Wednesday, May 4

The Slits - "Typical Girls" / "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1979)

"Following on from the more recent spiky, punky, dubby sound of MIA’s ‘Paper Planes’, we have this classic from proto riot girrrls The Slits. Their take on ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine‘ (Motown’s lament about 'the rumor mill that swirls around a cheating lover') has been described as 'the gold standard in violently recontextualized punk covers' and 'transcendent'. The song is memorable by virtue of it doing what all the best covers surely should: radically reinterpreting a song (a classic in its own right in this case, though I’d suggest it doesn’t have to be) and making it into something new. Apart from the genre shift, Ari’s vocal twists and ingenious insertion of 'I heard it through the bassline' at one point in the song give it a life of its own. Meanwhile, the lack of change in terms of heterosexist and standard gender appropriate alterations is refreshing. ..."
Song of the day: The Slits – I Heard it Through the Grapevine
YouTube: Typical Girls, I Heard It Through The Grapevine

2010 October: Ari Up (17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010), 2012 July: Subatomic Sound System meets Lee Scratch Perry & Ari Up of the Slits (7″ vinyl), 2014 September: Live in Cincinnati and San Francisco 1980, 2015 August: Return Of The Giant Slits (1981/2007)