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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


The Slits - Cut
I feel I can choose this because it almost feels as if that wasn't me.

I was in denial about being in The Slits. After The Slits finished I went to Goldsmiths for about a year to try and learn to read music so I could keep on not just drawing on this pool of innocence anymore, I'd have a few more tools. But the whole music industry changed and went all careerist and boring so I didn't want to be in it anymore and I went to film school, which I thought was a much more exciting medium.

It was a very academic course but I worked hard, I got my degree, I went out there and ran teams of photographers and filmmakers and producers. I ran teams and I ran shoots. I went out there and became incredibly grown up and I had a lot of money, budgets that I had to run, and I wanted to put behind me this rather childish, wild, crazy girl image and prove that I could work very hard and turn in things on budget and on time. I had a lot to prove. I had to go pitch for jobs and convince people I could do them.

All they could think of was this band named after a vagina that went wailing and shouting around. I wanted to work and I wanted to create. There was a whole different scene out there. And I am adaptable but I had to convince other people I could do it.

So I was in denial for many years. Now that I feel I can say that was a fucking great, timeless album. Again, it marries experimentation with accessibility, which I absolutely love. The songs are great, the lyrics are fantastic and I think that we were a rebellious, authentic, truthful band writing. For the first time girls were writing about those everyday things; what they smelt like, the troubles of an every day girl rather than an idealised, airbrushed girl.

I think we changed the world in a tiny little way. I think the fact that it's still resonating 30 years later, that album and that band, shows that the things we did, and we intended to make a great, timeless album, and I think we did though it wasn't really recognised at the time because we were seen through this filter of fear of being the first. Often if you're any kind of first you're seen through that filter and it often does take 20 to 30 years for the actual work that person did to be judged without the environment and the times.

It's taken 30 years, we knew it at the time, we knew were making a timeless album. That's what we'd intended, that's why we didn't take a record deal for three years until we were ready. Now I think the truth has come to pass - it is a fucking great album. It's timeless.