Over Christopher Cross
It's unclear whether or not the term "wimp rock" was born shortly after Christopher Cross released "Sailing" in 1980, but his ultra-Lite production values and wispy falsetto make a pretty good case for the argument. A string of airy hits with unbelievably perfect hooks culminated in the immortal "Arthur's Theme (the Best That You Can Do)" a #1 smash from the soundtrack to the fun-lovin'-est depiction of a fatal disease (alcoholism) ever shot. Cross' music defined the cocaine-riddled transition of America from the free-for-all of the Disco Era to the paranoid hangover of the '80s. The songs are tastefully extravagant and dripping with '70s pseudo-liberal inspiration, air-tight studio craft, and Beatles-via-Bob Welch melodies. While the passage of time may not have been so kind to Cross' credibility as an artist, the fact of his uncommon ability with a hook remains in these instant atmosphere-inducing, unforgettable songs.