Feeling they had international scope, Gilder and fellow band member, guitarist and songwriting partner, James McCulloch left the band and signed an American record deal.
It wasn't until his second solo album, which spawned the hit "Hot Child in the City", that Gilder finally had chart success in the United States. That song went to No.1 both in Canada and the US. It also earned him two more Juno Awards: Best Selling Single of the Year and for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year in Canada as well as a People's Choice Award in the US.
Gilder has also been successful as a songwriter for artists such as Patty Smyth, Bette Midler, Joe Cocker and Pat Benatar. In 1984, the band Scandal had a number one hit with "The Warrior," which was written by Gilder and Holly Knight, and it earned him a BMI Airplay Award.
Gilder's songs have been used in several movies such as Youngblood with Rob Lowe, The Wraith with Charlie Sheen, Barb Wire with Pamela Anderson, Scenes From the Goldmine, which includes a cameo appearance by Gilder, and in TV series like Sex and the City, That '70s Show, Ed (TV series), and most recently Nip/Tuck.
Armand Van Helden sampled "Rockaway" into their 2005 club hit, "When the Lights Go Down." The following year Nemesis recorded “Hot Child in the City” for their 2006 debut CD, Rise Up and Rocket recorded “Backstreet Noise” for their CD, Girls With Candy Hearts.
Gilder returned to Canada in the mid-1990s, where he continues to record and tour.