5. Meat Is Murder (1985)
Meat Is Murder is the most overtly topical album for a band that frequently evinces a political bent. Morrissey is nothing if not completely convicted regarding his strict vegetarianism and the fair treatment of animals, but his righteousness doesn't always make for a compelling listen. The agitprop title track is really a tough hang, clocking in at just over six minutes and coupling the real-life sounds of cows in distress with the opening lyric, "Heifer whines could be human cries/ Closer comes the screaming knife." Well … you can't say Morrissey doesn't have a point of view. But the highs on Meat Is Murder are unmistakably high: "How Soon Is Now" is about as near to a perfect Smiths song as you can get, and "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" is pretty damn close. Nevertheless, the truism about not wanting to see legislation or sausage being made rings painfully true here.