Meat Is Murder (studio album) by The Smiths

Meat Is Murder by The Smiths
Year: 1985
Overall rank: 244th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 1,192 votes)
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Award Top 5 albums of 1985 (4th)
Award Top 50 albums of the 1980s (29th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (244th)
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The Smiths - Meat Is Murder [Import] NEW Sealed Vinyl LP Album
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The Smiths bestography

Meat Is Murder is ranked 3rd best out of 15 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 43,748.

The Smiths album bestography « Higher ranked (187th) This album (244th) Lower ranked (265th) »
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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 1,192 votes)
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06/30/2022 21:34 MadhattanJack  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 49771/100
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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 14.7.

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From 05/27/2022 17:52
I haven’t really liked The Smiths on previous listens, but I really enjoyed the combination here of Morrisey’s biting lyrics with unusual musical styles (rockabilly, funk, etc.). Helps lighten the dour mood which tends to otherwise dominate Smiths records.
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From 02/05/2022 09:39
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From 01/26/2022 19:56

Pertenece a los dos discos más flojos de los Smiths, este y Strangeways. Los tengo con casi igual puntaje. En comparación a debut y a The Queen Is Dead, le tengo mucho menos apego a este y a Strangeways. De hecho, hoy por primera vez he escuchado algunas canciones por primera vez como Meat is Murder y Barbarism Begins at Home. Me parece que en una versión del album aparece How Soon is Now? y veré si en un futuro también la incluyo como si le perteneciera a este album, porque eso le subiría el puntaje.
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From 12/25/2021 10:16
Incredibly consistent album. Some of Morrissey's best (and naturally most dark) lyrics are on this album - That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore shows compassion for people who are depressed, The Headmaster Ritual and Barbarism Begins at Home explores child abuse, the title track although admittedly preachy is also beautifully written. Some highlights lyrically are "Sir please excuse me from gym, I've got this terrible cold coming on, he grabs and devours, he kicks me in the showers" (Headmaster Ritual), "She is famous, she is funny, an engagement ring doesn't mean a thing to a mind consumed by brass and money" (Rusholme Ruffians) but there are so many more.

The only forgettable song is What She Said but that is still a nice track. My highlights are Barbarism Begins at Home, Well I Wonder and The Headmaster Ritual.
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From 03/25/2021 15:17
As sacadas desse álbum são demais!!
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From 03/04/2021 02:07
Get a CD with How Soon Is Now and it's hands-down their best album. It feels like the album was always meant to have that track in that exact sequence.

This is the most energetic this band ever got and their most consistently-good songwriting, the title track drags but everything before that is one catchy, memorable hook after the other without any of the fat that makes up a few tracks on Queen Is Dead.

Highs: The Headmaster Ritual, I Want The One I Can't Have, Well I Wonder
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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

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From 02/19/2020 02:56
best band of the 80's for sure.
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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.
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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. Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears
7. The Head On The Door by The Cure
8. Tim by The Replacements
9. Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout
10. Misplaced Childhood by Marillion
11. Low-Life by New Order
12. Rum Sodomy & The Lash by The Pogues
13. This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall
14. New Day Rising by Hüsker Dü
15. This Is The Sea by The Waterboys
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. The Dream Of The Blue Turtles by Sting
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