The Smiths, 'Meat is Murder' promo poster

Milestones is a periodic feature marking important album releases, concerts and musical figures in the history of ’80s college rock.

ALBUM: The Smiths, Meat Is Murder

RELEASE DATE: Feb. 14, 1985

PERSONNEL: Morrissey (vocals), Johnny Marr (guitar, piano), Andy Rourke (bass), Mike Joyce (drums). Produced by The Smiths.

SINGLES: “How Soon is Now?” (No. 24 on UK singles chart, No. 35 on U.S. dance chart), “Barbarism Begins at Home” (released in Germany and Italy only), “The Headmaster Ritual” (Holland only), “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” (No. 49 on UK singles chart).

REVIEWS: In the Feb. 16, 1985, edition of the NME, Paul Du Noyer wrote, “The Smiths’ artistic achievement is genuinely beyond doubt. As a unit, they’ve never sounded so sure, so confident.” Tim Holmes writes in the May 23, 1985, issue of Rolling Stone:Lead singer and wordsmith Steven Morrissey is a man on a mission, a forlorn and brooding crusader with an arsenal of personal axes to grind.”

REISSUED? All four Smiths studio albums were reissued on vinyl last year by Rhino Records, but the band has yet to produce expanded CD reissues of its work.

IN RETROSPECT: The Smiths’ second album found Moz and Co. coming into their own with a more mature, diverse and confident sound than they deployed on The Smiths the year before — even if it would be overshadowed a year later by the band’s masterwork, The Queen is Dead. It’s also a bit of oddity, in that, for many, it’s best remembered for a song that doesn’t really belong there: “How Soon is Now?,” an older B-side stuck in the middle of the track sequence on U.S. and other non-UK versions of the album.

See ‘Meat is Murder’ tracklist and live performances after the jump…

The Smiths, 'Meat is Murder'

Tracklist: The Smiths, Meat is Murder

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”

*Originally only included on non-UK pressings

Video: The Smiths, “The Headmaster Ritual,” Paseo de Camoens, Madrid, Spain, 5/18/85

Video: The Smiths, “Rusholme Ruffians,” Paseo de Camoens, Madrid, Spain, 5/18/85

Video: The Smiths, “I Want the One I Can’t Have,” Paseo de Camoens, Madrid, Spain, 5/18/85

Video: The Smiths, “What She Said,” Parc des Expositions, Paris, France, 12/1/84

Video: The Smiths, “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” Paseo de Camoens, Madrid, Spain, 5/18/85

Video: The Smiths, “How Soon is Now?,” National Ballroom, Kilburn, UK, 10/23/86

Video: The Smiths, “Nowhere Fast,” Paseo de Camoens, Madrid, Spain, 5/18/85

Video: The Smiths, “Barbarism Begins at Home,” Studio 54, Barcelona, Spain, 5/16/85

Video: The Smiths, “Meat is Murder,” National Ballroom, Kilburn, UK, 10/23/86

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