Song of the Day #3,914: ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ – The Smiths

‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ is a track from The Smiths’ sophomore studio album, 1984’s Meat is Murder.

It concerns corporal punishment, three years before the United Kingdom banned the practice in state-run schools. It seems many an English schoolboy who grew up before the ban went on to write songs about their experiences on the wrong end of the cane.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #362: ‘How Soon is Now?’ – The Smiths

meatmurderThe band’s second studio album, 1985’s Meat is Murder, was their most commercially successful and received widespread critical acclaim. It’s also my least favorite of their albums.

That’s not to say it isn’t a strong collection — it is — but it’s one for which you have to be in the mood. Marr really went to town on this album, stylistically jumping all over the map. The Elvis Presley rockabilly of ‘Rusholme Ruffians’ runs into the jangly alternative sound of ‘I Want the One I Can’t Have’ then crashes headlong into the rock shredding of ‘What She Said.’ The album’s title (and weakest) track is a dissonant, sound effect-fueled screed about vegetarianism.

Continue reading