The Art of Walking is the fourth Pere Ubu full-length. Mayo Thompson of The Red Krayola joined as guitarist for this album, and slanted the proceedings further towards deconstruction and abstraction, and away from the primal rock that former guitarist Tom Herman had facilitated. The group would record one more album with Thompson before disbanding. A notable devotee of the album was avante garde musician and future Pere Ubu member Chris Cutler.
An error in the first US pressing of the LP resulted in a vocal overdub mix being used of "Arabia" - the original UK pressing used the correct instrumental mix. The first Rough Trade CD edition also used the accidental second mix, but the remastering on the Datapanik box set restored the correct version. The individual remastered disc issued subsequently included both (titling the vocal version "Arabian Nights".) Later editions of the album also changed the title of "Miles" to "Young Miles in the Basement". A version of the song "Horses" had originally appeared on Mayo Thompson's solo album Corky's Debt to His Father in 1970.