Ari Up was only 14 years old when she formed the Slits in 1976. Embracing the DIY attitude of punk rock, the band charted unknown territory for women rockers, and along with the Runaways paved the way for all-female (or primarily-female) rock bands. The Slits featured three women with Ari Up as the lead singer. Not your typical girl, Ari Up grew up in a household with Johnny Rotten as her step-father and received guitar lessons from Joe Strummer. In 1981 she disbanded the Slits and moved with her family to the jungles of Indonesia and Belize and eventually settled in Jamaica.

The Slits debut album Cut, released in 1979, is an obscure punk classic. The album cover featured the women wearing nothing but loincloths and mud. “Typical Girls” was the single from the album and the 12 inch included a marvelous version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. From the original vinyl, both can be heard here. Ari Up lives through her music.

The Slits

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“Typical Girls”
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

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