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Talking Heads — Houses In Motion
Album: Remain In Light
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2929









Released: 1980
Length: 4:19
Plays (last 30 days): 3
For a long time I felt without style or grace
Wearing shoes with no socks in cold weather
I knew my heart was in the right place
I knew I'd be able to do these things.

And as we watch him digging his own grave
It is important to know that was where he's at
He can't afford to stop...That is what he believe
He'll keep on digging for a thousand years.

I'm walking a line-I'm thinking about empty motion
I'm walking a line-Just barely enough to be living
Get outa the way-No time to begin
This isn't the time-So nothing was done
Not talking about-Not many at all
I'm turning around-No trouble at all
You notice there's nothing around you, around you
I'm walking a line-Divide and dissolve.

Never get to say much, never get to talk
Tell us a little bit, but not too much
Right about then, is where she give up
She has closed her eyes, she has give up hope

I'm walking a line-I hate to be dreaming in motion
I'm walking a line-Just barely enough to be living
Get outa the way-No time to begin
This isn't the time-So nothing was done
Not talking about-Not many at all
I'm turning around-No trouble at all
I'm keeping my fingers behind me, 'hind me
I'm walking a line-Divide and dissolve.

I turn myself around, I'm moving backwards and forwards
I'm moving twice as much as I was before
I'll keep on digging to the center of the Earth
I'll be down in there moving the in the room...

I'm walking a line-Visiting houses in motion
I'm walking a line-Just barely enough to be living
Get outa the way-No time to begin
This isn't the time-So nothing was done
Not talking about-Not many at all
I'm turning around-No trouble at all
Two different houses surround you, 'round you
I'm walking a line-Divide and dissolve.
Comments (253)add comment
disagree with Sir Bill, I say BYrne this garbage!   :)
Just heard Bill's back announcement regarding this track.
100% agree. Talking Heads, the soundtrack to my youth.
Talking Heads, Blondie, Ramones, Television et al....part of a very eclectic period of music. Glad I was there.
Shades of Yello?
 jukes1 wrote:
Sure it was influential. That doesn't mean it was good. 

It was EXCELLENT!!  
Still amazing.  Here’s to extremely skilled musicians and artists. 
 jukes1 wrote:
Sure it was influential. That doesn't mean it was good. 


Doesn't mean it was bad, either.
Sure it was influential. That doesn't mean it was good. 
 KristinCredit wrote:

i just caught the Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew Remain in Light tour - it was excellent!!



Argh, didn't know about that, bummed to miss it - maybe they didn't make it to Chicago?
 KristinCredit wrote:

i just caught the Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew Remain in Light tour - it was excellent!!



I saw it as well. So good. The backing band was ridiculously tight too. 
 Johnwayne wrote:

Hated this song in 1980..still do!


Liked this song in 1980..still do!
Solid 7.. 8 from me.

Absolutely outstanding track from a brilliant album
Hated this song in 1980..still do!
Ahhhh...the elephanticity of Belew - always special.
 KristinCredit wrote:

i just caught the Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew Remain in Light tour - it was excellent!!



Sweet - did not hear anything about this?
i just caught the Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew Remain in Light tour - it was excellent!!
 unclehud wrote:

No kidding.  43 years old now.  Wow.



I was 25yrs old when this was was released. I immediately bought the album. I am now 68yrs old.  I loved it then, & I still love it!  Thanx RP!   
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I'm sorry, but this simply cannot be 42 years old.


No kidding.  43 years old now.  Wow.
I'm walking a line - Straight to the Sucko-Barfo rating
I'm walking a line - Can't hit the Skip button quick enough

byrned out byrne, ugh
Is that Richie Salomoto on the trumpet?
I'm sorry, but this simply cannot be 42 years old.
Genius
For the first 35 or so years hearing this song, I never really appreciated the contribution of Adrian Belew to the Talking Heads. I do now. What a unique musician! 
Certainly one of my Top 10 albums of all time. It was life changing when I heard this for the first time, and I'm as intrigued by it today as then - genius in motion!
 thewiseking wrote:

Byrne was so much better with Chris and Tina
They kept it funky!


I Agree!!  David Byrne's solo work is hit or miss for me! Although some of his stuff IS great!

