"Meat Is Murder"|
UK LP [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
The LP format features the original artwork (soldier repeated 4 times; view front and back on the left). The inner sleeve is made of thick glossy card. It features on one side a faded version of the soldier image, with credits in the lower left, and on the other side, the lyrics with more credits at the bottom. The labels are grey with white text. No variation has yet been reported.
ROUGH 81 A1 / ROUGH 81 B1
ROUGH 81 A2 / ROUGH 81 B2
MPO ROUGH 81 A2 / MPO ROUGH 81 B2x
UK LP [Rhino UK ROURH81; 2009 reissue on 180g LP]
The front of the 2009 Rhino LP reissue is the same as the original Rough Trade LP. The back is almost the same, with the exception of minor changes in the credits and catalogue number, and the presence of a barcode in the bottom right corner. The inner sleeve and labels are also replicated faithfully, with the only alteration being the correction of the catalogue number to ROURH 81. The package includes a coupon with an offer to download the album on MP3 format. This is actually advertised on a white square "Vinyl Plus+" sticker on the front. This was not offered with the American 2009 edition detailed below.
UK cassette [Rough Trade ROUGHC81]
The UK cassette format has its own variation on the artwork, showing the soldier once and the band name at the bottom (view left). The back of the insert gives the track listing, while a faded close-up of the front artwork is found inside, with credits printed over. The cassette is made of light grey plastic with very light beige, almost white labels.
UK CD [Rough Trade ROUGHCD81]
The artwork was also adapted for the compact disc format. It shows the soldier only once (view left). There are at least three versions of this format. All have the same booklet, one page per song lyric, one photo of the band over two pages, two photos of Morrissey in flowery shirt and one page of credits. The back of the booklet shows only a compact disc logo. The three editions mainly differ on the back inlay and on the cd surface:
* Some copies have been reported as having the text on the rear in black while on others it is dark green. It looks like the versions pressed in Japan and the UK may have dark green text on the back while the edition printed in France has it in black. The same applies to the name of the band next to the band photo found inside the booklet. Please write if your copy is any different.
- 'made in Japan' edition
This is assumed to be this album's original British cd edition. One thing is sure, it is the rarest of all three. The cd says 'Made in Japan' on the right and 'Made in the UK' under the engineer credit. It does not have credits all around it like the other versions have. The back shows the catalogue number, the compact disc logo and the [AAD] box at the top, titles in the middle, and credits (including the contradicting 'Made in the UK') at the bottom.
- 'made in France' edition
This is presumably the most common of all three editions. It was made in France by MPO, as stated on the right side of cd. The 'Made in the UK' line was dropped from under the engineer credit. The back inlay is identical to the one described above (except perhaps in colour, see * note below).
- 'made in the UK' edition
Later repressings of this format were made in England. The label was corrected from 'Made in France by MPO' to 'Made in England' on the right. The compact disc logo and the [AAD] box at the back were replaced with a barcode. The rest remained the same.
UK music book [Warner Bros Music Ltd and IMP 20424]
A4 size 52-page softback songbook featuring the music and words for the 9 tracks on the album. Also includes UK release discography, 8 pages of colour photographs and a free poster. View here.
UK/Europe CD [2012 reissue on Warner/Rhino 2564660486]
UK/Europe LP [2012 reissue on Rhino Records 2564665878]
UK 12" promo [Rough Trade RTT171]
The album was promoted in the UK with the help of two different advance 12"s of "Barbarism Begins At Home". Both bear the same catalogue number and feature the same Viv Nicholson artwork (view front and back on the left) which was later reused in some countries where the latter song was released as a single. The labels are charcoal-black with silver text in the classic Rough Trade layout. The inner sleeves are plain white paper ones.
Some copies of the 1-sided edition (and presumably also the 2-sided edition) came with a Rush Release Promotions press sheet on red or green or yellow paper. The Rush Release Promotions logo is printed at the top and their address at the bottom. The text mentions that the song is from the "Meat Is Murder" album, includes praise for the work of every band member on it and states that the promo is limited to 300 copies (which is different to the 500 commonly reported by Record Collector magazine). The existence of a 2-page press release is rumoured but unconfirmed.
- 2-sided edition
The 2-sided edition features the full album version on side A and a 3:48 edit on side B.
RTT-171-A LYN 15482-1C-Z / RTT-171-B LYN 154831C13S Z
- 1-sided edition
The 1-sided edition only features the full album version on side A. Side B has test-tones. At first glance the label on side A looks just like like its counterpart on the 2-sided edition, but minor layout differences (font and size of credits, position of band name) are noticeable when one is put next to the other. The side B label is just white. Some copies have a gold plugger sticker on the back of the sleeve.
RTT-171-A LYN-15482-1C.Z / RTT-171-B
UK LP white label promo + press sheet [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
The release of this classic album was also promoted in the UK with the help of white labels of the LP paired with a 1-sided press sheet. The record has nothing printed on its labels and comes inside a white paper inner sleeve slipped in turn in a white card sleeve. Two variations of the press sheet have been reported. Both are in A4 format, dated "5th FEB 1985" and feature the same text, but one is on yellow paper and shows a Beer Davies (plugger) logo in the top right corner, while the other one is on white paper without the latter logo. The press sheet mainly gives information on the album's music and artwork, but the upcoming Meat Is Murder tour is also announced in the last paragraph. Contact information for pluggers Pat Bellis and Scott Piering is printed along the sheet's left edge. The inclusion of promo stickers in the set is not impossible.
UK promo sticker sheet
Rough Trade promotional-only sheet of 12 identical 2" circular stickers each with 'Meat Is Murder' printed in green text. View here.
UK promo poster 30cm x 60cm (12" x 24")
UK ad 30cm x 40cm (12" x 16")
Black and white ad. View here.
An official Rough Trade badge showing the soldier from the album's cover art may have served as some form of promotion object.
UK/Europe promo CD-r [Rhino Records]
CD-r to promote 'The Smiths - Complete - Remastered by Johnny Marr' reissues. Comes in a PVC sleeve with full color artwork and fold out insert. Additional information needed.
