Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lio may well have been the greatest act on the legendary mutant disco label Ze but Cristina Monet is rapidly becoming the most critically-acclaimed. Widely dismissed at the time as a vanity project of the wife of Ze's founder, Mothercare heir Michael Zilkha, her two wonderfully idiosyncratic albums Cristina and Sleep It Off have taken twenty years to find much of an appreciative audience. Although chart success would have been deserved (an often repeated quote suggested that "in a zestier, brighter, funnier world, Cristina would have been Madonna"), it's easy to see how a new wave scene in the early eighties that prided itself on being sharper, more stylish and more intelligent than either punk or mainstream pop might have felt intimidated by a Harvard-educated, fabulously acidic model clearly smarter and more chic than any of their idols. Perhaps that's why she attracted so many vituperative comments about being a wealthy dilettante playing at being a pop star.

A combination of Brecht and Kid Creole & The Coconuts might not sound too appealing but Monet sold it so well. One of the highlights of her debut would have been a lyrically customised version of Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is? Sadly Lieber and Stoller didn't see the amusing side of lines like "I remember when i was a little girl, my mother set the house on fire. She was like that." or "and then i fell in love with the most wonderful boy in Manhatten....he'd beat me black and blue and i loved it" so set the lawyers on her.

Cristina - Is That All There Is?

Her second album, with Don Was, is arguably even better - fuelled by his unconventional arrangements and her increasingly cutting lyrics. "My life is in a turmoil /My thighs are black and blue / My sheets are stained, so is my brain / Oh, what's a girl to do?". Apparently, there was talk of Gwen Stefani covering What's A Girl To Do on L.A.M.B. Twenty years have passed but evidently, the mainstream still isn't quite ready.

Cristina - What's A Girl To Do

There's a great article about her by Elisabeth Vincentelli here.


  • At 3:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been looking for Is That All There Is since my Cristina LP was stolen many years ago. I remember listening to this on Toronto's CFNY way back when and falling in love with it. Thanks for the post. A fantastic version of the song, lawyers & Peggy Lee notwithstanding!

  • At 10:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 5:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 6:27 pm, Blogger djbethell said…

    Please, please, please repost a new download link. Please ; )
    D x


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