"Meat Is Murder"


The song was written and recorded in October 1984 at Amazon Studios in Liverpool, with the Smiths (mostly Johnny) acting as producer and Stephen Street as recording engineer. Overdubs were added the following month at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey. The song's mixing was completed in December 1984 at Island Record's Fallout Shelter.


album version {6:02}
"Meat Is Murder" album


This song has never been performed specifically for radio or television.


This song has been done in concert 76 times by the Smiths, perhaps 77 times (information is missing for one 1986 setlist). It was in the set every night bar one on the 1985 Meat Is Murder tour. It was only skipped once only during the handful of 'loose' dates from early 1986. It wasn't on the setlist initially on the 1986 Queen Is Dead tour, but played almost without a break following its return to the set in Washington in early October. On the final UK leg of the latter tour, Johnny would start the song with a slowed down version of the verse of "The Headmaster Ritual".

live Oxford 18 March 1985 {5:34}
"That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" single, all formats
• 12" and cd-single of "The Headmaster Ritual"
"Animal Liberation" compilation LP (with 20 extra seconds of crowd noise)
• deluxe edition of "The Sound Of The Smiths" [remastered 2008]

It was done a further 286 times by Morrissey after the Smiths, which places it in the top 10 of his 'live hall of fame'. Interesting fact: if the song was played once on a tour, it was played each and every night. There is only one exception to this, as the song was skipped in Stockton in 2012. This means that it was on the setlist for every one of the 75 dates of the 1999-2000 Oye Esteban tour when Morrissey reintroduced it into his sets, at every one of the 47 concerts given in 2002 and the 47 other ones given in 2011, 55 times out of 56 dates in 2012, at every one of the 15 concerts given in 2013 and 47 times out of 49 dates in 2014.

live Hollywood High School 2 March 2013 {:} [Morrissey after the Smiths]
"25Live", a live concert on video


No demos or studio outtakes of this song have leaked to the general public at this point in time.



"It is a direct statement. Of all the political topics to be scrutinised people are still disturbingly vague about the treatment of animals. People still seem to believe that meat is a particular substance not at all connected to animals playing in the field over there. People don't realise how gruesomely and frighteningly the animal gets to the plate..."
- Morrissey, NME, 22/29 December 1984