Music Monday: The Slits

The Slits were one of the first all-female groups to emerge during the punk movement of the mid-to-late Seventies. They consisted of vocalist Ari Up, who was the stepdaughter of Sex Pistol’s frontman Johnny Rotten; guitarist Viv Albertine, bassist Tessa Pollitt, and drummer Palmolive, who left the band shortly thereafter to form The Raincoats. The Slits formed in 1976 when Ari was only fourteen. Ari’s raspy, vibrato vocals and Viv’s jangly, choppy guitars gave The Slits their distinctive sound. Sadly, Ari Up passed away in October 2010 of cancer. At 48 years old, she was way too young.

“Typical Girls” was the first Slits single I bought, as an import record, in the 1980s when I started buying imported New Wave and punk singles in earnest. The song is a sardonic look at the typical, harmless pursuits expected of teenaged girls.

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