Cristina (singer)

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Birth nameCristina Monet-Palaci
Born (1959-01-02) January 2, 1959 (age 60)
GenresNo wave
Years active1978–1984
LabelsZE Records

Cristina Monet-Palaci[1] (born January 2, 1959), known professionally as Cristina, is an American singer and writer, best known for her new wave recordings made for Ze Records around 1980 in New York.

A Harvard drop-out,[2] and the daughter of a French psychoanalyst and an American illustrator-novelist-playwright, she was working as a writer for The Village Voice when she met Michael Zilkha, who later became her husband.[3][4] A wealthy heir to England's Mothercare retail empire, Zilkha was just starting ZE Records with Michel Esteban. Zilkha persuaded her to record a song called "Disco Clone", an eccentric pastiche dance record written by Ronald Melrose, a classmate of hers at Harvard.[5] The original recording, released as ZE001, was produced by John Cale and was the first to be issued on the ZE label.[6] A later version featured the uncredited Kevin Kline trying to seduce Cristina.[3]

"Disco Clone" was a cult success and encouraged ZE to release a full-length album in 1980, which was produced by August Darnell of Kid Creole & The Coconuts.[3] The album was later reissued as Doll in the Box. Cristina also issued, on a 12" single, a cover of Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?" with new, satirical lyrics. Its authors, Leiber and Stoller, sued and successfully got it withdrawn for many years.[2] Later, she released a cover of the Beatles' "Drive My Car" (also released as "Baby You Can Drive My Car"). She also released a track, "Things Fall Apart", produced by Was (Not Was), on ZE's Christmas Record, in 1981.

Cristina's second album, Sleep It Off, was produced by Don Was and released in 1984 with a sleeve design by Jean-Paul Goude (a year before he used the same idea for Grace Jones). The lyrics satirized urban decadence with often dry, sarcastic delivery. The record flopped, and Cristina retired to domestic life in Texas. The album was rereleased in 2004 with six bonus tracks, two of which were produced (and one co-written) by Robert Palmer.[7]

Monet-Palaci and Zilkha divorced in 1990 and she returned to New York.[3] She has more recently contributed learned essays and reviews to publications such as London's Times Literary Supplement, while battling a debilitating illness.[3] Her two albums for ZE were reissued in 2004.[8]


Cristina discography
Studio albums2

Studio albums[edit]

  • Cristina (1980, Ze Records)
  • Sleep It Off (1984, Ze Records)
  • Doll in the Box (2004, Ze Records) – Expanded re-issue of Cristina
  • Sleep It Off (2004, Ze Records) – Expanded re-issue



  1. ^ Cristina Monet-Palaci And Michael Zilkha Engaged – New York Times
  2. ^ a b Cristina * Boston Globe article (1980)
  3. ^ a b c d e Cristina * Time Out New York article (2004)
  4. ^ "CRISTINA MONET- PALACI AND MICHAEL ZILKHA ENGAGED". December 12, 1982. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Strange Days magazine: 2009 interview with Michel Esteban Archived September 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Cristina – Disco Clone Prod. By John Cale | Line Out | The Stranger's Music Blog | The Stranger | Seattle's Only Newspaper
  7. ^ "Cristina — Sleep It Off". Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Dusted Reviews – Cristina
  9. ^ Discogs. "Cristina – Drive My Car". Retrieved July 25, 2014.

External links[edit]