Meat Is Murder (studio album) by The Smiths

Meat Is Murder
Meat Is Murder by The Smiths
Year: 1985
Overall rank: 245th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 1,097 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution
Award Top 5 albums of 1985 (4th)
Award Top 50 albums of the 1980s (29th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (245th)
Product Details

The Smiths-Meat Is Murder (UK IMPORT) CD NEW
Condition: Brand New
Time left: 7h 26m 19s
Ships to: Worldwide

The Smiths - Meat Is Murder (remastered) NEW CD
Condition: Brand New
Time left: 8h 25m 27s
Ships to: Worldwide

The Smiths - Meat is Murder - LP - Warners - NEW SEALED
Condition: New
Time left: 9h 57m 1s
Ships to: Worldwide
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The Smiths bestography

Meat Is Murder is ranked 3rd best out of 14 albums by The Smiths on

The best album by The Smiths is The Queen Is Dead which is ranked number 19 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 48,085.

The Smiths album bestography « Higher ranked (188th) This album (245th) Lower ranked (257th) »
The SmithsMeat Is MurderStrangeways, Here We Come

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Meat Is Murder track list

Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 86 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Meat Is Murder ratings

Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 1,097 votes)
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Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on This album has a Bayesian average rating of 81.9/100, a mean average of 80.5/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 82.0/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.5.

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From 07/15/2020 00:26
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From 03/31/2020 07:36
When discussing The Smiths within musical circles, many would cite The Queen is Dead's politically-laced barrages of sound or perhaps the shyly-communicated romantic and physical insecurities of the band's brilliant debut record. When Meat is Murder eventually surfaces in conversation, it comes embroidered with the tagline, "The one where Morrissey pontificates about vegan ideals?" While it's certainly true that the album's title track is just as preachy as it is powerful, the record stands (albeit mostly unseen by most) as one of the band's most consistently brilliant outings. One could certainly attest to this album being the most varied in the discography, fluctuating between windswept, idyllic ballads and guitar-driven, rebellious canticles. This stylistic grab bag usually results in an uneven sonic experience, however, with the collective talent on hand, The Smiths deliver a master stroke markedly representative of their entire body of work.

The Headmaster Ritual kicks off the record, which serves as the band's statement on corporal punishment in educational settings. Marr's guitar is promptly infectious on the track, serving as the skeleton of the song while Mike Joyce's drum hits assume the figure of a percussive heart. Morrissey's yowls can be found scattered throughout, bridging between condemning cries of "Belligerent ghouls, run Manchester schools, spineless bastards all." The frontman's personal experiences can certainly be inferred upon here. It's possible his inclination towards artistic pursuits and not athletics made his time at school tumultuous. The Headmaster Ritual is a potent opener, flaunting wondrous instrumentation and inciting social discourse. Track two entitled, Rusholme Ruffians, conjures a carnival scene set against the backdrop of a hot summer evening in Manchester. Morrissey, from a lyrical standpoint, relays his most satirical skepticisms. He beckons, "Scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen, this means you really love me." He then recants (slightly), proclaiming that his "faith in love is still devout". Sixth track, Nowhere Fast, continues with all things snide, although far less concealed. Lyrics such as, "I'd like to drop my trousers to the Queen, every sensible child will know what this means" serve as a playful foreshadowing of political sentiments to follow. Marr's rockabilly rhythms once again propel the track reiteratively interlocked with Joyce's dependable drumming. For the quintet, Nowhere Fast acts as the musical equivalent of "cocking a snook". The album then coasts into seventh track, Well I Wonder, manifesting as part lullaby and epitaph. The appropriate visual accompaniment is that of beads of rain wandering down a windowpane as the sound of the drops patter overhead. Morrissey's vocal delivery is painful serene here as he croons, "Gasping, but somehow still alive, this is the fierce last stand of all I am." Andy Rourke's bass work creates a sense of space for the vocals, constructing a visual of Morrissey transmitting from the deepest, ghastliest alleyway where his pained but gorgeous falsettos only go as far as the wind takes them.

Morrissey's polarizing views on meat-infused diets, (comparing meat eating to child abuse and biting into your grandmother among others), often lampoon the album as an extension of those divisive statements. These snippets, nevertheless, should not detract from what an immense triumph this record still is, despite the idealogical load it must unfairly saddle. The Smiths were indeed two steps ahead of most of their contemporaries in the 1980's and routinely reduced similar-sounding groups to cut-rate emulations. Coinciding with their imminent prime was Meat is Murder, a stirring collection of some of The Smiths' finest musical exertions, layered and textured both in instrumentation and poetic capability. Ignominiously, It continues to remain back-seated when pitted against other Smiths discography entries. Oddly enough, you'll "get a crack on the head" for daring to bring it up.

"This is the last night of the fair,
and the grease in the hair,
of a speedway operator
is all a tremulous heart requires.
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes?"

--Rusholme Ruffians

Standout Tracks:

1. Nowhere Fast
2. The Headmaster Ritual
3. Rusholme Ruffians

Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 02/19/2020 02:56
best band of the 80's for sure.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 09/23/2019 19:30
Really good, on par with the debut.

Favorites: The Headmaster Ritual; I Want The One I Can't Have; What She Said; That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore; Nowhere Fast; Well I Wonder.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/21/2019 20:11

Better than the debut
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (2 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 07/22/2019 15:21
Favorite Tracks:Barbarism Begins At Home
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 04/15/2019 23:36
Best track: "The Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"
Weakest track: "What She Said"
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 04/09/2019 14:33
U.S. Version includes the previously released single "How Soon Is Now?"
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 09/30/2018 02:04
Argueably this the smiths's best album in matter of instrumental madness, the bass, the guitar, and sometimes even the drums breaks the norm from an alternative mid-80s sound, leaving us with some intense sounding stuff. But I much prefer the more laid-back kind of Smiths, but this is still a great album.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 04/21/2018 14:13
Fantastic album. Apparently this made my dad go vegan for a short time in the 90's.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1985
1. Hounds Of Love by Kate Bush
2. Rain Dogs by Tom Waits
3. Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits
4. Meat Is Murder by The Smiths
5. Psychocandy by The Jesus And Mary Chain
6. The Head On The Door by The Cure
7. Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears
8. Tim by The Replacements
9. Low-Life by New Order
10. Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout
11. Misplaced Childhood by Marillion
12. Rum Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues
13. This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall
14. This Is The Sea by The Waterboys
15. New Day Rising by Hüsker Dü
16. Fables Of The Reconstruction by R.E.M.
17. Little Creatures by Talking Heads
18. Around The World In A Day by Prince And The Revolution
19. Love by The Cult
20. Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke
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