UK LP test pressing [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
There may be confusion between test pressings and white label promos of this title. One test pressing which cannot be mistaken for a promo has white labels with "The Smiths / ROUGH81 / Meat Is Murder" handwritten on them, along with the side identification (A or B). It is slipped in a white sleeve with photocopies of the labels stuck onto it along with a pressing plant slip. The ones that may be promos have white labels and are slipped inside a plain white die-cut sleeve.
ROUGH 81 A1 / ROUGH 81 B1
UK LP test pressing - Mayking [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
This alternate test pressing bears generic Mayking labels on which the "Cat No" line was filled in with "ROUGH 81" in handwriting, the date "8 MAY 1985" was stamped in blue on the "Date" line and the side letter was stamped next to "Side:". The record comes in a white paper die-cut record bag.
UK LP test pressing of 2009 reissue [Rhino UK ROURH81]
The test pressing of the 2009 reissue on 180g LP is slipped inside a plain white die-cut sleeve. It has plain white labels and the number 971334 is etched between the run-out grooves.
UK 12" test pressings [Rough Trade RTT171]
A set of two one-sided test pressings has made it into the hands of collectors. One features the full length version of "Barbarism Begins At Home" and the other features the edit. These are presumably the test pressings of each side of the two-sided promo 12" described above. Both have plain white labels (although the b-side label is rather of a very pale pink), they are slipped in white custom die-cut sleeves (with sometimes title and/or catalogue number handwritten on it), and are extremely limited. One or both have three test-tone tracks and one silent track on side B. A test pressing featuring the two versions of "Barbarism Begins At Home" on the same side has been advertised, but this is very likely a mistake.
RTT 171-A LYN 315482-1C Z / LCP-2114-1A LYN 3507-4CR (full version)
RTT 171 B LYN 15483 KBS-Z / LYN 4366 (edited version)
UK LP acetate
Scott piering's acetate for the UK LP has made it to the collector's world. This has CBS Mastering Studios labels with handwritten track listing, album title, band name, side letter (A or B), side total length and date ('17/12-84'). This comes in a plain white sleeve with "14/12-84 / Meat Is Murder / The Smiths" handwritten at the top.
UK promo 12" acetate
A 1-sided acetate for the a-side of the "Barbarism Begins At Home" promo 12" has made it into the collecting world.
UK promo 12" master plates
A set of two metal master plates has made it into the hands of at least one collector. Each of these was used to press one side of the "Barbarism Begins At Home" 2-sided promo 12" described above. The set comes with the two labels, but these are loose, not stuck to the plates.
UK gold record
Official BPI gold sales award disc issued to commemorate sales in excess of 100 000 copies of the album. It features a gold LP mounted on a red background above a gold engraved dedication plaque (presented to Morrissey, presented to Andy Rourke, etc) and cassette artwork card, with mini Union Jack flag in the top left corner. Approximately 20" x 16" framed and glazed.
UK proofs of cd booklet
This is a set of two printer's proofs for the cd booklet, with proofing bars. One proof shows one side of every 2-leaflet page, while the other shows the respective reverse sides.
Argentina LP [DG Discos/Buelax Music 10001-1]
The group's name on the cover of the Argentina LP is so dark it is almost black. The titles are listed in Spanish ("El Ritual Del Director", "Rufianes De Rusholme", etc.) on the back, each title followed by the song's length. Total lengths of each side are also given and Morrissey's name in the credits is mispelled as "Morrisey". The titles are given in both Spanish and English on the labels, which are white with black text and featuring the blue Buelax logo. The inner sleeve is a very cheap anti-static one, which means this edition of the album does not include lyrics.
Argentina cassette [DG Discos/Buelax Music 10001-0]
The front of the Argentina cassette is just like the British one. It shows the soldier once and the band name is at the bottom, in green. The insert includes only titles, song lengths and minimal credits. The cassette is white with beige labels bearing a blue circle Buelax logo. The song titles are translated to Spanish on the insert and labels.
Argentina LP test pressing [DG Discos/Buelax Music 10001-1]
White label copies of the LP have made it into the hands of a few lucky collectors. These are slipped inside the usual stock picture sleeve.
Over the years, three different labels were successively granted the licensing rights to release Smiths material in Australia. The original 1984 to 1988 releases were licensed to CBS. In 1988 Festival Records re-released the complete Smiths' album catalogue, as well as some or their singles. Finally in 1993 Warner Australia followed WEA's international reissue programme and all the albums ended up being re-released in Australia on cd again.
Australia LP [CBS RTANZ010]
The front of the original Australian LP is identical to its British counterpart and sometimes bears a white rectangular sticker mentioning the inclusion of the hit single "How Soon Is Now?". The back differs only in the credits and by the mention in the top right corner of the LP also being available on CBS Super Sound Cassette. The inner sleeve is
perfectly identical to the British one except for the catalogue numbers,
and the fact that the Australian one is made of thicker card and is
slightly larger in size, making it a rather tight fit to slide into the
outer sleeve. The labels are green with white text in the classic Rough Trade UK layout.
Australia LP [1988 reissue on Festival L30107]
The 1988 reissue on Festival Records is not as nice as the original LP. The sleeve is similar to the original pressing, with minor changes accounting for the different label involved. The record features red labels with black text and a Rough Trade circle logo at the top. It is slipped inside a plain film inner sleeve instead of the usual picture one. The package also includes a paper insert advertising "The Smiths' Collection". This edition does not include bonus track "How Soon Is Now?".
Australia cassette [CBS RTCANZ010]
The front of the original Australian cassette is similar to its British counterpart. It shows the soldier once, with band name at the bottom in green, above a Dolby logo and the 'shattered' Rough Trade logo, and a black stripe in which are found the words "CBS Super Sound Cassette" (view left). The spine is white with the album title above the band name in green in the middle, with a black catalogue number and Dolby logo on the left, and a black 'shattered' Rough Trade logo on the right. The back of the insert is full with two round holes for the case's plastic prongs to go through. It is white with black text: track listing, production credits, Rough Trade credit, catalogue number, Rough Trade copyright, legal warning and Dolby information. A cropped pale grey version of the front artwork's soldier is reproduced over the insert's two extra fold-out panels (if your copy has three extra panels, see New Zealand cassette below). The first panel has the band name at the top in the same colour and font as on the front, above various credits such as personnel, recording, production, songwriting, etc. The second panel features the album's track listing with the remaining credits printed in a block beneath it. The cassette is pale grey with sky blue text and logos printed directly onto it. The track listing and production credits appear at the top on each side, with a 'shattered' Rough Trade logo and the catalogue number on the left.
