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  • Slits, The (SLT001JF)
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The Slits

The Slits were a British punk rock band formed in London in 1976 by members of the groups 'The Flowers of Romance' and 'The Castrators'. The group's early line-up consisted of Ari Up (Ariane Forster) and Palmolive (a.k.a. Paloma Romero, who played briefly with Spizzenergi and later left to join The Raincoats), with Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt replacing founding members Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy. Their 1979 debut album, Cut, has been called one of the defining releases of the post-punk era.

Captured on a Peel Session, the Slits' originally raw and raucous live sound was cleaned up and polished by the time of their debut album. Their Dennis Bovell-produced debut album Cut was released in September 1979 on Island Records, with Neneh Cherry joining as additional vocalist. The album's sleeve art depicted the band naked, except for mud and loincloths. Palmolive left the band around this time: it is often claimed that this was partly because she did not like this artwork, including by Palmolive herself, but according to Viv Albertine Palmolive had been asked to leave the band before that, and anyway does not appear on the record. She was replaced by the drummer Budgie (Peter Clarke), formerly of The Spitfire Boys and later of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

The Slits' sound and attitude became increasingly experimental and avant-garde during the early 1980s, when they formed an alliance with Bristol post-punk band The Pop Group, sharing a drummer (Bruce Smith) and releasing a joint single, "In the Beginning There Was Rhythm/Where There's a Will There's a Way" (Y Records), followed by a bizarre, uncommercial, untitled album of mostly homemade demo recordings, and a few more singles. The band toured widely and released another album, Return of the Giant Slits before breaking up in early 1982. Ari Up went on to be part of the New Age Steppers.


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