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Released: February 23, 1985

Rating: 3.833 (average of 12 ratings)

Genre: college rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  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


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 100,000
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 100,000


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • How Soon Is Now (2/9/85) #16 UK
  • That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore (7/13/85) #49 UK

The Smiths
“With their second proper album Meat Is Murder, the Smiths begin to branch out and diversify, while refining the jangling guitar pop of their debut. In other words, it catches the group at a crossroads, unsure quite how to proceed. Taking the epic, layered How Soon Is Now? as a starting point (the single, which is darker and more dance-oriented than the remainder of the album, was haphazardly inserted into the middle of the album for its American release), the group crafts more sweeping, mid-tempo numbers, whether it’s the melancholy That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore or the failed, self-absorbed protest of the title track” (Erlewine).

“While the production is more detailed than before, the Smiths are at their best when they stick to their strengths – The Headmaster Ritual and I Want the One I Can’t Have are fine elaborations of the formula they laid out on the debut, while Rusholme Ruffians is an infectious stab at rockabilly. However, the rest of Meat Is Murder is muddled, repeating lyrical and musical ideas of before without significantly expanding them or offering enough hooks or melodies to make it the equal of The Smiths or Hatful of Hollow” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: the archival ‘Hatful of Hollow’ (1984) previous studio album: The Smiths (1984) next studio album: The Queen Is Dead (1986)

Last updated April 27, 2008.