Australia cassette [1988 reissue on Festival C30107]
The front of the cassette's insert shows the usual LP artwork over a green background. Above the image the name of the band and the album title are repeated in white in the same fonts as on the album. A white Rough Trade 'circle' logo is found in the top right corner above the catalogue number. The Dolby logo is found at the bottom. The green spine shows in white the name of the band and album title one above the other on the left, the Dolby logo centre-right and the 'circle' Rough Trade logo on the right above the catalogue number. The back shows the track listing and a Festival logo in white over green. The track listing, credits, technical info and a BASF logo are found in black over white on one side of the insert's first inner panel with, on its reverse, more credits, contact info, Rough Trade info and technical chrome cassette info.
Australia CD [CBS 451068-2]
The Australian compact disc editions of this album, whether on CBS or Festival Records, are the only non-Sire compact discs to feature the 4-soldier LP front artwork (with the exception of the Japanese 2006 cd in mini-LP sleeve replica). This original CBS edition, unlike the reissue, also features extra track "How Soon Is Now". The back artwork is not based on either the UK LP or cd back. The bonus song is listed and there is a black section at the left which includes a barcode (like those found on Victor cds in Japan) and a compact disc logo. The booklet is minimal. It opens to a track listing, then the lyrics are reproduced directly from the UK LP artwork. Because "How Soon Is Now" wasn't included on the UK LP, its lyrics are found in a different font. The last page shows technical compact disc technology information and the back of the booklet repeats the cd back insert without the black stripe.
Australia CD [1988 reissue on Festival D30107]
The Festival cd edition would again be put to shame by some bootlegs. As mentioned above it also features the LP artwork on the front (soldier repeated four times), but the image is much darker than anywhere else. The insert is green and only features a close up of the soldier's head. Credits are printed in a very plain white font on its reverse. The back insert is also dark green with titles and credits in a plain white font. The label has black text over silver, and the album title is given in a very un-Smiths script font.
Australia CD [1993 reissue on Warner Australia 450991895-2]
The packaging and content of the 1993 cd reissue on WEA parallels its European counterpart described below (so the soldier on the front appears only once). The only differences are found in the licensing credits on the back and on the disc (confirmation needed). The white legal warning around the edge of the disc was replaced with a different one in black mentioning Warner Music Australia. Other discrepancies are expected. A later variation with black disc surface may exist (confirmation needed).
Australia LP promo [CBS RTANZ010]
The original release of the album was promoted with a version of the LP featuring the typical Australian black and white silhouette labels with promo warning. The sleeve is a stock one and the inner sleeve is stamped "Not for sale, sample record" in red.
Australia LP promo [1988 reissue on Festival L30107]
A very limited number of copies of the Festival stock LP with promo sticker on label were distributed to promote Festival's reissue programme.
Brazil LP [WEA 610.7063/39.001]
The Brazilian LP sleeve is very similar to the UK one, with only minimal alterations made to the credits on the back. The inner sleeve is also similar to the UK one, but it is made of thick paper and is not glossy. The labels are also grey with white text in a similar layout. Songs there are listed with their publishing numbers.
Brazil cassette [WEA ??]
The back of the LP announces the existence of a cassette edition of this album, but no such thing has ever been reported. Any information, even just a catalogue number, would be appreciated.
Brazil LP promo [WEA 610.7063]
Promo copies of the LP are stock ones stamped "Especial para promoçao invendavel amostra gratis tributada" in gold letters on the back and in red ink on the labels.
Canada LP [Sire 92 52691]
The Canadian LP is very faithful to its British counterpart. The front of the sleeve is identical and the back only has a few differences in the credits at the bottom. This means that "How Soon Is Now?" is not listed there even though it is featured as a bonus track at the beginning of side 2. The inner sleeve is made of paper instead of glossy card, and features a few additional credits at the bottom on the lyrics side. The labels are the usual Sire ones and "How Soon Is Now" is listed, as it should, at the beginning of side 2.
Canada LP [Sire/Columbia House W1 25269]
This is the Canadian record club edition of the LP. It differs from the usual LP in the credits at the bottom on the back and around the edge of the record's labels. The Columbia House catalogue number was added at the bottom of the lyrics side of the inner sleeve, and corrected on the sleeve's spine. The rest remained basically the same.
Canada cassette [Sire 92 52694]
The Canadian cassette is a very minimal affair. The front shows the LP artwork (soldier repeated four times) at the top, with band name, album title and logos at the bottom in white over black. The back of the insert is full, it features the track listing, credits and two holes for the case's plastic prongs. The cassette itself is made of black plastic and the text is printed on it in grey.
Canada CD [Sire CD-25269]
The Canadian cd artwork is based on its American counterpart, which means that it features the LP artwork (soldier repeated four times) and the band's name appears in olive green instead of dark green. Unlike the LP format, bonus track "How Soon Is Now" is listed at the back of the cd. It is also listed on the cd label, where the text is black over silver. The booklet is nicely done, it opens on a page giving the track listing, then the next page shows all the credits in a block of text. A very dark grey photo of the cover star follows, then lyrics, including those for "How Soon Is Now" in the same font as for other songs.
Canada LP promo [Sire 92 52691]
Promotion of this album in Canada was done via stock copies of the LP stamped in gold ink on the sleeve. While the stamp is found on the front of the sleeve in the USA, it is always on the back for Canadian releases. The Canadian promo stamp also has the particularity of being bilingual, the promo warning appears in both English and French, the country's two official languages.
After purchasing the rights to the Smiths catalogue, Warner released two best ofs then in 1993 proceeded with the reissue of all the albums over the territories they controlled. Their 'international' edition was "made by WEA in Germany manufacturing Europe" as the credits state and was sold mostly in Europe and in some Latin American countries. The design of the various formats was based partly on the original British and American designs. The WEA cds and cassettes were reissued again in 1995 when the "Singles" compilation came out, but these repressings are identical to the 1993 editions, except for a yellow exclamation mark sticker on the front of the case marking them as half-price reissues.