On this, in the concert footage in Stop Making Sense, & even moreso, on Casual Gods, Jerry Harrison plays totally bad-ass FUNKY keys!
 grhorn wrote:
why are people calling this noise "elephant" sounds?  


"Elephant Talk"  1981
Byrne was so much better with Chris and Tina
They kept it funky!
Algelique Kidjo has been touring performing (her version of) this album. Pretty cool concept to merge this brilliant album with African sensibilities. Hard to see this album as anything other than superb.
R.I.P. 

Jon Hassell (March 22, 1937 – June 26, 2021)

The man behind brilliant trumpet tracks on this song. Thank you for the music!
Of course. The perfect segue from Cracker's "Kerosene Hat". Naturally. 
 CosmicDon wrote:



The elephant is Adrian Belew on guitar.


Good to know who the elephant in the room is!
why are people calling this noise "elephant" sounds?  
 rpdevotee wrote:

I love that huge elephant horn sound which I guess is a synthesizer.  Truly unique which is why these guys were known for being so artistic.  The percussion section was also a master of creativity--so many percussive sounds coming together.  Just love it.




The elephant is Adrian Belew on guitar.

When listened to Remain in light and My life in the Bush of Ghosts my life changed suddenly.
I think that's "Elephant Talk" that Adrian is doing on his freaky guitar
 rpdevotee wrote:
I love that huge elephant horn sound which I guess is a synthesizer.  Truly unique which is why these guys were known for being so artistic.  The percussion section was also a master of creativity--so many percussive sounds coming together.  Just love it.
 

The elephant sound is probably Adrian Belew who is part of the musicians who participated in this record. He's done a similar effects through different other King Crimson and solo records.
 rpdevotee wrote:
I love that huge elephant horn sound which I guess is a synthesizer.  Truly unique which is why these guys were known for being so artistic.  The percussion section was also a master of creativity--so many percussive sounds coming together.  Just love it.
 

I was thinking it sounds like a vuvuzela myself… a vuvuzela with tonal variation, mind you…
 ArrayMac wrote:
Memories of this performed live: Police Picnic 1982 Toronto.
 

Amen fellow Torontonian
required playing if you had a DJ slot at your college's radio station in the 80's
god approve  
Memories of this performed live: Police Picnic 1982 Toronto.
 SeriousLee wrote:
5 -> 6

Even hurt doing it.
 
But Seriouslee, Admit it, felt good to do it!
 suwayama wrote:


Was? I don't think so. IS one of their finest, on a par with Fear of Music.
 
And More Songs About Buildings and Food, if you ask me. Three magnificent pieces in a row
this is pure music!
5 -> 6

Even hurt doing it.
 thewiseking wrote:
this was some album
 

Was? I don't think so. IS one of their finest, on a par with Fear of Music.
 jbuhl wrote:

Album Credits Belew with Rowland Guitar Synth.   I expect that is what we are hearing
 
That's definitely gotta be Adrian doing the elephant sound - it's very much his kind of thing.

Just imagining Adrian and David interacting is delightful. 
 tinypriest wrote:
Outstanding album.
Endlessly interesting.

I can still listen to the whole thing from beginning to end and be fascinated and exuberated by it, after almost 40 years..
 
100% with you.  This is a musical masterwork top to bottom. If this came out tomorrow I would be as blown away as I was then!
 IrieTom wrote:


I might be mistaken, but I think that sound came from Adrian Belew's guitar.  



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIoEr2ZXD8
 
Album Credits Belew with Rowland Guitar Synth.   I expect that is what we are hearing
Always love Belew's "elephanticity" on this track.  Iconic album still as good today as then
Nice segue from HP Lovecraft.  Taking this from a 7 to an 8.  This song is still growing on me after all of these years.
What was I thinking giving this just an 8?  The Adjustment Bureau says +1 to a 9!



Love it 
 rpdevotee wrote:
I love that huge elephant horn sound which I guess is a synthesizer.  Truly unique which is why these guys were known for being so artistic.  The percussion section was also a master of creativity--so many percussive sounds coming together.  Just love it.
 

I might be mistaken, but I think that sound came from Adrian Belew's guitar.  



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIoEr2ZXD8
Will someone please swat that fly!
Outstanding album.
Endlessly interesting.

