Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Like Choosing A Lover: Viv Albertine’s Favourite Albums

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

‘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.

First Record

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