Europe CD [WEA 450991895-2]
The 1993 WEA reissue on cd was modelled on the original Rough Trade UK edition. The front is basically the same, and the back follows the same style and layout, with additional credits and barcode. The booklet still opens on a black and white photo of band in Montmartre spanning the first page and a half, followed by the lyrics to the first 5 tracks (one per page), then a double-exposed black and white picture of Morrissey in a floral shirt. The rest of the tracks are then printed one per page again, followed by one page of credits (in which Paul Slattery is credited as Pal Slattery) and another black and white photo of Morrissey in his floral shirt, cropped to only show from his waist down to upper thighs. The back page of the booklet is blank except for the catalogue number. The most striking difference with the original UK edition is the cd surface, which is all green with white/light grey text.
There are two slight variations of this item. Some copies say "France WE833" under the catalogue number on the back inlay, others say "WE835". This is believed to be a price code for retail in France.
Europe cassette [WEA 450991895-4]
WEA followed the original Rough Trade artwork for the cassette format, so the front shows the soldier only once. The back of the insert features the titles, credits and barcode. The most notable difference with the original Rough Trade edition is the cassette itself which was produced in clear see-through plastic. Information about what's inside is needed.
Europe 10 [WEA 450991894-1]
WEA had something for collectors in their 1993 reissue programme as every album was also put out on numbered limited edition 10" sized LPs. The records were produced in very thick vinyl. The labels for "Meat Is Murder" are of a very rich green, with pale text. The inner sleeve is a plain white one, which means that the photos and lyrics featured on the original inner sleeve are unfortunately missing. The outer sleeve is based on the original LP artwork, so it shows the soldier repeated four times on the front. A white box at the bottom has the run number stamped into it. The back shows an additional bar code and extra credits.
Europe proof of 10" artwork
This is a printer's proof of the artwork for the 10" LP. It shows the front and back, side by side, with proofing bars. There doesn't seem to be any difference with the final artwork except for the fact that the number box is blank.
France LP [Virgin 70314]
There are 3 different versions of the French LP. All feature the usual LP artwork on the front (soldier repeated 4 times). The back is like that of the British LP, with additional Virgin and Rough Trade logos in the corner, and a printer credit at the bottom. The inner sleeve in all cases is just like the British one, but it is made of paper. The differences are mostly found on the labels:
France cassette [Virgin 50314]
- original edition
Grey label with white text. The titles are listed at the top and the band name, album title and logos are in the bottom half.
- second edition
Grey label with white text again, but the layout is the classic Rough Trade one, which means that the titles are listed at the bottom and the band name and album title are at the top.
- third edition
Same as the second edition, but the sleeve has a barcode on the back.
Information is needed.
France CD [Virgin 30258]
The compact disc was made by PDO and is almost identical to the UK compact disc except for a few credits and catalogue number changes made on the back and label. More information, particularly regarding the booklet, would be appreciated.
France LP promo [Virgin 70314]
Copies of the first stock edition described above were made into promos by being embossed/stamped with the words "Echantillon gratuit interdit à la vente" in a corner of the sleeve.
France 12" promo [Virgin SA 3013]
The album was also promoted with the help of promo 12"s of "Barbarism Begins At Home", just like in the UK. These feature both the full album version and the 3:48 edit. Three different variations of this have been spotted. One comes in a generic blue Virgin "Maxi 45T" die-cut sleeve, another in a yellow variation of the latter, and the third one in a plain white sleeve with a transparent Virgin sticker (and usually lots of handwriting). The yellow variation is the scarcest. All have the same white labels with black text. The layout on them is the typical Virgin one: titles at the top, logos in the bottom half.
France LP test pressing [Virgin 70314]
White label test pressings of the LP have made it into the hands of some collectors. These simply have the band name, album title and 'Echantillon' handwritten on the labels. It is unclear what version these correspond to (see description of versions above).
Germany LP [RT Deutschland RTD28]
There are 2 different editions of this LP.
- original edition
The first edition is very similar to the British LP. The front artwork is the usual LP variation, showing the soldier repeated 4 times, but there seems to be more white at the left of the band name. The back is as in the UK, with slight differences in the credits. The only major difference is the labels, which are black with silver text in the classic Rough Trade layout.
- budget reissue
The budget reissue has an almost identical sleeve to the original, but the number EfA 12-3028 was added after RTD28 on the back and the green of the band's name on the front is paler. The labels remained unchanged. The inner sleeve is a plain white one, die-cut to show the labels. Most copies come with a big round "Special Price" sticker over the front of the sleeve.
Germany LP promo [RT Deutschland RTD28]
Stock copies of the LP were paired with 3 press releases and dispatched for promotion.
Greece LP [EMI/Virgin VG50108]
Much care went into the production of the Greek edition of "Meat Is Murder", which isn't always the case with Greek releases. The outer and inner sleeves are both very similar to their UK counterparts. They differ only by a few additional Greek credits on the back. The inner sleeve is thick and glossy just like in the UK. The labels are white with green text in the classic Rough Trade UK layout.
Greece cassette [EMI/Virgin 262VG50108]
The extra care given to the Greek cassette is even more obvious than with the LP. The insert is more or less the British one, front, back and inside, with minor changes in catalogue number and credits. The cassette itself is beige with light blue text printed onto it.
Greece LP promo [EMI/Virgin VG50108]
Stock copies were stamped and had a hole punched into them so they could be used as promos.
Holland LP [Megadisc MD7999]
The sleeve of the Dutch LP is very similar to the UK one. The front is the usual LP artwork (soldier X 4) and the back is identical to the UK back, plus a Megadisc logo added to the upper right corner and credits at the bottom. The inner sleeve is the same, it is also glossy, but it is made of thick paper instead of card. The labels are the classic Megadisc circular saw ones, but three different versions have been spotted:
- One version has "Meat Is Murder", followed by that side's track listing, then "The Smiths".
- Another version has "Meat Is Murder", followed by "The Smiths", then that side's track listing.
- The third version is identical to the previous one in layout, but the Megadisc circular saw label is white instead of grey.
Note: Although the line "Megadisc records and tapes" appears on the labels, there is no such thing as a Dutch Smiths cassette because that format was never popular in the Netherlands.
