Meat Is Murder

WMI Affiliate
Release date
25 Oct 1990
Running length
10 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 The Headmaster Ritual 4:47 289,577
2 Rusholme Ruffians 4:19 189,555
3 I Want the One I Can't Have 3:13 199,223
4 What She Said 2:41 197,936
5 That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore 4:57 348,348
6 How Soon Is Now? 6:45 709,691
7 Nowhere Fast 2:35 278,174
8 Well I Wonder 3:59 191,844
9 Barbarism Begins at Home 6:55 207,831
10 Meat Is Murder 6:05 166,027

About this album

Meat Is Murder is the second studio album by the British alternative rock band The Smiths. It was released in February 1985 and became the band’s sole number one album in the UK charts during the band’s lifetime, staying on the chart for 13 weeks. It reached number 110 in the US. In 2003, the album was ranked number 295 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Meat is Murder is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2006). The album’s title is shared with the final album track, written by lead singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr who are vegetarians.

Meat Is Murder is the most eclectic album by The Smiths, with songs in the styles of funk, rockabilly, ballad, post-punk, dance music, and their signature, alternative rock. As such, it contains some of the most unusual and lauded songs of the Smiths’ catalogue.

After the relative production disappointment of the band’s debut album The Smiths, singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr produced the album themselves, assisted only by engineer Stephen Street. Officially, the record’s production is credited to “The Smiths”, with Rourke and Joyce allowed say about their instruments’ sound-levels in the mixing.

The song “How Soon Is Now?”, originally issued as the B-side of “William, It Was Really Nothing”, was added on to the U.S. edition of Meat Is Murder after becoming a success in American dance clubs and on alternative radio (it was also added to post-1992 WEA re-issues of the album). This song was eventually released as a single in its own right in the UK, reaching No.

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