New Month, New Era. It’s the decade that changed pretty much everything
It’s an obvious choice who goes first for the 80’s, it’s Manc giants, The Smiths
The Smiths were arguably one of the biggest bands in the world that the 80’s spawned, and one of the most influential bands of all time. From the distinct, one of a kind vocals of Morrissey, to the utter genius that is Johnny Marr, The Smiths managed to turn their shortly lived career into one that will never be forgotten. And their 1985 album, ‘Meat Is Murder’ proves how talented The Smiths were.
‘Meat Is Murder’ may not be classed as the best Smiths album, however, I feel that it was this album that really showed how talented the band really were, and it especially showed the true talent of Marr. From the dreamy riff at the start of ‘Headmaster Ritual’, to the slightly rockabilly riffs of ‘Nowhere Fast’, Marr was on the form of his life when writing the music for this masterpiece. However, it wasn’t just Marr that was on top form for this album, singer, and icon, Morrissey really made this album something special by being his usual self, astonishing lyrics that were capable of changing your life, yet mostly dark and depressing. The way Morrissey wrote lyrics will never be matched.
This album was an important stab at the majority of society for Morrissey, as he could get across his views on the meat industry, show his love for Elvis through ‘Rusholme Ruffians’, and state his views on life in the 80’s and how dismal it could be. From teachers, lovers, meat-eaters, and the Queen, Morrissey took everyone down with him. Personally, the song on this album that is the biggest societal stab would have to be, ‘Headmaster Ritual’, as it’s a huge blow at the state of the education system, which in turn becomes a dig at the government. Starting with ‘sir thwacks you on the knees, knees you in the groin, elbow in the face’, to then end with ‘The meat in your mouth as you savour the flavour of murder’, I mean, what more proof do you need to show how much of a genius Morrissey can be.
Morrissey’s efforts to take digs at society to try and change it didn’t go unnoticed with this album, and the title track for this album really made people think about life, and a lot of Smiths fans stopped eating meat. Whether this was because of how much they idolised Morrissey, or because it woke them up to the reality of the meat industry, I don’t know, but I do know how much of a social impact that song especially had.
This album was really something special, and it really shows what could have been for The Smiths had they stayed around a bit longer.