Initially, this week’s Something for the Weekend was to be “Runaway” by Del Shannon, but following the untimely death of the Slits front-woman Ari-Up on Wednesday night, Del Shannon can wait a fortnight.
Starting out as a quartet in 1976, The Slits were one of the pioneers of dub-infused punk as demonstrated by songs such as “New town” and “Typical Girls” on their 1979 début LP, Cut.
Produced by Dennis Bovell, the album steered clear of many rock’s tepid formulations and instead embraced quite loose and avant-garde arrangements and aggressive character. Although their raucous beginnings had been tamed somewhat, the slightly polished natured still had the power to move and unnerve.
Cut was the child of the Slits’ classic line-up featuring Up, Viv Albertine, Tessa Pollitt and Palmolive; however by the time the album hit shelves, the band had already begun to disperse with Palmolive leaving to form the Raincoats in late-1978.
The Slits originally split (ahem) in 1982 after the release of their second album Return of the Giant Slits in October 1981 on CBS Records. They reformed in 2005, eventually releasing a third album, Trapped Animals late last year.