Club Is a Non-Ironic Celebration of Rock's Softer Side". LA Weekly.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2010). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (rev. and expanded 9th ed.). New York: Billboard Books. pp. 162, 889. ISBN 9780823085545.
  3. Best New Artists Who Also Won Album Of The Year|
  4. VH1′s 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs,
  5. Jim McCullaugh (November 1, 1980), "Digital the Major Topic For N.Y. AES Parley", Billboard "The Christopher Cross LP, at number 32, uses the 3M digital technology"
  6. Video on YouTube
  7. Kamp, Jon (October 11, 2015). "Can You Sail to It? Then It Must Be 'Yacht Rock'". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. Cross, Christopher (February 22, 2014). "Hall & Oates Are Genuine Rock Stars in My Book". The Huffington Post.
  9. Sailing by *NSYNC on YouTube
  10. Sailing by Rodney Franklin-Topic on YouTube
  11. "Christopher Cross - IMDb"., Inc. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  12. Flushed Away (2006)-Soundtracks-IMDB
  13. "Family Guy" Finders Keepers (TV Episode 2013)-Soundtracks-IMDB
  14. " – Christopher Cross – Sailing" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  16. "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  17. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Christopher Cross" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  18. " – Christopher Cross – Sailing". Top 40 Singles.
  19. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. "Top 100 Singles (1980)". RPM. Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  21. "Pop Singles" Billboard December 20, 1980: TIA-10
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