A Certain Ratio who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year have shared Houses In Motion, an unreleased track taken from the new box set, ACR:BOX, out on Mute on 3 May 2019. Matt Mead investigates for Louder Than War.
Press release reads as follows:
This unreleased version is reworked from original tapes, recorded in 1980 with Martin Hannett. The track, a Talking Heads cover, was intended as a collaboration with Grace Jones. Although Jones attended a session with the band at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, her vocals were never completed and the vocal on this version (recorded by Jez Kerr, prior to him becoming the band’s singer) was only ever intended as a guide vocal.
Jez Kerr continues, “It was great to find this lost track and, even though the original idea was for Grace Jones to sing on it, I think this version captures the essence of ACR at their best – when we are being ACR and sounding like no one else.”
Watch the video for ‘Houses In Motion’, directed by Groovy Chaos, here
The band have announced an extensive UK tour kicking off on 27 April when they’ll bring their blistering live performance to Barrow-in-Furness, before a show at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on 4 May 2019. The band have also announced a 2-day ACR festival at Yes, in Manchester, on the 24 May (the anniversary of the actual release date of the original All Night Party 7) and 25 May with live sets from Section 25, Sink Ya Teeth, Gabe Gurnsey, ShadowParty and Eric Random joining DJs Daniel Miller, The Other Two (Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert), Jon Dasilva, The Orielles and more for a takeover of all four floors of the venue. A Certain Ratio play three sets over the two nights, including a very special set with guests including past band members for a performance on Saturday 25 May.
Full dates below, with more to be announced.
ACR:BOX was remastered by Martin Moscrop at Abbey Road studios. Featuring over 20 unreleased tracks, the box set will be available as a 7 x coloured vinyl set, 4 x CD set and digitally and its release will coincide with a series of dates.
Following on from 2018’s compilation, acr:set, the box showcases the diversity of the singles, B-sides and alternative versions of tracks that A Certain Ratio have released, but without repeating tracks recently made available. ACR:BOX collates everything that fans had been missing from the recent reissue campaign, and compliments that with a selection found after a deep delve into the archive to find all the hidden gems that had been talked about over the years, but never heard – even a few releases the band had forgotten about!
The box set, which marks the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release, the Martin Hannett produced All Night Party (Factory Records’ first single release), which was described recently by Record Collector as “a statement of future intentions: to set funk off against nervous angst.” They went on to be hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as punk funk thanks to the success of their second single, Shack Up, represented here via a radio edit from Electronic, featuring Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr.
A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in. Highlighted recently by FACT, who said: “Their dub-infused punk-funk recordings have proved massively influential over the past thirty years, and Andy Weatherall has called them his favourite ever band (a prestigious accolade in our estimation)”, the band have influenced generations of musicians – from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and Sink Ya Teeth.
Five albums were released on Factory – The Graveyard and the Ballroom (1979), To Each…(1981), Sextet (1982), I’d Like To See You Again (1982) and Force (1986). Following the release of Force, the band moved to A&M for two releases – Good Together (1989) and acr:mcr (1990) and, after the leaving the major, released Up In Downsville (1992) and Change the Station (1997) on Robs Records, the label set up by New Order’s manager and Factory’s director, Rob Gretton, an important catalyst in the Manchester scene.
Their sound is not easily pigeon holed and their influence can never be understated. The band introduced the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts.
A CERTAIN RATIO – LIVE
27 April – Barrow-in-Furness, Barrow Underground Music Society
4 May – London, Islington Assembly Hall
10 May – Wolverhampton, Newhampton Arts Centre
11 May – Belfast, Cathedral Quarter Festival
23 May – Liverpool, Phase One
24 May – Manchester, Yes ACR TAKEOVER
25 May – Manchester, Yes ACR TAKEOVER
30 May – Sheffield, The Leadmill (Steel Bar)
31 May – Newcastle, Riverside
1 June – Edinburgh, The Voodoo Rooms
2 June – Leamington Spa, Zephr Lounge
16 Aug – We Out Here Festival
17 Aug – Green Man Festival
18 Aug – County Durham, Hardwick Live Festival
24 Oct – Le Reflector, Leige, BE
26 Oct – T’Paard, The Hague, NL
27 Oct – MTC , Cologne, DE
28 Oct – Columbia Theatre, Berlin, DE
29 Oct – Uebel und Gefrahrlich, Hamburg, DE
2 Nov – Dublin, The Sugar Club
8 Nov – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
9 Nov – Birmingham, The Crossing
15 Nov – Stoke-on-Trent, The Sugarmill
16 Nov – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
17 Nov – Huddersfield, The Parish
6 Dec – Stockton on Tees, The Georgian Theatre
7 Dec – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
ACR live is Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Martin Moscrop, Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley and recent addition on keyboards, Matt Steele.
A CERTAIN RATIO – ACR:BOX tracklisting 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 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.
Back sharing a label with Factory label-mates New Order, A Certain Ratio’s collaboration with Mute has seen their full studio album catalogue made available again and a new compliation, acr:set, featuring two brand new tracks, ‘Dirty Boy’ (with vocals from Barry Adamson and Tony Wilson) and ‘Make It Happen’.
Pre-order ACR:BOX: https://smarturl.it/ACR-Box-Set
Listen to ‘W.S.L.U.’ here: https://youtu.be/hxFSS7B35mE
Tour dates and ticket links: https://acrgigography.blogspot.com/p/upcoming.html
Article by Matt Mead. Further articles by Matt can be found via the Louder Than War author archive pages.