Man Next Door

More dubbed out wonder for the first day of June. Man Next Door was the third single from The Slits and shows them moving deeper into dub territory and away from the punkier sound of Cut. Released in 1980 Man Next Door is a cover of a John Holt tune and produced by Adrian Sherwood. Tessa Pollitt was unwell so the bass was played by Ari Up and the whole session was done at short notice, Sherwood calling to say they had a couple of hours if they could come now. Drums were played by a man called Cecil and according to Viv Albertine they didn’t ¬†know his surname and never saw him again. On the B-side Sherwood twisted the song into further abstract dub shapes which is what you’re getting here.

Man Next Door (Version)

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My Dream Last Night

Nobody really wants to hear about my dream last night- it wasn’t even that interesting. John Holt, one of the golden voices of 60s/70s roots reggae died this week aged 69. His dream was about Ali Baba and his forty thieves. The voice, the riddim, the horns- all perfect on this one.

I Heard It Through The Bassline

The Bagging Area Slits-fest continues with this astonishing piece of live footage from Berlin in 1981, playing Man Next Door- freeform dub live with The Pop Group’s Bruce Smith on drums, Neneh Cherry on backing vox and dancing and Ari, Viv and Tessa in full effect for eight minutes. There really was nothing else like them.

Man Next Door was originally a John Holt hit, based on a Dr Alimantado song, based on a Dennis Brown song.

As an extra I’ve been hammering this recently, their cover version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine (B-side to Typical Girls). It is the best dub-punk cover, bar none, and I have posted it before but it bears repeating. Tessa Pollitt’s bassline is out of this world- as Ari Up sings ‘I heard it through the bassline’

I Heard It Through The Grapevine