Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Music Box: Cristina

These sexy shots by photographer Michael Anthony Downs have me ready for an island vacation -- even if my bod's not -- and reminded me Cristina's great 1984 single, "Ticket to the Tropics."

I only pursued Cristina years later -- as a kid on a budget I just loved this one song, which I'm pretty sure had a cool video that I can't seem to locate -- but I remember seeing the "Sleep It Off" album in record stores all the time and being completely curious. I've since read that Cristina -- described by one blogger as Lydia Lunch if she were a debutante whose lyrics are "bitchy, aloof and hilarious" -- was a Harvard drop-out who was writing for the Village Voice when she met and married a wealthy British retailing heir who had recently started a record label. "Disco Clone" was her (and the label's) first single, which led to two albums -- one produced by August Darnell (aka Kid Creole) and one ("Sleep It Off") by Don Was. After her second album failed -- the LP was such a bomb, in fact, that the sleeve designer ended up reusing the concept for Grace Jones' "Slave to the Rhythm" -- she retired to domestic life in Texas. TimeOut New York reported in 2004 that she is battling a "debilitating illness," but I'm not sure what her status is today. Hearing "Ticket to the Tropics" again has me thinking it might finally be time to follow through on this -- I see both albums were expanded and reissued in 2005 -- and God forbid I pursue any new artists!

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