Why is The Slits’ Cut on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
It’s out there and it’s freaky and it’s punk and it rocks and it all works marvelously well.
What does The Slits’ Cut mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Should we subtract “credit” from an artist or band for a great song that happens to be a cover song? Well, questioner person who happens to be myself, I think it’s all in how we define a “great song,” and in my view a cover song only becomes “great” when the new version interprets, recomposes, reconstitutes, or re-somethings the original (presumably at-least-pretty-good song) into something… if not better than the original, something that clearly stands on its own unique merits.
That being said, The Slits’ cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is both super unique and super kind of amazing all at once, a bizarro reggae punk meets experimental rock voyage that rocks and grooves like the best song by The Clash that never existed but with female vocals that are again incredibly unique. It’s out there and it’s freaky and it’s punk and it rocks and it all works marvelously well.
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” has been well covered over the years, of course. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version has been a favorite of mine for many, many years.
And here’s a powerhouse a capella version by Marvin Gaye himself.
Really cool legacy to go down a rabbit hole for that one song alone, no? But back to The Slits and Cut.
“Typical Girls” gives you a very in-your-face and lesson on the band’s worldview. It’s also really weird and really great. And it’s also a full-throated blast of punk rock female empowerment that’s way ahead of its time.
Also: the video is its own brand of amazing that you can enjoy in terms of nostalgia for late 1970s Britain or for the spectacle of the band. And same kind of goes for the beyond quirky, art poppy/punk/new wave “Instant Hit.”
The video plays like a Monty Python outtake or a super low budget horror film (or both?).
By the way, quick note about the “album art” that’s at the top of this piece. If you’ve a keen eye you’ll note that it’s the back cover of Cut. That was done on purpose because the front cover is a bit risqué, and more for the purposes of staying clear of getting dinged by any of our search engines (hi, googles, please love us, thanks!) I made an executive decision to not display the cover. That’s not really a punk rock move, I suppose, I get it.
This album also sounds like
The closest analog is fellow late 1970s art punk pioneers The Raincoats, but of course each band is also wildly doing its own thing.
Some stats & info about The Slits – Cut
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Punk, New Wave, Punk Rock, Experimental Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #260
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Cut released? 1979
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #944 out of 1,000
The Slits’ Cut on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.