The Slits

The Slits

In the Beginning: A Live Anthology

Cleopatra

This the way god meant punk to be heard — full-on live, warts and all.

The first seven tracks, previously unreleased, were recorded at Dingwalls in London on 6.9.77. With cracking voices, mike feedback, and coarse comments from the crowd, it’s easy to close your eyes and pretend you’re actually there witnessing a precious page of punk history. Track eight is an interesting, albeit absurd, acoustic recording of the bands notorious “Number One Enemy.” What makes this track so interesting is that they had the ‘nads (metaphorically, of course) to record it at all.

The last seven tracks are subdivided into a set called Dub Era. It is a collection of live but mixed recordings. The songs are, naturally, smoother and more evenly engineered, but they retain their raw, offensive personae.

These grrrls had no role models; they had to forge ahead on their own, by the seats of their panties, so to speak. Subsequent female rockers from Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders to Justine of Elastica can credit at least part of their success to The Slits. Cleopatra should be applauded for bringing us disc after disc of punk history, which would otherwise be lost forever. Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella Avenue, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

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