Note: A variation with a "Sire Records Company" credit on the inner sleeve has been reported. This may however just be an accidental mix-up between a Dutch release and an American one.
Holland 7" promo [Megadisc MD7999/01]
The album was promoted via a relatively rare 1-sided 7" of "The Headmaster Ritual". The record has white labels with black text, and is slipped inside a plain white die-cut sleeve. The b-side has no music and the label on that side states "Niet Afspeelbaar". The title track is mistakenly listed as "The Headmaster Rituel" on the a-side.
Ireland(?) cassette [Rough Trade ROUGHC81]
This cassette appears at first glance to be from the UK but it is assumed to be from Ireland because a good number of copies in circulation come from the latter country. The insert is perfectly identical to its UK counterpart (front, spine, back and panels) except for the reverse which is all blank. However the cassette itself is completely different. It is made of black plastic and its labels are grey with black text in a unique layout. "The Smiths" and "Meat Is Murder" is printed at the top on each side. There is no track listing on its labels but the line "See inlay card for details" tells us where it can be found.
Israel LP [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
The front of the Smiths' first album to come out in Israel is the same as in the UK, but it has a very small "Rough 81" printed in black in the top left corner. The back features an additional CBS Records credit at the bottom and a line in Hebrew. The inner sleeve is a very cheap, wrinkly plastic one and the usual inner sleeve back and front are printed on a 12" x 12" paper insert slipped inside. The labels are based on the grey and white British ones, with extra logos and credits.
Israel LP promo [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
Stock copies were made into promos with the addition of a promo sticker on the back of the sleeve.
Italy LP [Rough Trade/Virgin ROUGH81]
The Italian LP was produced with great care. The packaging is very similar to the UK's, with only slight changes in credits and logos at the back of the sleeve, at the bottom of the inner sleeve, and on the labels. The inner sleeve is not glossy, but it is still made of thick card. The most notable difference with the UK are the labels which are green with white text, although the text layout is still of the classic Rough Trade UK style. The a-side label features the mandatory music rights stamp in red ink.
Italy LP [Rough Trade/CGD RGH20900]
This 1989 reissue differs from the above edition by a few details on the back of the sleeve, on the inner sleeve and on the labels. The catalogue number was corrected on the back of the sleeve and the line of text beneath it credits CGD as distributors. The catalogue number was also corrected in the bottom right corner of the inner sleeve and on the labels. These labels follow the same text layout and colour scheme as the original ones, but the Virgin logo was deleted from them and the credits around the bottom edge were extended with the mention of the involvement of CGD. Just like the original ones, they bear the SIAE music rights stamp in red ink.
Italy cassette [Rough Trade/Virgin ROUGK 781]
The Italian cassette insert is just like the British one apart from the corrected/added Italian credits and catalogue number. The mandatory music rights stamp is found on its back. The cassette is made of grey plastic and the credits and track listing are printed directly onto it.
Italy LP promo [Rough Trade ROUGH81]
Stock copies were made into promos by having a promo warning ("Campione Gratuito") pin-stamped in the lower corner of the sleeve.
Japan LP [Tokuma Japan 25RTL-3001]
The original Japanese LP is, as usual, very well done. The sleeve differs from the British model by the addition of a catalogue number in white in the top right corner on the front and Tokuma credits at the bottom at the back. It is wrapped in a white obi with album information in green and red on the front and the Smiths Japanese back catalogue advertised on the back. The inner sleeve is a plain anti-static one with round bottom, but a 2-fold paper insert is also included. It features a reproduction of the UK' inner sleeve picture side, lyrics in English and Japanese (including bonus track ""How Soon Is Now?"), a biography and a photo of the band in front of a cloudy background. The labels are charcoal grey with white text in the classic Rough Trade layout.
Japan LP [1987 reissue on Victor VIP-4216]
Following the release of "Strangeways, Here We Come" in 1987, Victor Musical Industries, who had meanwhile acquired the rights to release Rough Trade material in Japan, re-released the whole Smiths catalogue on LP and compact disc. The outer sleeve of the "Meat Is Murder" LP reissue remained the same except for the minor changes for label and catalogue number in the top right corner on the front and at the bottom on the back (also featuring a barcode). The white and green obi announces Victor's reissue programme as "The Smiths Final Collection" and advertises all the Smiths album catalogue on its back. The record has rather plain green-grey labels with the Rough Trade logo appearing in a circle at the top. It is slipped in a plastic film sleeve with round bottom. Two inserts featuring lyrics and bio are also found inside.
Japan CD [Tokuma Japan 32JC-108]
The original Japanese cd edition was released by Tokuma Japan simultaneously with the LP format. The front is like the UK cd variation, which means the soldier appears only once. Like other early Japanese cds, the obi is not of the card type, but a sticker glued around the cd case's spine. In this partucular case, it is light green with black text. The booklet includes the same photo and biography found on the LP insert. Lyrics are also featured, but in English only (including bonus tracks "How Soon Is Now" in a different font). Three recent Rough Trade releases, including the Smiths' debut album, are advertised at the end. The back insert shows the album's track listing in English and Japanese. The disc is plain silver with black text printed onto it.
Japan CD [1987 reissue on Victor VDP-5075]
Following the release of "Strangeways, Here We Come" in 1987, Victor Musical Industries, who had meanwhile acquired the rights to release Rough Trade material in Japan, re-released the complete Smiths album catalogue on LP (see above) and compact disc. The packaging of this new cd edition was not as well done as the original. The front artwork remained the same, but the catalogue number was added in small black font in the bottom right corner. The back was redesigned, it shows the titles and credits, a barcode, and the black obi-like stripe at the right giving release information. The disc surface was also redesigned in the same style as other albums in this reissue series, with a Rough Trade logo in a circle at the top and all titles at the bottom. The obi is very basic. It is grey and features on the front a black "Rough Trade cd collection" logo. A tan variation of it was reported, but this may only be someone's different perception of colours. The cd tray is made of white plastic. Information about the contents of the booklet is needed.
Japan CD [1990 reissue on Victor VICP-2003]
In 1990 Victor went through another reissue programme (the "Meet The Rock" budget series at 2000 yens), but this time the Smiths album back catalogue was re-released on compact disc only. The packaging of this edition is very similar to that of the 1987 edition. The booklet content is the same. The front and back as well as the disc are identical except for the corrected catalogue number (it is dropped from the front). The obi was changed to the blue and yellow theme of this "Meet The Rock" series. The cd tray is still made of white plastic.
