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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars defining momnet
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...
Published on 26 Oct. 2003 by Tom Hoy

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In retrospect: no classic....
Hmmm, I've been listening to many an old record lately, & have worked my way through The Smiths back-catalogue & to be fair, excepting compilation Hatful of Hollow, they didn't make a classic album until The Queen is Dead (1986). Johnny Marr's comparisons of MIM to The Beatles' Revolver sound a bit silly in retrospects; as debut The Smiths (1984) there are some great...
Published on 24 Dec. 2003 by Jason Parkes


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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars defining momnet, 26 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (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
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as 'The Queen Is Dead', 18 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (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
5.0 out of 5 stars This Album Changed My Life, 2 April 2007
By 
C. Fleck (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (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. I buy music as often as I can in an attempt to get a new experience equal to the one this album brought to me 6 months ago when I first heard it. The Smiths remain my favourite band of all time, and will probably remain so till the day I die. My only reason for writing this is to inspire other people to buy this album, as it truley is a masterpiece. And if you dont like it, oh well, at least you took a chance, and that's all that matters.

Finally, I'd like to apologise for my English. Although I'd like to think that my spelling is good, it really isn't sometimes, and really should be better (being 18 and sitting an A Level in English at the end of the May). I can only hope that my enthusiasm has shined through. Also, I apologise for people who like to read user comments on the whole album song list, searching to see what other people think of their most treasured song. But needless to say, if I did that I would only sound repetitive giving each song 5/5 and writing the same comments on each. I picked those two songs out purely because those are the ones I value above the others, but the album wouldnt be the same if any one of those songs were taken out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Not The Complete Article', 27 Jun. 2012
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (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. While it is witty and pretty decent it again sounds more like a 'track stuck on to make up an album' than part of a master plan to create a great album. 'Well I Wonder' neither adds nor takes-away from the set. Romantic and dreamy, it features a touching lyric and vocal by Moz but sounds like an early demo of what would later end up as 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' which, ultimately was far superior. Next we get the hilarious 'Barbarism Begins At Home'. Essentially seven minutes of Johnny Marr's guitar playing backed up by Morrissey's la la la la's and some nice musicianship, its the kind of song more suited to live performance than included here following two short and totally different style songs.

The album closes with the difficult to listen to (but never the less essential) title track. Its the most powerful song on the album and makes your teeth grit when you imagine the drill like sound at the beginning and end of the track is that of the machine killing the animals at the abattoir.

All in all, 'Meat Is Murder' does include some classic Morrissey Marr songs but it also includes a few 'lesser lights' and totally fails to work as an album listen. Considering the quality of most of the bands work it is therefore worth no more than 7 out of 10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This made me appreciate indie, 16 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
I heard this five or six years ago when I was in college and I was very much under the impression that Indie music was all just "Yea yea yea I love you, aww mate I'm glad you let me feel your t*ts coz I bort you some chips and thaaaat" nonsense, like the Kooks and their ilk. I had heard SOME Smiths stuff and some other good indie bands too, but nothing ever peaked my interest enough. Then my mate sat me down one night when we'd just got back from the pub and we listened to this all the way through. Well, that was me sold from then on that indie really can be amazing.

My usual format of reviews there days is to describe the sound of each intrument, the vocals and the lyrical style... I wonder if that's really necessary with the Smiths because I feel most people probably know what they're all about, but, for the sake of keeping a pattern to my reviews (and in case any poor soul hasn't heard the Smiths) I will stick with that formula.

So, music? Johnny Marr is something of a guitar legend... not because he'll melt your face like Eddie Van Halen or punch a hole in your chest like Dimebag but because he writes amazingly delicate but catchy riffs. The guitar is a very gentle sound; clean and easy to listen to (yet deceptively intricate at times). The drums and the bass aren't anything to write home about and for the most part just keep the rhythm of the song (well, that's what they're meant to do) but that's no slurr against the respective players, they are infinitely competant it's just that the music doesn't demand complex experimental arrangements for those instruments.

Every song here demands your attention so I won't go into detail about any of them. You have likely heard a few Smiths songs so you'll know what you're in for. That's not to say sort of "heard one, heard em all" gosh no, they are a very varied band... but there have a distinct sound which is prevalent in more or less everything they have done.

Vocals? You probably know Morrissey, but if you don't; his vocals are very distinctive, he has quite a range from deep barritone to high falsetto, but he seems most happy at a mid-range sort of funny yodel (It sounds alot better when you hear it then when describe it). That's the best I can do to describe it really, other than to say that he is a very good singer and certainly worth hearing.

Lyrics? Mozzer's got ya covered. All of the lyrics here (save for the title track which is a pro-veggie guilt trip, but still good and I'm not even a veggie) are about modern living, feelings of alienation, lonliness, broken-heartedness and all that sort of thing. But it's really not as miserable as it sounds; the nice juanty music keeps you happy and even the most miserable lyrics are written with a sort of tongue-in-cheek dark humour that makes them much more palletable.

