The Smiths: Meat Is Murder Alternate Format Discography

Alternate Format Discography

Original LP
As The Smiths' record label Rough Trade was used to putting out small-scale releases and was rather challenged in dealing with demand when the band took off, the original LP was released in the UK in 1985 on Rough Trade via Warner Bros [ROUGH 81] in a single sleeve with the lyrics printed on the inner. Etched by hand on the run-out grooves in the cutting process were 'Illness As Art' – a droll reference to one of Morrissey's lyrical topics – and 'Doing The Wythenshawe Waltz'.


In both the US and Canada, Meat Is Murder was released on Rough Trade and Sire [1-25269]. The Japanese LP was also released on Rough Trade, but licensed to the Tokuma Japan Corporation. The inner sleeve featured the front cover image with a picture of the group and the lyrics in Japanese on the back [25RTL-3001].

The version that appeared in Uruguay on the Renew Variety label had a different back cover layout with the titles translated into Spanish in a pink font.

Finally, a numbered limited edition 10in LP was released on WEA in both the UK and Europe in 1993 [SMITHS 3; 4509-91894-1]. This has a green record label.

In the UK Meat Is Murder was released on cassette in 1985 on Rough Trade, with just one portrait of the US marine rather than the four used on the LP cover [ROUGH C81]. In the US the cassette came out on Sire [4-25269] with the inclusion of 'How Soon Is Now' and the four marine images on the cover. This artwork [see below left] was used in other territories, such as the Philippines [MC-ROUGH-81].


The oddity was the Malaysian release. It had the four marine images on the front of the cassette but the person who designed the rear cover artwork got rather carried away, down the military route. It features a composite image of a man smoking, an American flag, and the three battlefield crosses – rifles stuck into the ground with helmets on them. [Sanada Magnetic Tapes, 21-85].

First CD
Meat Is Murder was also released on CD in 1985. It included a green monochrome insert with a group photo [Rough Trade ROUGH CD 81]. The first US CD came out on the Sire imprint in 1988, with a lyrics insert [9 25269-2] and included an extra track, 'How Soon Is Now' – the single that preceded the album. This track first appeared on a domestic CD in 1993, on the reissue from WEA [4509-91895-2].

A remastered CD was released in Japan in 2006 as part of the 'paper sleeve' series , and came in a facsimile thin card sleeve with a lyric booklet in both Japanese and English. The running order included 'How Soon Is Now', although that track is not listed on the cover.

The most recent UK CD reissue for UK and Europe came in 2011 with the original tracklisting, and this was remastered by Johnny Marr [WEA 2564660486].

Box Sets
Complete, an 8CD box set was released on Rhino Records in UK and Europe in 2011. It comprises all four studio albums, the live album Rank and the three compilations of singles, B-sides and radio sessions – 'Hatful Of Hollow', 'The World Won't Listen' and 'Louder Than Bombs', all remastered by Johnny Marr [2564665907]. The CD covers are mini replicas of the original vinyl releases including stickers and posters. An 8LP set was released simultaneously and came with a 12in booklet and a poster of the box cover artwork [2564665908].


The holy grail for Smiths collectors is the deluxe edition of Complete, also released that year by Rhino [2564665906]. It comprises all the albums on vinyl and CD and 25 7in singles, some on clear and coloured vinyl [pictured below]. (It has been pointed out that this still omits a number of tracks that had been officially released.) Also included is The Complete Picture DVD – a Tyne Tees TV documentary which was originally released on VHS in 1992. The package includes a 12-page booklet, eight art prints of the album covers and a poster of the box artwork. This numbered set was limited to 4000 copies and sells for anything upwards of £500.

Audiophile Vinyl LP
In 2009 Rhino released a 180g remastered LP in the UK, retaining the original catalogue number [ROUGH 81]; in the States the number was R1 520965.