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Meat Is Murder Original recording reissued

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Amazon's The Smiths Store


Image of album by The Smiths


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Contrived by Johnny Marr, The Smiths evolved when Marr unearthed Morrissey and insisted upon a collaboration. The idea was to produce songs which were always instantaneous and listenable whilst also provoking deep thought; emeshing Morrissey’s words with Marr’s music in a sound which, above all, would stand apart without being inaccessible or esoteric. The ... Read more in Amazon's The Smiths Store

Visit Amazon's The Smiths Store
for 66 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Meat Is Murder + Strangeways, Here We Come + The Smiths
Price For All Three: £21.93

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00002496X
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,384 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Headmaster Ritual
2. Rusholme Ruffians
3. I Want The One I Can't Have
4. What She Said
5. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
6. How Soon Is Now?
7. Nowhere Fast
8. Well I Wonder
9. Barbarism Begins At Home
10. Meat Is Murder

Product Description

Product Description

THE SMITHS Meat Is Murder (German issue 10-track CD includes How Soon Is Now Rusholme Ruffians That Joke Isnt Funny Anymore and the incredible The Headmaster Ritual. Picture sleeve booklet featuring lyrics and some great band photos!)

BBC Review

After their flawed but retrospectively admired debut album and the frankly adored stop-gap round-up of radio sessions and B-sides A Hatful Of Hollow, the Smiths' second album, Meat Is Murder, is often unloved in their canon for its occasionally overwrought and arguably contrived nature. It marked the third long-player from the group in the space of the year, such was their creative thrust at the point when they were seen as the most important British band since Joy Division.

Although the following year's The Queen Is Dead will forever be their ultimate statement, the best parts of Meat Is Murder are the best parts of the Smiths themselves with Johnny Marr vigorously playing with his stylistic toolbox. One of the greatest accusations levelled at the Smiths in the day was that everything sounded similar. Hearing Marr's magpie-ism today that couldn't be further from the truth; here we have glam ("What She Said") Elvis ("Rusholme Ruffians") and his beloved Chic ("Barbarism Begins At Home").

To compliment this, Morrissey tosses off some of his spryest lines ('I'd like to drop my trousers to the world . . . I'm a man of means, of slender means' is one of his best). OK, it's not all fab – the title track, which did much for vegetarianism in the 80s is still as maudlin as ever; and no matter how great the rhythm section are, the extended workout on "Barbarism Begins At Home" is frankly dull.

Whichever way you assess it, however, there was no other British group making music quite like this in 1985. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hoy on 26 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Personally I believe this is the most deeply affecting work to come from the magnificent oeuvre of this genre-defining band. While ‘Strangeways’ and ‘The Queen is Dead’ may have received the critical plaudits, this is The Smiths at their viscerally heart-rending best. Morrissey’s words are an intimate manifestation of a tortured soul, an intensely ‘shy’ and private man baring all- not many lyricists could sing with the conviction that Moz does on tracks such as ‘Headmaster Ritual’ or ‘That joke isn’t funny any more.’
Themes such as love, teenage-angst and death are all touched on here; hardly original but approached in such a delicate and insightful way that they are impossible not to relate to. Layered over Johnny Marrs flawless musicianship (who wouldn’t recognize the timeless melodies found in ‘How soon is Now?) ‘Meat is murder’ is certainly difficult to fault.
What is also important to remember is the context of this album- The Smiths were unique. With the benefit of retrospect and knowledge of more recent acts the music here is nothing astonishingly innovative, but at the time Morrissey, Marr and co were genuinely exceptional- at the vanguard, with a few other select bands such as Joy Division, of a genre we now all take for granted as ‘Indie.’ ‘Meat is Murder’ was literally paving the way for bands such as ‘the Stone Roses’ and their ilk.
This is an album that may not immediately obvious to the casual music enthusiast, but with perseverance ‘Meat is Murder’ is both evocative and engaging- it is a truly rewarding listen, from a truly great band.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jan. 2001
Format: Audio CD
It's the album that got me immediately hooked on The Smiths. Obvious highlights include 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore' and my favourite Smiths tack of all time (as well as the most underrated) 'Well I Wonder'. Even though critics rate 'Meat Is Murder' highly I still believe it's undeniably underrated and easily as good as 'The Queen Is Dead'. If you're considering buying your first Smiths album I'd suggest buying this one - if you do, I guarantee you'll have the complete discography within a few weeks.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. Fleck on 2 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Before I heard this album, I didnt really feel that music was worth the hassle. I didn't feel that there was any particular meaning to songs, other than keeping you entertained, and any particular in depth analysis would only result in a pretentious babble not really making any particular sense.

But, when I heard the first few seconds of "The Headmaster Ritual" I was hooked. Meat Is Murder, is for me, THE perfect album. Every song is a gem, and although some are greater than others, I wouldnt purposely skip a song to get to another, because all hold a particular place in my heart. No other album does that for me, not even "The Queen Is Dead" which most people would say is the best Smiths album, but for me is a close second.

For me, however, my two favourite songs of all time are here on this album. Starting with "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" which is just so haunting and beautiful, with Morrisey's wonderful melodic voice citing "Kick Them When They Fall Down" or the increasingly powerful and intense vocal climax, coupled with Marr's simply unbeatable rhythm. Everytime I hear the song I smile, not out of some saddistic pleasure I get from hearing the obviously sad and solemn lyrics but out of knowing that music really cant get much better.

Secondly, what I feel is their most under-rated song in "Well I Wonder". Again, the two collaberators have come up with a song that not only is moving, but deeply thought provoking and well worth the listen. I really do not know how this song has not been more readily welcomed by music fans, or indeed Smith's fans, as I value it one of their best, if not right at the top.

These two songs alone made me love music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Antony May TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD
For me, the best Smiths album will always be 'Hatful Of Hollow' simply because all of the groups studio produced albums lack the rawness that makes that early compilation such an emotional heavyweight. This is not to say that The Smiths never made a great studio album, they did but it was not 'Meat Is Murder' and here is why...

Things start well with 'The Headmaster Ritual' a thought provoking song lambasting teachers and the archaic education system of Mozza's childhood. Also good is the Elvis Presley 'His Latest Flame' riffed 'Rusholme Ruffians' which features as witty and sharply observant a lyric as any of the great man's best songs. 'I Want The One I Can't Have' is where the rot starts to set in however. Not only does the song feature a horridly out-of-key vocal by Morrissey (and yes, I know he sometimes throws in a bum note deliberately but this is just bad singing!) but the song sounds totally out of place on the album. Followed by the abrupt starting, noisy and equally out of place sounding 'What She Said' the album continues to lose direction.
'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore' thus sounds a bit 'hung out to dry' in the context of the album which is a shame because it is excellent. Morose in the extreme, its exactly the kind of depressing yet full of truth song that connected 'the lonely and the lost' to Morrissey and the band in the first place...

'How Soon Is Now?' I have pretty much discounted here. It was NOT part of the original album but was rather cynically added to the U.S. version of the album back in the day purely for marketing purposes. Of course it is a classic but for me it belongs firmly to 'Hatful Of Hollow'.

'Nowhere Fast' was the first track on side two of the original album.
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