Overall; I recommend this to ANYONE, even if you hate indie as I so used to, this may change your mind. It's worth a shot isn't it? I believe if you look for my "best of indie" list on listmania you'll find this still holding the #1 spot... that should tell you everything you need to know.

Dom x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from The Smiths, 16 May 2010
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
I said great but I mean great in a depressing guitar jangly well written way which is what you expect from The Smiths. With most if not all of the Smiths albums, and expecially this one You get the best of two different emotions. Morrissey can take you down to a very low sadness but Johnny Marr guitar playing lifts you enough that when the album finishes you still have a smile on your face and the throught in your head thinking god thats great lets do it again. There is even a bit of a rockabilly sound on this album which usually I can't stnd but Johnny and Morrissey make it very listenable.
Also are you thinking of becoming a veggie then listen to the title track Meat is Murder and 6 mins and 5 seconds later you will sign up as a full time card carrying veggie as this song is so powerful and really makes you think and even I had a go at being a vegetarian but I was too weak. Sorry Morrissey but thanks again for a great album.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meat Is Great, 28 Mar. 2003
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
The Smiths released this album less than a year after their debut and if anyone felt that the lack of time given to it would be a detriment, they were about to get some idea of the bands fantastic rate of productivity.
The album gets off to a majestic start with 'The Headmaster Ritual', a candidate for the best album opener of all time. Moz is in full flight here as he bemoans his brutal education, including the finest use of the word 'b-----d' in any song, anywhere. 'Rusholme Ruffians' carries on with the violence theme, only it is located at a fairground. Moz lists various violent incidents before remarking that his "faith in love is still devout." Sarcasm at its very best.
The next two songs, 'I Want The One I Can't Have' and 'What She Said', are good yet sound ordinary compared to other Smiths classics. 'That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore' is one of these said classics and relies on a magnificent, swoony guitar line from the god-like Marr. 'How Soon Is Now', although not on the original album, is on the CD reissue and all I will say is that it is so good that you could put it on a Westlife album and the album would then be held as a classic.
'Nowhere Fast' follows and is a swift jangle through random thoughts of Moz, including his desire to "drop his trousers to the Queen", an anti-monarchy theme that would develop to the full on the Smiths next album. It also includes that precious and rare commodity: a Johnny Marr guitar solo. 'Well I Wonder' is good enough but compared to other tracks on the album is forgettable.
For probably the only time in the Smiths catalogue, Morrissey or Marr are not the stars on 'Barbarism Begins At Home', here it's the under-rated Andy Rourke with quite simply one of the best basslines you'll ever hear. The album finishes with the title track, a haunting and thought-provoking anthem that strikes out against those who eat meat and proves to be one of the best protest songs of the last 20 years.
So there you go; it isn't the best album the Smiths ever did but all of the trademarks are there: Morrissey's lyrical genius, Marr's great ear for a tune and the solid but at times electrifying bass and drums of Rourke and Joyce. I would only recommend it to those who already like the Smiths as it isn't an ideal album to introduce a Smiths novice to their genius but all the same, 'Meat Is Murder' is an excellent album.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my personal favourite....., 29 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
The state of modern British music is appaling. I am ashamed to belong to a country which produces artists, who just like everyone else, tries to be like the american big names (such as Big Bruvas and Craig David). Ignore these artists and get the back catalogue of the Smiths, including Meat is Murder. Its the best decision you will make, i can assure you. "London is Dead", a lyric once stated by Morrissey, could not be further from the truth. However, as long as you listen to the Smiths, you can say that you belong to a very special group of music listeners who appreciate quality, rather than like what they feel they ought to like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 18 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
Like all of the Smiths albums this is fantastic. A great collection of songs including the lyrically/musically amazing The Headmaster Ritual, How Soon Is Now and Barbarism Begins At Home. Possibly the best Smiths album in terms of Morrissey's songwriting which doesn't pull any punches.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another smiths classic., 18 April 2000
By 
P. D. Laffey (Hitchin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meat Is Murder (Audio CD)
one of the greatest albums of all time.Every song a gem.This is the smiths at their eclectic best(they embrace rockabilly,funk,thrash metal etc with ease). Morrissey`s lyrics on this album are more scathing than subtle but are still better than just about anyone else`s. If you have any doubts about Johnny Marr`s genius with a guitar just listen to his playing on the gorgeous-that joke isn`t funny anymore or on the powerful-how soon is now?(both contenders for single of the eighties}. The production is crisp and clear highlighting not only Johnny Marr`s great guitar playing but also the inventiveness of the rhythm section. An essential album from a truly essential band. GENIUS!
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Meat Is Murder
Meat Is Murder by The Smiths (Audio CD - 1993)
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