Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cut (Deluxe Edition) (2 CDs)
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
As the original riot grrrl band, the Slits cut quite a swath through late-'70s punk, lacing raw charisma, unbridled sexuality and defiant feminist politics with two-chord punk and potent reggae rhythms. Producer Dennis Bov... more »
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As the original riot grrrl band, the Slits cut quite a swath through late-'70s punk, lacing raw charisma, unbridled sexuality and defiant feminist politics with two-chord punk and potent reggae rhythms. Producer Dennis Bovell--a veteran of the Jamaican dub scene--helped bring focus to such slap-in-the-face songs as "Typical Girls" (an obvious pet peeve of singer Ari Up) and "Shoplifting" (a fave rave of all four, evidently). But what really stands out is the joy inherent in four rank amateurs bashing out no-holds-barred songs on instruments they just picked up at the corner pawnshop. It's altogether empowering--and you don't even need an XX chromosome to appreciate it. --David Sprague
AN UN-SUNG CLASSIC GETS ITS DUE
Ruswell Milner | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even now, 25 years after first hearing this album, I feel The Slits are an acquired taste. I bought this album as a 15 year-old who'd just gotten into punk, expecting another exhilarating blast of British punk along the lines of The Damned or The Adverts. What I heard was so alien to me that I put the album away for ten years. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I gave Cut another spin and finally understood what I was hearing: three girls (and drummer Budgie, later of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame) exploring their musical passions with no restrictions, crafting something that was impossible to categorize or pigeon hole. It was, I realized, exhilarating in its own special way. How much more punk can you get than a band you can't easily explain to your friends?
The Slits began life as the classic DIY punk band - they literally could not play, and made a bunch of loud, primitive, and wonderful noise. Watch them in Don Letts' The Punk Rock Movie with original drummer Palmolive; four girls who can't play and don't give a damn, doing their thing on tour with The Clash. Then something incredible happened: instead of plateauing as a three-chord punk band (Anti-Pasti, The Exploited, et al), cranking out a new album every 10 months, the girls discovered dub and reggae, and kept playing and playing, getting better and better, re-configuring their songs and their sound, and finally released their debut, Cut, a couple of years after they formed.
If you're open-minded and are willing to wade into some new sounds (or at least some sounds you don't expect), I can't recommend Cut more highly. Instead of a bunch of technically-accomplished snobs like The Police, you have three uninhibited young women writing and recording whatever they were feeling, without worrying about conforming to anyone else's standards or ideas of what a punk or reggae band should look or sound like. It's a refreshing blast of positive female energy, and 30 years later, it still sounds new.
This 2-disc Deluxe Edition contains what every Slits fan needs - the original album, the John Peel sessions (which captured the band early on, when they were still more punk than reggae), two versions of their outstanding cover of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," four 8-track demos, and the entire album all over again, in its original rough mix. Lest you think all the extras here are extraneous repetition, listen to the original album version of "Typical Girls" on disc one, then listen to the rough mix on disc two. I've been listening to the album version of this song for years, and I'm telling you, the rough mix is a revelation. For the first time, Viv Albertine's guitar is way louder than the piano during the chorus, imbuing the song with a far earthier and organic sound, and the Slits-esque harmonies are stripped from the chorus, leaving just singer Ari Up singing the simple, yet incredibly catchy melody. Her voice is strong and solid, just what was needed on this song. It's so much cooler than the version that wound up on the album, you wonder whose decision it was go with the much busier version.
Just one of many surprises on this long overdue Deluxe Edition of one of the great overlooked post-punk classics."
ALREADY GREAT ALBUM WITH ADDITIONAL GOOD LIVE/ROUGH MIXES
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 01/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two discs 63,68 minutes each approximately. The original album has been remastered (along with the extra tracks) and the sound is a bit cleaner and immediate sounding.The discs are snapped in a quad-fold cardboard case. The booklet is very informative,giving a good inside look at the band and the era as a whole,by Mark Paytress. There are various color and black and white photographs of the band,and ephemera from the era.
This up-dated version of this classic album from the "punk" era gives more depth to this underrated band,that many listeners didn't (and still don't) take to seriously. The original album is still a great piece of work on it's own. With the addition of John Peel Sessions (7 tracks)different versions (slow,Brink Style,early version-3 Tracks),rough mixes (9 tracks),toasts,dub,outtake-(1 each),and instrumental outtakes (2 tracks),this is probably as complete a look at this album we'll ever hear.
THE SLITS (Ari Upp,Palmolive,(later)Budgie,Viv Albertine,Tessa Pollitt were the core),came along during the mid-70's years of punk ("Cut was released in 1979),combining great desire,a love of reggae/dub,not much musicianship,and a great producer,to release an album that was subtly stunning. While the untutored singing is sometimes an acquired taste,the overall effect of this bouncy,thick-sounding music,that seemed to rely on a reggae beat for most of the tracks (thanks to the band's producer Dennis Bovell),set the scene for various other "grrrl" bands that followed. The guitars are held in check (a good thing),with the chunky rhythms out front with the vocals.
The core record can still stand alone,but the Peel Sessions show a very exciting band,more punk than most of "Cut". These tracks are very visceral in sound (and fairly clean and clear),and show what this band was capable of ("Vindictive","Shoplifting","Instant Hit",as examples) live. The demos and rough mixes are fun to listen to ("I Heard It Through The Grapevine","Newtown","So Tough","Love Und Romance"),as are the instrumental tracks ("Instant Hit","Typical Girls"). Bu the extras on this release are icing on the cake-they're not really essential-the original album was put together so well.
But for anyone who has listened to this album over the years,and still finds it a pretty exhilarating listening experience (like me),this deluxe version makes for more of a good thing. The addition of the live/rough mixes will be a valuable addition to an already fine album. If you haven't heard this album,give it a listen or three-you might find yourself slipping into the infectious grooves that this band sets down. The combination of naivete and the thick,oozing,dub feeling of Jamaican music is all over these tracks. Hopefully this version of a classic 70's album will find it's way to more listeners than the original vinyl did the first time around."
Who could forget the Slits???
K. Toman | Portland, OR USA | 06/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember hearing the Slits back when I was about 14 and thought, What a cool band: these English gals with their quirky but funky sound. Particularly the song, "Ping-Pong Affair"--to this day I can still sing the bridge and chorus lines right down to faking their cockney-esqe accents, LOL. Incidentally, the Slits were in town last fall and did a show, wonder of wonders! Definitely one of those short-lived but memorable acts from that late-'70s post-punk era."