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Baker's Dozen

Like Choosing A Lover: Viv Albertine's Favourite Albums
Thomas Hasson , April 18th, 2013 10:07

Always forthright, the great Viv Albertine discusses her favourite albums with Tom Hasson. T-Rex, Chris Watson, Don Cherry, Beefheart, Barrett, Kate Bush and.... The Slits all feature

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'Back in the day the record you walked around the street with under your arm said who you were. People would stop you in the street and say; 'My God, I can't believe you're into...' Especially as a girl, if I had a very unusual record under my arm, people would stop me and talk to me as an equal, because I was into unusual music. It was how you got to meet people. It was a real badge.'

Former Slit Viv Albertine retired from music 25 years before returning to music industry first with an EP in 2010 and then with 2012's The Vermilion Border, her first solo LP, which is due to be released on vinyl on April 29.

In between The Slits' split and now, Albertine returned to Goldsmith's to study filmmaking and became a television director, eventually giving that up to focus on her daughter before returning to music three decades after the release of The Slits' debut album Cut.

That 1979 album, famous for its cover shot of Albertine, Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt covered in mud and wearing nothing but loincloths, influenced the punk scene at the time, the post-punk scene on the horizon and the Riot Grrrl movement that would come many years later. After its UK reissue on CD in 1999, and its first ever official release in the US in 2005, Cut put The Slits firmly where they belonged; up there with every other influential punk band of the '70s.

'I think; 'how many girls across England must have been able to play an instrument and didn't form a band?' And yet here was us four, one of the only groups that did it, who couldn't play an instrument. It was so odd. Why didn't the ones who could play get on and do it? I don't know. It was about attitude I suppose. And not many people had it.'

Speaking to The Quietus about her Baker's Dozen choices, Albertine says that 'in nearly all my choices there's humour, an openness, and an unpretentiousness.' Click the picture of Viv below to start reading her choices and let us know if you agree.


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art damij
Apr 18, 2013 2:32pm

really good and interesting choices,descriptions,stories,reasons etc..very honest,i enjoyed this..made me smile.. bang on viv!

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Apr 18, 2013 3:05pm

Fine list, docked a notch for choosing your own album. Viv, please! Fanny changed the world a tiny bit more than the Slits, and Loretta Lynn on one side, ESG the other a bit more than that. Don't pat yourself on the bum!!

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Post-Punk Monk
Apr 18, 2013 3:10pm

A great list but more than that, great insights from Ms. Albertine. I'll admit that I never made the connection between Prince and Marc Bolan… and I'm shamed. What she says about each of these albums is very illuminating and thought provoking. But I'll mention that I've had my reissue of "Cut" on CD ever since 1990 when it first came out in my universe.
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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Apr 18, 2013 4:59pm

Really good and interesting list. Viva Viv

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Apr 18, 2013 5:05pm

Always a relief to read a baker's dozen without the usual Bowie and Lou Reed albums.

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Apr 18, 2013 5:12pm

And for what it's worth... Return of the Giant Slits is a better album than Cut.

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Apr 18, 2013 5:13pm

Oh, how I wish I were that Telecaster.

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Apr 18, 2013 8:05pm

thanks for this selection/

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Apr 18, 2013 9:05pm

In reply to :

Bakers Dozen is my favourite feature, and this particular edition has been one of the best so far .

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Apr 19, 2013 1:36am

Lovely choices, and Viv writes about them so perfectly. I don't dock Viv a point for choosing "Cut," as everything she says about it is true! It's the first record I ever bought (and so I can refute the introduction that it wasn't released in the US until 1995; Antilles, an Island sub-label put it out here pretty much straight after its UK release), and it sounds more classic with each passing year. She doesn't really tout her own album, "The Vermillion Border," so I'll do it, as it's excellent and absorbing, and like "Cut," it grows on me each time I give it a spin.

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Apr 19, 2013 3:57am

yeah im gonna be that guy.... damn she is looking good!

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Apr 19, 2013 8:57am

Great stuff. The bit about owning only a handful of albums is so true :)
Got my copy of Cut off a second hand stall in Brixton Market, and the gig the Slits played at what is now the Ritzy in Brixton remains to this day one of the best.
Must pull Viv up on the funk thing though, perhaps she went to a girls school where funk was off bounds, but where I went it was a great mash up of funk / soul / reggae / rock / glam / metal / punk.
Ahhh the 70's.....

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Apr 19, 2013 10:02am

"I'm of an age where a load of shit has happened to me, a lot of it my own fault" - that's a very pertinent quote. Needless to say, I know exactly what she means... ;)

I'd forgotten all about that Leila album - I'll definitely be digging that one out for an exploratory spin when I get home from work tonight.

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Apr 19, 2013 6:33pm

What's wronmg with a whole article..not 1, 2 etc. Can people not read more than a text lenght of characters in one go any more? Barhumbugy

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Apr 19, 2013 6:36pm

or spell (self-pone!)

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tom fazzini
Apr 26, 2013 8:52am

Grea selection. And the Barrett album which Vic sums up so perfectly in all its beta male wonder.

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Apr 26, 2013 8:55am

Sorry Viv, so used to writing to my uncle Vic I hit the wrong key!

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Johnny Nothing
May 2, 2013 12:39am

"often prefer to just hear the natural noises" - absolutely feeling that sentiment...

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May 2, 2013 9:14am

An incredible and very adventurous set of albums. Some brilliant insights too on the changing attitude in the early 70s of men in rock.

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Mark T
May 9, 2013 9:43pm

God, I hope I look that good when I'm 57.

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Apr 13, 2014 10:05am

Great to hear such an uncompromising intelligent funny voice on music. Should write a book..

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Apr 9, 2015 12:20pm

Don Cherry bringing his "naff band" along to play with Viv -- great anecdote! Love the Brown Rice LP tho. Good on ya, VA.

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Degsy Love
Apr 9, 2015 12:23pm

The story of Don Cherry bringing a "naff band" along to play with Viv is v funny. Love his Brown Rice LP also. Good on ya, VA.

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Phantom Organist
Mar 31, 2016 9:29am

I've got too many new things to listen to now! Great choices, and a bit different. Loved Viv's book too.

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