Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)

"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
Single by Christopher Cross
from the album Arthur – The Album
A-side "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
B-side Minstrel Gigolo
Released August 14, 1981
Format LP; Cassette
Recorded 1981
Genre Soft rock
Length 03:52
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen[1]
Producer(s) Michael Omartian
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Christopher Cross singles chronology
"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
"All Right"

"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" is a song performed and co-written by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, which was the main theme for the 1981 film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981. [1] In the US, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts during October 1981, remaining at the top on the Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. Overseas, it also went to number one on the VG-lista chart in Norway, and was a top ten hit all around the world. The song became the second and last American number one hit by Christopher Cross.[2] It was included as a bonus track only on the CD & Cassette versions of his second album Another Page, released in 1983.

Indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums recorded a cover of this song for the soundtrack to the 2011 remake of the film.


The song was written in collaboration between Cross, pop music composer Burt Bacharach, and Bacharach's frequent writing partner Carole Bayer Sager. A fourth writing credit went to Minnelli's ex-husband and Australian songwriter Peter Allen,[1] also a frequent collaborator with Bayer Sager: the line "When you get caught between the moon and New York City" from the chorus was taken from an unreleased song Allen and Bayer Sager had previously written together.[3]

The song won the 1981 Academy Award for Best Original Song,[1] and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[4] In 2004 it finished at #79 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of the top tunes in American cinema.

Music video

The music video consisted of two acts, which are edited together in fade outs. Christopher Cross in one offers the song with some studio musicians in a recording studio and the other is the story the song illustrates.[5]

Charts and certifications

Chart performance

Chart (1981–1982) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 13
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[6] 1
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 7
Italy (FIMI)[9] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 10
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[12] 14
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 6
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[1] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 0^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart successions

Preceded by
"Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 17 - October 31 1981 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Private Eyes" by Daryl Hall and John Oates

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. "Christopher Cross Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny - Awards". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  3. Bremer, K. (2013-04-26). "Peter Allen". Blue Desert Music. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  4. Arthur (1981) Awards,
  5. Rachid (2006-06-30). "Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme". Dailymotion.
  6. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  7. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  8. "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on June 9, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  9. "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  10. " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". Top 40 Singles.
  11. " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". VG-lista.
  12. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  13. " – Christopher Cross – Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  14. "American single certifications – Cross, Christopher – Arthur_s Theme (The Best You Can Do)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links

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