Night Music: The Slits, “Heard It Through The Grapevine”

I had a memory yesterday of walking into the Woolworth’s five and dime in Smithtown, my home town, and hearing this song on the radio for the first time. It was as memorable as JFK being shot in that way. But then I tried to imagine whether what I heard was the Gladys Knight and the Pips version (that would be September 1967), which peaked at No. 2, or the Marvin Gaye version, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in October of 1968, and I wasn’t sure. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Creedence Clearwater version, which I remember as a big hit, but which topped out No. 43 in 1970. And was 11 minutes long.

What’s for sure is it wasn’t the Slits’ version, which was the B side of their first single, Typical Girls, in 1979.

3 thoughts on “Night Music: The Slits, “Heard It Through The Grapevine”

  1. Wow. One of my favorite covers of all-time, of Hellacopter proportions. Strange that I absolutely thought of this when I listened to Ms. Peebles this morning. Did you? Surely all you guys know that Johnny Lydon/Rotten is married to the Slits singer’s mom.

    • Well, in my little intro to burn I mentioned that I though Playhouse was as perfect a song as Heard It Through the Grapevine, which may have gotten both our Spidey senses’ tingling.

      Slit’s singer Ari Up passed on to the great Marquee Club in the sky back in 2010. I didn’t realize her ma and Rotten were still an item.

  2. I realized neither that poor Ari had died of cancer nor that her mom dated Chris Spedding for years before hitching up with John (it’s all connected). Ari’s is a pretty interesting Wiki read.

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