CHRISTOPHER CROSS – Christopher Cross +1 [Japan SHM-CD mini-LP remastered] *HQ*

CHRISTOPHER CROSS - Christopher Cross +1 [Japan SHM-CD mini-LP remastered] *HQ* - full

As requested, here’s CHRISTOPHER CROSS debut album “Christopher Cross“, in its wonderful remastered Japanese reissue pressed on high quality SHM-CD, including a bonus track. Produced by guru Michael Omartian and recorded in mid-1979, the album was one of the first digitally recorded.
Without a doubt, “Christopher Cross” is one of the most influential Soft Rock / Westcoast / FM rock&pop albums of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and a success – won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist, with Cross becoming the first artist to win the four major categories in the same year — a feat not replicated until Billie Eilish in 2020.
Yes, it’s soft rock, but impeccably done: Cross not only is a great songwriter and vocalist, but also a skillful guitarist & arranger. He’s helped by big names from the industry such as top class guitarists Jay Graydon, Larry Carlton and Eric Johnson, percussionist Lenny Castro, vocalists Nicolette Larson, Michael McDonald, Valerie Carter, Don Henley, and many more.
All songs are rich in melodicism and construction tight, a sturdy foundation for the classy professional gloss provided by his studio pros and friends, plus Omartian’s crisp production.

It’s curious, but while this album is pure mainstream, commercial Soft Rock / Westcoast, I always heard “Christopher Cross” from a different angle. I mean, this is smooth rock&pop, but has some kind of a ‘bite’.
This LP is not ‘wimp’ as other Westcoast albums. Cross hired himself some bona fide guitar slingers (in the form of L.A. sessions guys Larry Carlton, Eric Johnson, and Jay Graydon) to add some muscle, and boy does he lay into his vocals on “Ride Like the Wind.” Cross has a gun in his hand, he’s heading for Mexico, and he sounds like a true American outlaw. Soft Rock love lyrics? Not at all.

”Christopher Cross” isn’t just a good Soft Rock record – it’s among the best Soft Rock / FM albums ever made.
And it’s not great only because Omartian superb production or Cross was some kind of super-unique genius songwriter. No, it’s great because he was a sponge. He absorbed the sounds around him and pureed them into a mellifluous ‘New Thing’.
We hear Fleetwood Mac (“Say You’ll Be Mine”), later Steely Dan (in several of the songs), later Doobie Brothers (check out “I Really Don’t Know Anymore, which comes complete with Michael McDonald), Carole King (“Spinning”), Boz Scaggs (“Never Be the Same”), and more… but it sounds fresh, it sounds Christopher Cross.

This Japanese edition on SHM-CD mini-LP has been remastered obtaining a pristine clear sound. And include as bonus track the song ‘Mary Ann’, originally written for the Yamaha World Music Festival in Japan and released in 1980 as a Japan-only single.
Highly Recommended



01 – Say You’ll Be Mine
02 – I Really Don’t Know Anymore
03 – Spinning
04 – Never Be The Same
05 – Poor Shirley
06 – Ride Like The Wind
07 – The Light Is On
08 – Sailing
09 – Minstrel Gigolo
10 – Mary Ann

Christopher Cross – vocals, guitars
Michael Omartian – piano, synthesizers, backing vocals
Rob Meurer – synthesizers, electric piano, organ
Jay Graydon – guitar solo (1, 4)
Larry Carlton – guitar solo (2, 7)
Eric Johnson – guitar solo (9)
Andy Salmon – bass
Tommy Taylor – drums
Lenny Castro – percussion
Jim Horn, Jackie Kelso – saxophone
Nicolette Larson – backing vocals (1)
Michael McDonald – backing vocals (2, 6)
Valerie Carter – lead and backing vocals (3)
Don Henley – backing vocals (7)
J.D. Souther – backing vocals (7)


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