A Certain Ratio – “Houses In Motion” (Talking Heads Cover) Video

It’s called Remain In Light, but Talking Heads’ masterful fourth album spends its entire runtime disappearing into shadows. After an opening side comprising three infectious avant-garde rhythm bombs, the second side progresses from oddball pop hit “Once In A Lifetime” into a series of increasingly dark and spooky beat-driven tracks. “Houses In Motion” is the beginning of that descent, a heavy groove marked by David Byrne’s haunted musings about shoes without socks and digging your own grave for 1,000 years.

A Certain Ratio, Talking Heads’ peers in envelope-pushing, body-moving post-punk experimentation, recorded a cover of “Houses In Motion” many years ago, when Remain In Light was still a current release. The original idea was to have the legendary Grace Jones sing on it, but her vocal take was never completed. Instead we get Jez Kerr guiding us through a faithful reworking. Also: vocoders!

The cover will be included on ACR:BOX, a sprawling new compilation featuring more than 20 unreleased A Certain Ratio songs among its 54 tracks. It’s coming out next month to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s first release, a single called “All Night Party” that was produced by Martin Hannett and was the first release on Factory Records. The comp follows Mute’s recent reissue of the full A Certain Ratio discography.

Hear the Talking Heads cover below, where you can see the full ACR:BOX tracklist.

01 “All Night Party”
02 “The Thin Boys”
03 “Blown Away”
04 “Son And Heir”
05 “Waterline”
06 “Funaezekea”
07 “Abracadubra”
08 “Sommadub”
09 “Guess Who? (12″ version)”
10 “Tumba Rumba”
11 “Knife Slits Water (12″ version)”
12 “Kether Hot Knives (Mix In Special)”
13 “I Need Someone Tonight”
14 “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”
15 “Life’s a Scream”
16 “There’s Only This”
17 “Si Fermir O Grido (Touch Cassette Version)”
18 “Brazilia 6.10″
19 “Sounds Like Something Dirty”
20 “The Runner (Greetings Four Version)”
21 “Inside (Greetings Four Version)”
22 “Bootsy (Greetings Four Version)”
23 “Fever 103 (Greetings Four Version)”
24 “Loosen Up Your Mind”
25 “The Planet”
26 “Turn Me on (7″ Edit)”
27 “Forever (Jon Dasilva’s Testimonial Mix)”
28 “Shack up (Electronic Radio Edit)”

29 “Houses In Motion (Demo Version 1)”
30 “Houses In Motion (Demo Version 2)”
31 “And Then Again (Another version)”
32 “Piu Lento (John Peel Session)”
33 “Nostromo A Go Go (Demo)”
34 “Force (Demo)”
35 “Backs to The Wall (Demo)”
36 “The Big E (Demo)”
37 “Every Pleasure (Demo)”
38 “Rivers Edge (Demo)”
39 “Stadium (Demo)”
40 “Thin Grey Line (Demo)”
41 “Repercussions (African Mix)”
42 “BTTW 90 (Demo)”
43 “Spirit Dance (Demo)”
44 “Bitter Pill (Never Released)”
45 “It’s Trippin When I’m Fine (Previously Unreleased)”
46 “Mello (JD 800 Perc Mix)”
47 “Tekno 4 an Answer (120bpm)”
48 “Samba 123 (Demo)”
49 “Some Day (ACR rework)”
50 “Happy Meal (Working Title)”
51 “Flight Won’t Stop (Unfinished Demo)”
52 “Fruit Song (Unfinished Demo)”
53 “Say What You Mean (Unfinished Demo)”
54 “W.S.L.U.”

ACR:BOX is out 5/3 on Mute. Pre-order it here.