Meat is murder by The Smiths


Morrissey- Voice
Johnny Marr ? Piano and Guitar
Mike Joyce ? Drums
Andy Rourke ? Bass Guitar

Technical staff:

Producer: The Smiths (All tracks except ?How soon is now??)
Engineer: Stephen Street ?engineer? (All tracks except ?How soon is now?)
Producer: John Porter (How soon is now?)

Liverpool, England
Late 1984

February 1985 (Rough Trade)
March 1985 (Rough trade reissue)
February/ November 1995 (WEA Reissue)

Track listing

1. Headmaster ritual (4:25)
2. Rusholme ruffians (4:20)
3. I want the one I can?t have (3:14)
4. What she said (2:42)
5. That joke isn?t funny anymore (4:59)
6. How soon is now? (6:46) (Omitted from some releases)
7. Nowhere fast (2:37)
8. Well I wonder (4:00)
9. Barbarism starts at home (6:57)
10. Meat is murder (6:06)

Running time: 35:54

The Smiths second studio album hit British shelves on 11th of February 1985. This album is hailed as one of the most diverse albums and to even some of the most hardcore Smiths fans as it is their least listenable album according to some music journalists. Still this album became The Smiths first, and only, album to hit number one first attempt in the British charts. In the USA however the album wasn?t as well received as it reached 110th in the charts which, considering their small cult status is a large feat in its own right.

1. Headmaster Ritual

The album opens with this should-have-been-a-single track which shows Marr?s jingle-jangle-indie-pop guitar at it?s finest possibly since 1984?s hit This Charming Man. While Morrissey sings over the top of the song about ?Malignant ghouls? and ?Cemented minds?. This song seems as though it is Morrissey?s tribute to those who were or are bullied because of our mentality against conformity. The line

?Please excuse me from gym
I?ve got this terrible cold coming on?

Shows that the subject of this song is unwilling to take part in this event to which the headmaster replies by:

?He grabs and devours
He kicks me in the showers
Kicks me in the showers
And he grabs and devours?

2. Rusholme Ruffians.

The second song on the album seems to be where Oasis must drag their Smiths guitar influence from as it sounds like a guitar technique that is used commonly on Oasis albums. The sing also bears a slight Paul Weller of The Jam guitar sound. The song tells of a boy who goes to the fair and meets or sees a girl. The girl is their with her parents so he cannot make his moves so he walks home alone but still devotes himself to the girl he has never spoken to.

3. I Want The One I Can?t Have.

I want the one I can?t have starts again with the jingle jangle indie pop of Johnny Marr?s guitar before Morrissey?s melancholy vocals tell the tale of how he loves someone who he can?t have and because of this he is obviously going mad. Morrissey tells his listening audience that a ?A double bed, And a stalwart lover for sure? are the riches of the poor as this is all he wants.

4. What She Said

What she said is The Smiths venturing into their more rockabilly roots as the track opens with a typical Rockabilly shuffle. This track is a very enjoyable track which sounds very unlike the smiths usual Jangle pop this still might have the same tone settings but the guitar playing style has advanced since their first album and this is one of the many reasons Johnny Marr is the king of indie guitar.

5. That Joke Isn?t Funny Anymore

Possibly The Smiths most moving moment in my opinion. The way I see this song is that it is about the constant rumours about Morrissey being gay. Morrissey gives a fine and angst ridden vocal performance that only he could deliver. The song also uses the fade at the end motions of Hand in glove. For other versions of this track see ?The world won?t listen?

6. How Soon Is Now?
Morrissey again at his most controversial writing about, according to some sources, a gay term. Even though this song was a staple of The Smiths live set the song doesn?t follow their usual style. The song uses a guitar that?s volume continuously is turned up and down. The line:

?When you say it?s gonna happen "now"
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See, I?ve already waited too long
And all my hope is gone?

Might indicate the want of a physical relationship, Morrissey is celibate and maybe this is him saying that really he wants to have sex but feels no one will love him enough. Another thing that separates this from most Smiths songs is the fact it has a Verse that is repeated on numerous occasions a chorus and a bridge. For another version of this see ?Morrissey: live at earls court.?

7. Nowhere Fast

This song follows a similar style to Rusholme Ruffians. This song seems to be about a man who is shielded from the realities of the world and only wants do something crazy like drop his trousers to the world. The song also seems to be about Morrissey often being portrayed as being glum so he would like to show the world that he isn?t boring by acting like a child.

8. Well I Wonder

Well I wonder starts with a depressing bass line and piece of acoustic guitar play that changes as soon a Mozza begins to sing. This song seems to be about someone who just wants to be thought about. The repetitive bass line is what makes this song as it is one of those bass lines that while it depresses you, you still want to listen. The song retraces over Morrissey?s high note singing which has been used in just about every second Smiths song. The rain in the background of this song sets the tone for this song as being dreary and even though it is, at times, in audible.

9. Barbarism Starts At Home

This song shows off the Smiths and Meat Is Murder?s funky side guitar wise but the track is still lay den with the typical Morrissey slow waltz vocals that helped him become one of Britain?s biggest cult heroes. Again in this song Morrissey uses his usual repetition style of writing that he has used in about every single one of his songs since the very first time he wrote a song.

10. Meat is Murder.

The title track starts off to the sound of shears gnawing away at an animal?s fur before it is killed and used as food. The music in the background seems to build up before quickly coming back down again before Morrissey?s vocals come in and pull you in. The song is about, as the title would suggest, how vegetarian Morrissey believes eating meat is? murder. This song has some of the best lyrics on the album with lines like

?Heifer whines could be in human cries, closer comes the screaming knife, this beautiful creature must die.?

Throughout the song the animal noises continue and give the song an eerie feeling before the album and the song draws to a close.


Overall, this is one of the best albums ever to come out of the British Empire and should most definitely be up high in top album charts. This was The Smiths first number one album and deservedly so. Although the band were close to splitting up, it would take another two years and two albums but the cracks were shining through then, still they managed to produce this album which is a testament to how great British indie was at the time.
Brilliant album, brilliant band, but do they count as classic rock?
Originally posted by fuzzybunny
I hereby dub you the UG's new God of Love. Really. That was brilliant.

Originally posted by someone i can't remember
the one called lukef speaks the truth.
Indie forum maybe? Anyway, brilliant band but I'm not so fussed on this album, it's their weakest studio album in my opinion.
Mmmm...It has some good stuff, but not anywhere near as good as TQID or Self titled.

And the title track just feels pretentious in my eyes...I dunno, I just think they hit a low (well not that low) with this album.
Quote by rayIII
nice album cover

QFT haha

Good review, all in all

Learn how to spell, grammar is your friend

Member #11 of the Les Paul owners club, pm Waterboy799 to join.

Blues player of the Laney Cult
Quote by Myonosken
Mmmm...It has some good stuff, but not anywhere near as good as TQID or Self titled.

And the title track just feels pretentious in my eyes...I dunno, I just think they hit a low (well not that low) with this album.

My thoughts exactly.
Quote by mmm... ice
They aren't classic rock really but when I sad to witty00 he said it was ok.

Well I didn't know who The Smiths were, so I didn't know they weren't Classic Rock. Thanks for getting it posted anyway..
My favorite band of all time.
I haven't even attempted a Smiths song on guitar (which I just started playing again), Marr's brillliance intimidates me! Maybe the beautiful 'Well I Wonder'.
Last edited by ezears at Sep 16, 2006,