The Slits are one of the most influential and uncompromising feminist rock bands.
The members of the band tended to use creative stage names, such as Palmolive and Ari Up. The line-up included punk rock legend Viv Albertine.
Their sound spans a range from raucous no holds barred punk to reggae tinged post-punk experiments. That vibe has particular weight here because the album this is from was produced by Dennis Bovell, a dub producer with genuine credentials in the scene.
“So Tough” is a funky piece which displays the unique style of the band at this point with great effect. It’s breathless, off-kilter, and slightly manic, taking the listener on a carnivalesque journey.
The lyrics are about being used by men and living a fast and easy life to eventually come up short. At least, that’s how I read it. The song is a bit cryptic in my opinion…
“So Tough” was released in 1979 on the critically acclaimed album Cut, which reached number 30 in the U.K. album charts at the the time and has since become a cornerstone of the post-punk canon.