Japan CD [1993 reissue on WEA WMC5-544]
This new Japanese edition was released by WEA who had just purchased the rights to the complete Smiths catalogue the year before. It was modelled on its European counterpart, which means that it features the usual compact disc 'one-soldier' artwork. It has superior packaging than the earlier Victor reissues. Unlike its European counterpart, the Japanese cd has the barcode on the back of the obi instead of the cd back inlay. The disc is a beautiful green like the European cd, with the text in grey and the band name uncoloured (silver cd finish). The text on it follows the UK layout. The obi is light blue-green and beige with a blue "Smiths Original Catalogue" crest common to all re-releases in the series. Its back covers the complete backspace and displays over a beige background "The Smiths Original Catalogue", an illustrated list of the eight albums being reissued by WEA. The booklet includes the photo of the Smiths on a sidewalk and two additional photos of Morrissey in a flowery shirt. These were in the original UK cd booklet, but not in the previous Japanese editions. The lyrics to "Well I Wonder" were moved to the same page as "Barbarism Begins At Home" so bonus track "How Soon Is Now" (which wasn't on the original Rough Trade cds) could be included. The cd tray is made of white plastic.
T-shirts and caps were given away with purchase at the time this reissue first came out, although it is not clear whether this was only with this title or any one of the series.
Japan CD [1995 reissue on WEA WPCR-303]
In parallel with the release of the "Singles" compilation, another reissue programme of the Smiths back catalogue was put together by WEA in Japan. This 1995 budget reissue is very similar to the one from just 2 years prior. The most noticeable changes were the white obi with red ignited 'Hot price!' bomb common to all the releases in the series and an additional "Smiths Original Catalogue" insert inside. The cd tray is made of white plastic. Information about the disc is needed.
Japan CD [1997 reissue on WEA WPCR-2510]
This album was reissued again in 1997. Unlike other Smiths catalogue reissue programmes in Japan, this one only included "Meat Is Murder" and "The Queen Is Dead". The front shows the usual 'one-soldier' cd artwork and the obi is from the green, white and yellow "Forever Music" series. The cd tray is made of white plastic. Information about the back, booklet and disc (particularly on how they compare to the previous editions) is needed.
Japan CD [2006 reissue on WEA WPCR-12440]
The most recent reissue programme of Smiths material in Japan dates back to 2006 when all the albums were re-released in mini-replicas of the original LP sleeves. These are slightly bigger than the typical size of a compact disc. In the case of "Meat Is Murder", the original UK LP pressing served as a model for everything with the exception of the obi which was based on the original Tokuma LP obi. This means that the front shows the LP artwork (soldier times four) instead of the cd variation (soldier once). The back is like the original UK back with minor changes in the credits. The cd label follows the same colour pattern (grey with white text) and text layout as both the UK and Japan LP editions because the original Japanese label was already modelled on the British one. The inner sleeve of the cd is a quasi-perfect replica of the original UK LP one because the original Japanese LP was slipped inside a plastic film inner sleeve. This 2006 cd is actually also slipped inside a plastic film inner sleeve (the round bottom variety), which is in turn slipped inside the picture inner sleeve. An additional white paper booklet featuring the lyrics in English and Japanese and what looks like a bio is also found inside.
Japan LP promo [Tokuma Japan 25RTL-3001]
The promotional version of the original Tokuma LP is identical to the stock one, with two exceptions: it has two boxes with 3-character promo text added to the right side on the label, and a white 'SAMPLE NOT FOR SALE' sticker in one of two possible positions: the top right corner of the front of the sleeve, or the bottom left corner on the back.
Japan CD promo [1987 reissue on Victor VDP-5075]
The promo version of the 1987 Victor cd has a red 3-character promo sticker over the barcode on the back and promo text printed in red around the cd's centre.
Japan CD promo [1990 reissue on Victor VICP-2003]
Victor's 1990 reissue programme was promoted with copies of the albums (including this one) with "sample" stamped around the center of the cd and a promo sticker on the obi.
Japan CD promo [1993 reissue on WEA WMC5-544]
The Japanese promo cd is a stock copy with a white and red promo sticker on the back of the obi and promo text printed on the cd's inner ring.
Japan CD promo [1995 reissue on WEA WPCR-303]
A promo counterpart to the 1995 cd edition is expected, but none has ever been reported for this title. Please write if you have any information.
Japan CD promo [2006 reissue on WEA WPCR-12440]
Promo versions of this edition of "Meat Is Murder" are stock copies with an additional white sticker with red text affixed to the back of the obi and 'sample loaned' etched on the cd's inner ring.
Malaysia cassette [Sanada Magnetic Tapes 21-85]
This edition has the cassette slipped inside a hard book-style cover. The front shows the 4-soldier artwork over a white background. The name of the band appears in green in the same font as on the LP, but beneath the soldiers instead of the left. The album title is printed beneath that in a pale brown stylized script font. The back shows the usual track listing in the usual font but in orange/brown with green squares, beneath a non-related image of cartoon soldiers superimposed over a drawing of what looks like Jimi Hendrix in front of an American flag. The spine shows the band name and album title in the same fonts and colours as on the front, with the catalogue number at the top in red. The cassette is made of black plastic. More cassette information is needed.
New Zealand LP [CBS RTRANZ010]
This item differs mainly from its Australian counterpart by its labels, which are the classic green and red ones featuring the silhouette of a man. The sleeve may be identical to the Australian sleeve, leading many collectors to believe that what they have is an Australian edition. This needs to be confirmed. The record is slipped in an anti-static film inner sleeve with round bottom. The content of the UK's inner sleeve is reproduced on both sides of a paper insert. The lyrics side seems to include the lyrics to bonus track "How Soon Is Now?".
