On this day in music history: October 17, 1981 – “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 4 weeks on September 26, 1981. Written by Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen, it is the second and final chart topping single for the San Antonio, TX born singer, songwriter and musician. The song is featured as the theme for the hit comedy “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore, Sir John Gielgud, and Liza Minnelli. Cross is asked to sing the theme for the film by songwriter Burt Bacharach, and invited to collaborate on the song. The lyric “when you get caught between the moon and New York City” comes from an unfinished song written by Australian born songwriter and musician Peter Allen (former husband of singer and actress Liza Minnelli) and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager (later married to Bacharach from 1982 – 1991). That line forms the basis of the song, with the rest of the music and lyrics being written around it. Released in tandem with the film in July of 1981, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #71 on August 17, 1981, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “Arthur’s Theme” wins the Academy Award for “Best Original Song” in 1982, becoming the eighth song of the rock era to win the award. The Oscar win tops a phenomenal two years of success for Cross, who sees a reversal of his good fortune with his second album “Another Page” in early 1983 when the albums first two singles under perform on the charts. Though the album is certified Gold (and scores a belated hit with “Think Of Laura” (#9 Pop)), it falls far short of the multi-platinum sales (5x Platinum in the US) his self-titled debut album. “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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