Cristina (singer)

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Birth name Cristina Monet-Palaci
Born (1959-01-02) January 2, 1959 (age 58)
Genres No wave
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1978–1984
Labels ZE Records

Cristina Monet-Palaci[1] (born January 2, 1959), known professionally as Cristina, is an American singer and writer, best known for her no 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] 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.[4] The original recording, released as ZE001, was produced by John Cale and was the first to be issued on the ZE label.[5] A later version featured the uncredited Kevin Kline trying to seduce the breathy 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 poker-faced cover of Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?" with new lyrics which led its authors, Leiber and Stoller, to sue and get it withdrawn for many years.[2] Later, she released a cover of the Beatles' "Drive My Car" (also released as "Baby You Can Drive My Car").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). Her lyrics dryly detailed a world of urban decadence, but the record flopped, and Cristina retired to domestic life in Texas. She 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 2005.[6]


Cristina discography
Studio albums 2
Singles 6

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



External links[edit]