New Zealand cassette [CBS RTCANZ010]
The front of the New Zealand cassette is exactly the same as the front of the Australian cassette (view left). In fact, the former is usually mistaken for the latter as they bear the same catalogue number and nowhere on the packaging of the former edition is it mentioned that it comes from New Zealand (like most New Zealand editions it is recognizable as such by the absence of "Made in Australia" on the packaging). The spine is also the same as in Australia, white with the album title above the band name in green in the middle, with a black catalogue number and Dolby logo on the left, and a black 'shattered' Rough Trade logo on the right. However, the rest of the packaging is somewhat different. The back flap is not full and features only the album's track listing in black and white. The insert has three panels. The first one is a replica of the Australian insert's back panel, without the holes for the case's plastic prongs. It is white with black text: track listing, production credits, Rough Trade credit, catalogue number, Rough Trade copyright, legal warning and Dolby information. The remaining two panels are replicas of the Australian cassette's two panels. They show a cropped pale grey version of the front artwork's soldier with text printed over it. The left half has the band name at the top in the same colour and font as on the front, above various credits such as personnel, recording, production, songwriting, etc. The right half features the album's track listing with the remaining credits printed in a block beneath it. The cassette is white and bears white paper labels with black text. The track listing appears at the top on each side, with the catalogue number in the top left corner and a 'shattered' Rough Trade logo on the left.
New Zealand LP promo [CBS RTRANZ010]
The existence of a New Zealand promo LP is suspected, but none has ever been reported. If such a thing actually exists, it is very likely a stock copy with a 'demonstration' sticker on its label.
Philippines LP [DVNA Products TC-ROUGH-81]
The front of the Philippines LP features the usual vinyl artwork, so it shows the soldier repeated four times. The back artwork is quite peculiar. The top half, which is just white empty space in most countries, was used to advertise the Smiths' two earlier albums, the self-titled debut and "Hatful Of Hollow". The covers of both albums are shown with track listing underneath. The record is made of thick vinyl and its labels are yellow with black text. It is slipped inside an anti-static sleeve with round bottom. An insert is slipped inside. It shows the UK inner sleeve's soldier side, with lyrics printed over.
Philippines cassette [DVNA Products MC-ROUGH-81]
The cassette comes with a white insert showing a reproduction of the LP artwork on the front, with track listing and a bunch of logos underneath. The track listing is repeated on the back and inside. The insert unfolds to show an advertisement for "Hatful Of Hollow", showing that album's artwork and track listing. A stapled lyrics booklet is included inside. The cassette is made of clear plastic and its labels are mauve.
Portugal LP [Transmedia TM/RT 81]
The Portugal LP was produced with care. Its sleeve differs from its UK counterpart by a few additional credits and catalogue number at the bottom on the back. The inner sleeve is identical to the UK's, it is also glossy, but thinner. The record's labels are black instead of grey and feature a few extra Transmedia credits. The text is white and follows the traditional UK layout.
Portugal cassette [Transmedia TM/RT 81C]
The front of the Portuguese cassette shows the LP artwork in the middle, with the band name and title over it, and the Transmedia logo underneath. The track listing is given on the back. The insert is quite minimal. It unfolds once for track listing and credits. The cassette is grey-beige with white labels.
Saudi Arabia cassette [747 New Wave 9691]
The front of this unlicensed edition shows the four-soldiers LP artwork, with the band name and title printed over it in bright pink. The line "Special US edition contains bonus cut How Soon Is Now?" appears in a box at the bottom, which hints that the cassette may have been recorded from the USA LP (which was sold with a sticker on the front stating those exact words). What is not stated is the presence of bonus tracks "Girl Afraid", "What Different Does It Make?" and "I Don't Owe You Anything" and the fact that the song sequence was completely scrambled. The track listing is printed on the light blue back of the insert. The cassette is dark beige with black text and blue logos printed directly onto it.
Saudi Arabia cassette [Thomsun Original EN-151]
Spain LP [Nuevos Medios 43-123L]
The most notable difference between the Spanish LP and its British counterpart is the inner sleeve which is very thin and slightly transparent, like rice paper. The pale soldier photo on one side was shrinked and doesn't use the whole space. The remainder of the packaging is as expected: a few extra credits and logos on the back and on the labels, which are grey with white text as in the UK, with a similar typeset.
Spain cassette [Nuevos Medios 44-124C]
Information about this item is needed.
Sweden LP [MNW ROUGH81]
Once again the Swedish LP can be mistaken for a British edition to the untrained eye. The outer sleeve is identical. The inner sleeve looks perfectly the same, but it is made of paper instead of glossy card. It includes an additional anti-static inner sleeve inside. The only significant difference is the labels which are white with black text. The line "Made in the UK" appears at the bottom of them, which adds to the confusion, but the MNW label logo was added to the right of the centre hole.
Taiwan cassette [Crystal ROUGHC81]
The Taiwanese cassette is almost certainly an unlicensed edition, but it was still produced with much more care and attention than your average unlicensed cassette. The front of the insert shows the usual LP artwork (soldier X 4) over an olive green background, under band name and title in an unrelated white script font, and above a black portion with Chinese or Taiwanese text. It wraps itself around the cassette, so one spine displays the information in English while the other displays it in Chinese or Taiwanese. The back shows a track listing and release information. The cassette itself is black with yellow labels. The package includes a large insert folded many times to fit the case.
Uruguay LP [Variety 365887]
"Meat Is Murder" seems to be the only Smiths title to have been released in Uruguay, and this supposedly happened in 1988 (although the credits on the labels say 1986). The front shows the usual '4-soldier' LP artwork, with additional text in green in the lower left corner, under the band's name. The back does not follow the usual layout. The band name is reproduced in large green letters (taken from the front artwork) at the top. The track listing appears underneath in pink, in a layout copied from the back of the Argentina LP. This means that the songs are listed there by their Spanish titles. Credits are found at the bottom. The Variety labels are white with black text and the titles there are also in Spanish. Information about the inner sleeve is needed.
Uruguay cassette [Variety 465.887]
The cassette front artwork is just like that of the UK cassette, but the spine shows the Platino and Variety logos. The track listing is given in Spanish on the back and on the insert's inside flap. The cassette itself is black with light blue labels. The titles there are, as expected, also in Spanish.
Uruguay LP promo [Variety 365887]
The promo edition is a stock copy with the promo warning "Para difusion / Prohibida la venta" stamped in ink on the labels.
