Happy Anniversary: Christopher Cross, ANOTHER PAGE
35 years ago this month, Christopher Cross released the follow-up to his spectacularly-selling self-titled debut album.
Having become a radio staple as a result of the singles “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind,” “Never Be The Same,” “Say You’ll Be Mine,” and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” all of which were top-20 hits, Cross was caught not between the moon and New York City, but between a rock and a hard place: he’d been so successful with his debut album that there was little chance that he could surpass the sales of that LP with his sophomore album. Even though ANOTHER PAGE easily went gold and hit #11 on the Billboard 200, critics cackled with glee about how Cross’s second album hadn’t matched its predecessor.
In a 2011 interview with Popdose, Cross acknowledged his disappointment with the sales of ANOTHER PAGE while also conceding that concept of the so-called “sophomore slump” isn’t just a concoction by rock critics.
“I mean, basically, [ANOTHER PAGE] sold about half as many records,” said Cross. “But the first album did six million or something, and the second one did three, so it wasn’t bad. Actually, it’s funny, because sales that year… Another Page was the second biggest record Warners had! Rod Stewart was the only one who had a bigger record. Now, sales weren’t great that year, but…to be perfectly honest, the sophomore thing, it’s not an illusion. I mean, people that win Best New Artist…if you look at (Bruce) Hornsby and Tracy (Chapman) and Rickie (Lee Jones) and all the people who did, it does create a certain expectation, and I think all of us kind of struggled with that a little bit.”
Cross also acknowledged that ANOTHER PAGE was “more of a ballad record,” but he noted that there were a lot of things going on in his life in the time that led him down that musical road.
“My first marriage ended, and I met this wonderful girl named Paige and kind of fell in love with her, and I ended up making this album called Another Page,” explained Cross. “A lot of the songs were written for her, so it’s almost like this love album dedicated to her. Subsequently, during that time, her best friend Laura Carter was killed very tragically, and I was very close to Laura, so I wrote ‘Think of Laura’ in tribute to her. There were some real nice songs, like ‘Talking in My Sleep,’ which I did with Artie Garfunkel, and ‘Baby Says No,’ which Carl (Wilson) sang on, which is a huge memory for me, ‘cause I was very close to Carl. So I think it’s a real nice record. It’s more mellow, but I’m proud of the songs and I think they’re good.”
Ironically, the song’s first single, “All Right,” was the final track added to the album, and it was written at Paige’s suggestion that Cross “just do something up and positive about us.” The end result: a #12 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
The biggest hit from ANOTHER PAGE, however, proved to be “Think of Laura,” its success derived from the ABC soap opera General Hospital using it in conjunction with the series’ super-couple, Luke and Laura, but as he did in the Popdose interview quoted above, Cross has always made a point of mentioning that the song was not written for the characters but, rather, for the late Laura Carter.
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