The Smiths Meat Is Murder reached the big three-o a month ago (February 11, 1985), and this week celebrates 30 years since that album first reached No. 1 on the CMJ charts. Their eponymous debut reached No. 4 on the college radio charts in May of 1984, paving the way for Meat Is Murder to make it all the way to the top less than a year later.
CMJ Chart For The Week Of March 8, 1985
ARTIST & TITLE
|1||Smiths Meat Is Murder||Rough Trade|
|2||Bronski Beat Age Of Consent||London|
|3||Velvet Underground VU||Verve|
|4||Various Artists Breakfast Club Soundtrack||A&M|
|5||Hüsker Dü New Day Rising||SST|
|6||Los Lobos How Will The Wolf Survive?||Slash/ Warner Bros|
|7||John Fogerty Centerfield||Warner Bros|
|8||Bongos Beat Hotel||RCA|
|9||Eurythmics 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother)||Virgin|
|10||Frankie Goes To Hollywood Welcome To The Pleasuredome||ZTT/ Islands||11||General Public …All The Rage||I.R.S|
|12||Lloyd Cole And The Commotions Rattlesnakes||Polydor/ Geffen|
|13||Stranglers Aural Sculpture||Epic|
|14||Nails Mood Swing||RCA|
|15||Beat Farmers Tales Of The New West||Rhino|
|16||Big Country Steeltown||Mercury|
|18||U2 The Unforgettable Fire||Island|
|19||Kim Wilde Teases And Dares||MCA|
|20||Replacements Let It Be||Twin/Tone|
Back in the ’80s, charts were only calculated bi-weekly. So by sitting in No. 1 for four chart periods, Meat Is Murder actually spent two months at the top of the charts. In between The Smiths and Meat Is Murder, the Smiths expanded their sound and moved into a more overtly political realm—one that Morrissey hasn’t left since.
For all of Meat Is Murder‘s subtle, nuanced moments of greatness, The Queen Is Dead was arguably the most full-fledged embodiment of Morrissey and Marr’s capabilities. But even with it’s widely recognized status as their best album, The Queen Is Dead only hit No. 1 for one week on the CMJ charts. Louder Than Bombs, a singles compilation of tracks previously not released in the U.S., also hit No. 1 for one week in May of ’87. But this would be the last college radio No. 1 for the group as their final full-length release Strangeways, Here We Come would reach its peak at No. 2 in October of 1987.