Uruguay cassette promo [Variety 465.887]
Just like the LP, the promo cassette is a stock copy with the promo warning "Para difusion / Prohibida la venta" stamped in ink on the labels and on the inside flap of the insert.
USA LP [Sire 9 25269-1]
There are 2 (or perhaps 3?) versions of the American LP out there. The difference between them is the inclusion of "How Soon Is Now?" in the track listing at the back of the sleeve. The original edition omitted to mention the bonus track there, but it had a black sticker on the front stating "Special US edition contains bonus cut 'How Soon Is Now?'". This was corrected for later editions. The rest of the packaging is the same for both versions. The inner sleeve in both cases is identical to the British one, but it is made of paper. The labels are the usual Sire ones, and "How Soon Is Now?" is mentioned at the beginning of side 2. There are actually 2 slightly different versions of the labels. In one case the Sire logo has the word 'Sire' at the two o'clock position next to it, and credits printed around the edge of the label. In the other case the Sire logo has 'Sire' underneath it, and no credits printed around the label's edge. It is unclear which of the label variations is paired with which of the back variations, or even if the match is perfect (meaning that there may be more than one back variation for one of the two labels).
USA LP [Rhino R1 520965; 2009 reissue on 180g LP]
The front of the 2009 Rhino LP reissue is the same as the original Rough Trade
LP (soldier repeated 4 times). The back is almost the same, with the exception of minor changes in the credits at the bottom and the presence of a bar code. A black, white and red sticker on the front advertises that the remastering was conducted by Johnny Marr. Information about the inner sleeve and record, and how they differ to their UK counterparts, is needed.
USA cassette [Sire 9 25269-4]
There are 2 versions of the American cassette. The difference between them is the inclusion of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" in the track listing at the back. The original edition omitted to mention that song there, but this was corrected for later editions. The rest of the packaging is the same for both versions. The front shows the LP artwork over the band name and album title in white over black. The insert doesn't unfold and credits are printed on the reverse of it. The cassette is made of white plastic and has titles and credits printed on it in black ink.
USA CD [Sire 9 25269-2]
There are three different American compact disc editions of "Meat Is Murder", not counting the record club edition listed next. All feature the LP artwork on the front, with the band's name in olive green instead of the darker green used in most other countries. All seem to have the same booklet (confirmation about this would be appreciated). The labels have the same typeset, although one edition has additional text (see below). The most significant differences are found at the back. The order in which they are described below reflects the most likely production order.
USA CD [Sire 9 25269-2 / BMG Direct D102693]
- DADC edition
This is the most likely original edition. On the back, the Rough Trade logo is placed over the credits. The barcode is in the lower right corner, with the Sire logo over it. The label differs from the next two versions by the line "Made in USA by DADC" at the bottom, the number DIDX 2968 above the Sire catalogue number, and the absence of the line "Mfg by WEA Manufacturing" in the credits on the left.
- standard edition version 1
The back is as above. The line "Made in USA by DADC" at the bottom and the number DIDX 2968 above the Sire catalogue number are dropped and "Mfg by WEA Manufacturing" is added to the credits on the left.
- standard edition version 2
On the back, the credits are moved to the bottom centre so the Rough Trade logo is now found in the bottom left corner. The barcode is sideways on the right, and the Sire logo is in the lower right corner. The label is identical to standard version 1 above.
The packaging of the BMG Direct record club edition is based on the standard edition version 2 above. The label is identical, and the back is the same with the exception of the barcode which was replaced with a BMG Direct catalogue number and credit.
USA CD longbox
Until about 1992-1993, compact discs were sold in the USA in tall picture boxes. Many were destroyed after purchase, but some were salvaged and ended up in fans collections. These featured their own variation/cropping of the album's artwork. View front and back of the "Meat Is Murder" longbox.
USA CD [2012 reissue on Sire/Rhino R2 520965]
USA LP promo [Sire 9 25269-1]
The promo edition of the American LP is a stock one with a promo warning stamped in gold ink on the front of the sleeve. The black sticker mentioning the inclusion of bonus track "How Soon Is Now?" which was usually found on the stock LP's wrapper was affixed directly onto the sleeve of the promo (because promos were never sealed). The track listing on the back omits "How Soon Is Now?" (as per original stock LP described above) although the song is featured on the album.
USA promo 12" [Sire PRO-A-2333]
The album was also promoted with the help of a promo-only 12" which featured the album version of "The Headmaster Ritual" on one side and an edit of the same song on the other. This item featured the usual yellow Sire labels. The record was slipped inside a plain white die-cut sleeve.
An alternate edition of this promo 12" lacks the usual promo warning "promotional copy not for sale" under PRO-A-2333 on the label.
USA Warner Bros Music Show promo [Sire WBMS130]
In early 1985 "How Soon Is Now?" was making waves and never did Sire push the Smiths as much as with "Meat Is Murder". Besides the promo LP and 12" described above, a radio show called the Warner Bros Music Show, in which Morrissey was interviewed about the album, was distributed to relevant media. Excerpts of every song from the album plus current UK single "Shakespeare's Sister" are featured, interspersed with bits of Morrissey discussing the tracks. The record features the Smiths on side A, and a similar programme with the Blasters on the flip. It features the usual red WBMS labels and is slipped in a generic red WBMS die-cut sleeve (some copies are found in a plain white sleeve die-cut to expose the labels).
USA press kit
A press kit was paired with some of the above promo items when they were distributed to media and/or retail. The kit included a 3-page press release on yellow Sire paper and a 8"x10" black and white press photo (view here). The text on the first page of the press release is a quasi perfect cut-and-paste from the press release which was produced by Sire for the band's first album.
USA 43cm x 56cm promo poster (17" x 22")
USA 20cm x 58cm promo poster (8" x 23")
USA 36cm x 56cm promo poster (14" x 22")
This poster was not meant to specifically promote "Meat Is Murder" but it was produced at the time of release of the album. It may have served during the American Meat Is Murder tour (the empty portions to be filled with concert information). View here.
USA 30cm x 30cm promo flat (12" x 12")
A one-sided promo flat showing the LP artwork was produced by Sire for American retail promotion.
(unknown) cassette [?? CS 5064]
This cassette of unknown origin has a white insert showing the LP artwork on the front, under a blue-white-red stripe with CS logo. Information about content and/or origin would be appreciated.