I can still listen to the whole thing from beginning to end and be fascinated and exuberated by it, after almost 40 years..
The Heads were so inventive, much of their work held no generational boundaries - this song is one such example; it could have been released in the 70's,it could have been released in the new millennium. 
Angelique Kidjo recently released a track-by-track version of this album.  Worth a listen!
People who love this can't be bad.
For the folks who don't like this, let me recommend the Muzak version.
Anyone else think this sounds like a really squeaky fart? 
 thewiseking wrote:
this was some album
 


Just a lot. 

 Siberian_snowman wrote:
 
+1 Arggghhhh
Really bad...
I love that huge elephant horn sound which I guess is a synthesizer.  Truly unique which is why these guys were known for being so artistic.  The percussion section was also a master of creativity--so many percussive sounds coming together.  Just love it.
I can't see many albums in the coming remainder of my lifetime jazzing me this hard the first time I hear it. Just a fact of a shortening life of listening. 
This was quite a record. Nobody plays this track. Forgot how much I like this stuff. Thanks, RP!
The sound of GENIUS! F'n BRILLIANT!  
Bumped that one from 4 to 5.

I think I'm going senior. Or senile. Take your pick.
E - fu_king - G A D S
 alezz_ua wrote:
Tonnes of remarks here on RP about how TH music was innovative back in 80s.
But today listening to TH really feels like visiting in museum of IT.
You know what was also innovative in 80s? IBM PC. Nostalgic in museum. Useless on daily basis.
Please don't make TH a daily experience.

IBM PC
 
{#Clap}
I used to play this and KC "discipline" back to back while cleaning the shop. 
this was some album
 LPCity wrote:

Well said.  And yet, reading and listening to the lyrics today I had to laugh because it reminds me of many conversations with my teenage daughter: half sentences, changes of direction mid-stream of consciousness rambling and, occasionally, an actual reply to the question I originally asked her.

I dig the song. 

 
It still rules. 

Your daughter is channeling early TH, I'm guessing.  
 andycollingridge wrote:
Byrne's poetic lyrical genius shines particularly brightly through this one. Always loved his determined use of clean, simple language to conjure up unique, slightly off-kilter little worlds. 
 
Well said.  And yet, reading and listening to the lyrics today I had to laugh because it reminds me of many conversations with my teenage daughter: half sentences, changes of direction mid-stream of consciousness rambling and, occasionally, an actual reply to the question I originally asked her.

I dig the song. 
Pure garbage.  Put that Dada-ist offal back in the midden heap where it belongs.
 SeriousLee wrote:
I'm sure that was a great tune 36 years ago.

 
It wasn't
I'm sure that was a great tune 36 years ago.
Just a noise....
 scraig wrote:


 
pheeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww - a - pheeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww !!!!!!!  cool tune man
I've always thought that this is one of the trippiest songs ever, from maybe THE trippiest album ever. That warble-horn effect wows me!
Nothing like some good Head. makes me want to get up and move.
I seem to be in the minority on RP but I love this album and also More Songs About Buildings and Food.  However I don't like some of TH later stuff.  This particular song reminds me of a road trip from New South Wales to Queensland in Australia in the early 1980's.  Unusual music for a wonderful experience.
 andycollingridge wrote:
Byrne's poetic lyrical genius shines particularly brightly through this one. Always loved his determined use of clean, simple language to conjure up unique, slightly off-kilter little worlds. 
 
Good to read your comment
Sucko Barfo only scrapes the surface of how bad this song is. 

OMG, what a day for such an annoying cackle.

 


{#Guitarist}{#Bananajam}{#Drummer}{#Bananajam}
Tonnes of remarks here on RP about how TH music was innovative back in 80s.
But today listening to TH really feels like visiting in museum of IT.
You know what was also innovative in 80s? IBM PC. Nostalgic in museum. Useless on daily basis.
Please don't make TH a daily experience.

IBM PC



Byrne's poetic lyrical genius shines particularly brightly through this one. Always loved his determined use of clean, simple language to conjure up unique, slightly off-kilter little worlds. 
 Kaw wrote:

I agree.

 
I agree as well
 Tippster wrote:

I understand this song is a bit... challenging... but RP has probably been playing TH since day 1.  Maybe you need to find a different free internet radio station?

 
Or, you could find some tolerance for people who disagree with you.
I loathe the Talking Heads (with one or two very minor exceptions) — and U2, for that matter — but I would neither give up on the often inspiring Radio Paradise on that basis, nor would I urge you to move on simply because you don't understand the "challenging" Rickie Lee Jones.


