The SmithsMeat Is Murder

Label:Rough Trade – ROUGH 81
Vinyl, LP, Album, CBS
Style:Alternative Rock, Indie Rock


A1The Headmaster Ritual4:52
A2Rusholme Ruffians4:19
A3I Want The One I Can't Have3:13
A4What She Said2:40
A5That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore4:57
B1Nowhere Fast2:35
B2Well I Wonder4:00
B3Barbarism Begins At Home7:00
B4Meat Is Murder6:05

Companies, etc.



Recorded at Amazon Studios, Liverpool and Ridge Farm, Surrey.
Mixed at Island Studios, London, Winter 1984.

Comes with a printed inner sleeve with lyrics.

The runouts are etched except "⋀" in all variants, and "4", "D", "1" "0" in variant 4.

Cover star culled from Emile de Antonio's 'In The Year Of The Pig' (1969) used by permission.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Label Code: LC 5661
  • Pressing Plant ID (Stamped):
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 1): ROUGH 81 A1 ILLNESS AS ART
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 1): ROUGH 81 B1 DOING THE WYTHENSHAWE WALTZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 2): ROUGH 81 A2 ILLNESS AS ART
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 2): ROUGH 81 B1 DOING THE WYTHENSHAWE WALTZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 3): ROUGH 81 A2 ILLNESS AS ART
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 3): ROUGH 81 B2 DOING THE WYTHENSHAWE WALTZ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 4): ROUGH. 81 A1 4 D ILLNESS AS ART
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 4): ROUGH. 81 B2 1 0 DOING THE WYTHENSHAW WALTZ ⋀
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 5): ROUGH 81 A2 ILLNESS AS ART ⋀
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 5): ROUGH 81 B1 DOING THE WYTHENSHAW WALTZ B
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, Variant 6): ROUGH. 81 A1 D ILLNESS AS ART
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, Variant 6): ROUGH. 81 B2 DOING THE WYTHENSHAW WALTZ ⋀

Other Versions (5 of 187)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Meat Is Murder (LP, Album, Stereo)MegadiscMD 7999Netherlands1985
Recently Edited
Meat Is Murder (LP, Album)Sire, Sire, Rough Trade, Rough Trade1-25269, 9 25269-1US1985
Meat Is Murder (LP, Album)Rough TradeTM/RT 81Portugal1985
Recently Edited
Meat Is Murder (LP, Album)Rough Trade, Nuevos Medios, Rough Trade43 123 L, 43 1 23Spain1985
Recently Edited
Meat Is Murder (Cassette, Album, Reissue)Virgin, Rough Trade50314France1985



  • nabuchodinosaurus's avatar
    I really like the sonic signature of the mastering here. I got it NM, very silencious, not a single click or crac. It is a very clear sounding records, quite agressive and dry. As others states, if there is a dryness color of the sound, I see it as the main sounding caracteristics of the post new wave era. This is the kind of sound that I expect from a band like the Smiths.
    Previously, I didn't take care so much about The Smiths in my musical journey. I have already listen them (cd, k7 maybe) but I never entered in connection with their sound & melodies. Luckily to me, I found a quite cheap copy of this particular version of the album, an original first press, I couldn't let it behind me. I bought it.
    And you know what, I found myself loving this album. The more I listen it, the more I love it.
    Therefore, because it is the version of my connexion with The Smiths, I have to say this pressing is really good for me.
    • Will_Likes_Vinyl's avatar
      I wish this whole album gets a whole remaster/remix. Songs like the headmaster ritual and barbiasm begins at home will be amazing if the mix has been improved to make the song feel more lively.
      • JT-'s avatar
        Edited 2 years ago
        Awful sounding record.

        All the Rough Trade Tim Young mastered LPs are like an ice-pick piercing the skull.

        One of those instances where the reissue (which is not without issues) is superior.

        Technics SL1200G w/ Oyaide BR12 Mat & STB MSX Weight; stock headshell w/ Jelco leads
        Benz Micro Glider SL
        Cyrus Phono Signature w/ PSX-R2
        Rega Elex-R
        ProAc DT8
        Icon Audio HP8 SE Mk2.2
        Sennheiser 800S
        Graham Slee CuSat 50 interconnects
        • monkeymansean's avatar
          As has been said, this pressing sounds really bloody good.
          • jamiewm's avatar
            I have A2/B2 on my copy and also MPO - Is it an MPO or CBS copy or are they the same, all of these variants are mind boggling!
            • MEllODrOnE's avatar
              Edited 3 years ago
              A nice sounding piece of vinyl. Coherent drums and fluid bass drive the tracks. A nice saturated, warm sound that is vibrant and detailed is produced. Rich and smooth. I have different pressings of different Smiths’ albums and I think the UK originals sound the best and have a slightly higher definition and better clarity than the US Sire pressings. I have some club editions as well. They don’t sound horrible but they are the last down the vinyl line. I would definitely avoid them (unless you find them for cheap) and go for the original UK Rough Trades and the US Sires as a second bet. The US Sire issues don’t sound great though, buried guitar, lacking vocal crispness, not as punchy and dynamic. The original UK releases offer the best sound quality imo. I haven’t heard any reissues, curious how they compare.
              • hparchietekt's avatar
                My copy (bought in the first week of release) has a 24" x 12" promo poster included
                • nuclearbomb's avatar
                  My copy displays "ROUGH 81 A2" and "ROUGH 81 B2" as opposed to A1 and B1. Any info on that?


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