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Listen to A Certain Ratio’s cover of Talking Heads’ Houses in Motion


Photo by Kevin Cummins

Listen to Houses in Motion from A Certain Ratio‘s forthcoming box set ACR:BOX.

This cover of the Talking Heads song (from their Remain in Light album) was recorded in 1980, with a guide vocal from Jez Kerr. The intention was for Grace Jones to perform vocal duties on the finished track, but for whatever reason that never happened.

Two versions of Houses in Motion feature on the ‘unreleased content’ section of the new box set. It is released by Mute as a 7LP coloured vinyl box or a three-CD set on 3 May 2019. You can read more on this here.

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A Certain Ratio

ACR BOX - 4CD set

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ACR:BOX

Singles and B-sides

1 All Night Party
2 The Thin Boys
3 Blown Away
4 Son And Heir
5 Waterline
6 Funaezekea
7 Abracadubra
8 Sommadub
9 Guess Who? (12″
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 27 Forever (Jon Dasilva’s Testimonial Mix)
28 Shack up (Electronic Radio Edit)

Unreleased content

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.

9 responses to Listen to A Certain Ratio’s cover of Talking Heads’ Houses in Motion

  1. Rare Glam says:

    I booked this on Amazon the day it was listed. I have all ten of the ACR album reissues in card gatefold sleeves issued since 2017, pity there isn’t some modest collector’s box to house all those in as well. Cool stuff.

  2. Tom Walsh says:

    What a smart track. Shame Grace Jones didn’t complete it. ACR had some class singles.
    Why no : Du The Du, Original Shack Up, Flight, Mickey Way, Wild Party?…all classic singles

    • Dr Volume says:

      All the classic singles are on the previous compilation entitled ‘Set’…This collection is a companion to that and mops up deeper cuts, b sides and unreleased tracks.

  3. Eric says:

    Definitely hypnotic! These guys were really years ahead of everybody else…
    I remember their early 1981 gig in my hometown of Lyons, France – it seems such a long time ago and yet so close at the same time…
    Will definitely buy the CD box set.

  4. Andrew says:

    I seem to remember Grace doing an interview in the NME and she mentioned she was going to be doing a cover of Houses in Motion and the interviewer (don’t remember who it was but clearly they were an idiot) told her it wasn’t a good choice. Maybe that’s the reason it never came to anything. Didn’t realise it was going to be a collaboration with ACR. Would so love to have heard her on this track.

    • Dr Volume says:

      It’s good isn’t it?, was expecting to hear a scratchy demo but this sounds like they’d got an almost finished track. Apparently Grace visited the band and Martin Hannett at Strawberry Studios (having already recorded the cover of Joy Division ‘She’s Lost Control’ ) with an eye to working with them on her album. This was all unbeknownst to Chris Blackwell (Island Records boss) who got wind of it from articles in the press and put his foot down as he had other plans…

  5. CJ says:

    Very cool–I like this very much. I’d love to hear Grace Jones doing it–she always brings an interesting take to everything she does. It seems there are so many things that she has been attached to throughout her career that never came to fruition or are sitting in a vault somewhere. I wish we would begin to hear more of that stuff.

  6. WILLIAM ENGLAND says:

    Grace Jones sings Talking Heads… ooh, I could listen to an entire album’s worth of that!!!
    Grace, Grace, are you out there???

    • CJ says:

      The thought of Grace doing other Talking Heads’ songs makes me long for a version of “Once in a Lifetime.” She could absolutely set that song on fire.

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