 Tippster wrote:

I understand this song is a bit... challenging... but RP has probably been playing TH since day 1.  Maybe you need to find a different free internet radio station?

 
I've been listening to (and promoting) RP for over 12 years, so don't be lecturing me.

I'm entitled to my complete and total disdain for TH and DB.
Maybe it's the hops, but this has been a great set this evening....
 jagdriver wrote:
No.Talking.Heads.here.thanks.    {#Naughty}

 
I understand this song is a bit... challenging... but RP has probably been playing TH since day 1.  Maybe you need to find a different free internet radio station?
 scraig wrote:


 
I agree.
Was listening to this album earlier today while running, and, as it always has and shall ever continue to do so, the brilliance shines on...
 yep absolutely brillant.
Ahnyer_Keester wrote:

Couldn't agree more! 10 all the way!!

 


No.Talking.Heads.here.thanks.    {#Naughty}

brilliant!  {#Dancingbanana}
Oh shi(f)t... :-)
I want to listen to quite good songs.,,,,, how do i find them
 aspicer wrote:
Perplexing to me how this is a 6.6 with the quality of listeners on RP?! This is/was some the most innovative music of then and even now! A clear 10! 

 
Couldn't agree more! 10 all the way!!
Perplexing to me how this is a 6.6 with the quality of listeners on RP?! This is/was some the most innovative music of then and even now! A clear 10! 
10, next one
 LowPhreak wrote:
Belew's guitar and Weymouth's bass on this record is the shit. {#Guitarist}

 
Oh, I thought it was quite good.
Belew's guitar and Weymouth's bass on this record is the shit. {#Guitarist}
 gekkosan wrote:
Is that John Hassel in the trumpet?
   

nagsheadlocal wrote:

I've always wondered who was playing in the horn section on this -  has a nice feel. If you find out let us know (teh Googles are silent on this).

 
My friends and I always thought it was Jon Hassell playing. And golly yes, Wikipedia says it is so: ""Houses in Motion" incorporates lengthy brass performances from Jon Hassell, while "Listening Wind" features Arabic music elements."

This song was just mind-blowing when it came out...the whole album really. This is My Fave Song from one of the best albums of all time, even if it has spots that haven't really stood the test of time.
 peter_james_bond wrote:
This is white funk; distilled, concentrated, minimized, amplified, stretched, perforated, strained, crystallized, purified, radiated, treated, bombarded, refined, liquified, titrated, analyzed, chlorinated, magnified, compounded, extruded and recorded. 100% pure fun!
 
You forgot glorified and magnified (edit, I see you did include magnified).  ; )

https://images.artistdirect.com/Images/Sources/AMGCOVERS/music/cover200/drr200/r214/r21489pmxqz.jpg
Whole album is outstanding.
{#Eh}
 
peter_james_bond wrote:
This is white funk; distilled, concentrated, minimized, amplified, stretched, perforated, strained, crystallized, purified, radiated, treated, bombarded, refined, liquified, titrated, analyzed, chlorinated, magnified, compounded, extruded and recorded. 100% pure fun!

 
Bastardized.  You forgot bastardized.  Though coming from me that really makes no sense, since I hate funk.  Generally love TH.  This song?  Ah, no.
 
Absolutely Brilliant!
 Bosami wrote:
Respect the musicianship/originality/creativity of the Talking Heads? Yes.

Like this song? NO.

 
Yeah!  33 years on . . . and I just can't stay that hyper any more.
Outstanding- TH was the rocket fuel of the arts community in the 1980's.
 peter_james_bond wrote:
This is white funk; distilled, concentrated, minimized, amplified, stretched, perforated, strained, crystallized, purified, radiated, treated, bombarded, refined, liquified, titrated, analyzed, chlorinated, magnified, compounded, extruded and recorded. 100% pure fun!
 

What a fabulous comment! {#Clap}

Love this album so much...I have it on vinyl, tape cassette, CD and mp3...when the mood strikes, I need to be able to hear it whenever, wherever, however. The Remain in Light tour was unbelievably amazing, too.
 Bosami wrote:
Respect the musicianship/originality/creativity of the Talking Heads? Yes.

Like this song? NO.
 
Checkmate!