In a refreshing change of pace for the modern music industry, a catalog artist is seeing huge gains with his song sales at a time when his health is improving, not deteriorating.
Over the weekend (Oct. 18), soft rock hitmaker Christopher Cross was featured on CBS Sunday Morning, in a segment entitled “Christopher Cross on Surviving COVID.” The singer/songwriter was diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus in April, and just as he began to feel like he had recovered from that deadly disease, he learned that he had also contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, likely brought on by his COVID sickness. “It was the worst 10 days of my life,” he says in the special. “I couldn’t walk, could barely move.”
However, Cross is now recovering (albeit still with lingering after-effects from his illness), and his story appears to have impacted many who were watching to reconnect with his music. Cross’ catalog of songs sold a combined 6,000 downloads on Oct. 18-19 in the U.S. — the Sunday of his CBS appearance, and the Monday immediately after — according to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That’s up 979% compared to their sales of just over 500 on Oct. 16-17.
His best selling songs in the Oct. 18-19 time period were his 1980 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit single “Sailing” (2,000; up 823%), his Hot 100 debut, and No. 2-peaking hit, “Ride Like the Wind” (1,000; up 757%), the No. 1 “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (1,000; up 1,309%), the No. 15 hit “Never Be the Same” (a little under 1,000; up 1,386%) and the No. 9 hit “Think of Laura” (nearly 500 sold; up 3,238%).
In terms of album sales, the initial sales figures are less robust than those for his songs. However, his self-titled 1979 debut album was the biggest of the bunch, selling a little more than 500 copies on Oct. 18-19 (up 1,049% compared to Oct. 16-17). The album contains “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind” and “Never Be the Same.”
After his planned national tour for 2020 was scrapped, Cross told CBS that he does expect to return to the stage following his recovery. “I don’t know whether I’ll walk out with my cane and I’ll sit down on a stool,” he explained. “But I’ve gotta tell you — and it’s hard to, you know, keep it together here — but, you know my fans, I know them. And they love me. I really feel in my heart, at least, that the fans are gonna be with me.”