Meat Puppets II

Meat Puppets II is the second album by the Phoenix, Arizona band the Meat Puppets, released in 1984. It is a departure from their self-titled debut album, which consisted largely of noisy hardcore with unintelligible vocals. It covers many genres from country-style rock ("Magic Toy Missing", "Climbing" and Lost") to slow acoustic songs ("Plateau" and "Oh, Me") to psychedelic guitar effects ("Aurora Borealis" and "We’re Here").

Meat Puppets II
An abstract painting with thick swatches of green and blue framing a smaller area of red and orange. “Meat Puppets II” is printed in the upper left.
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1984
RecordedApril – May 1983
StudioTotal Access, Redondo Beach, California
Length29:57 (original)
48:01 (reissue)
LabelSST (019)
Meat Puppets chronology
Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets II
Up on the Sun

The cover art is by Curt Kirkwood and Neal Holliday.[3]

Rykodisc reissued the album in 1999 with extra tracks and B-sides, including a cover of the Rolling Stones' Aftermath-era track "What To Do."

The Meat Puppets' SST labelmates Minutemen covered "Lost" on the live EP Tour-Spiel and their last studio album, 3-Way Tie (For Last). Three of the album's songs were covered by Nirvana (as the Kirkwood brothers joined them onstage) during their "Unplugged" show for MTV ("Plateau", "Oh, Me", and "Lake of Fire").


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Chicago Tribune    [5]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[6]
Rolling Stone     [8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[9]
The Village VoiceA−[10]

Kurt Loder in an April 1984 review in Rolling Stone described Meat Puppets II as "one of the funniest and most enjoyable albums" of the year, feeling that the band had developed beyond thrash music to become "a kind of cultural trash compacter" in which they blend head-banging with "a bit of the Byrds...Hendrix-style guitar...and...Blonde on Blonde-style wordsmithing".[8] In his review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau felt that Curt Kirkwood had combined "the amateur and the avant-garde with a homely appeal", which resulted in a "calmly demented country music" in a "psychedelic" vein.[10]

Robert Hilburn commented in the Los Angeles Times that they were "far more of an acquired promising though willfully unfocused rock act".[11]


The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and was also #94 on Pitchfork Media's "Best Albums of the 1980s".[12] Slant Magazine listed the album at #91 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[13]

The final track "The Whistling Song" was taken as the title of Stephen Beachy's first novel. Curt Kirkwood created the cover art for the book.

The album was performed live in its entirety at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Monticello, New York in 2008 as part of the ATP Don't Look Back season,[14] and again in December, 2008 at a performance in London.[15]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Curt Kirkwood, unless otherwise noted.

Original release
1."Split Myself in Two"2:22
2."Magic Toy Missing"1:20
5."Aurora Borealis"2:44
6."We're Here"2:40
8."New Gods"2:09
9."Oh, Me"2:59
10."Lake of Fire"1:54
11."I'm a Mindless Idiot"2:26
12."The Whistling Song"2:56
1999 CD bonus tracks
13."Teenager(s)"Meat Puppets3:36
14."I'm Not Here" 1:55
15."New Gods" (Demo Version) 2:13
16."Lost" (Demo Version) 3:03
17."What to Do"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards2:35
18."100% of Nothing" 1:50
19."Aurora Borealis" (Demo Version) 2:28


Meat Puppets
  • Spot - engineer
  • Curt Kirkwood, Neal Holliday - cover artwork


  1. ^ Goller, Josh. "Revisit: Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets II". Spectrum Culture. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  2. ^ Niesel, Jeff. "Meat Puppets to Revisit Their 'Middle Period' for Beachland Show". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ Derrick Bostrom (2010). "Notes". Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  4. ^ Deming, Mark. "Meat Puppets II – Meat Puppets". AllMusic. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (January 23, 1994). "Life Doesn't Suck?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Bautz, Mark (March 22, 1999). "Meat Puppets I; Meat Puppets II; Up on the Sun; Out My Way; Mirage; Huevos; Monsters; Live in Montana". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  7. ^ "Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets II". NME: 37. April 17, 1999.
  8. ^ a b Loder, Kurt (April 26, 1984). "Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets II". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (May 29, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Robert Hilburn. "Meat Puppets II CD Album". Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
  13. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s". 5 March 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Don't Look Back - Don't Look Back 2008 - Meat Puppets - Concert-info". 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Don't Look Back - Don't Look Back 2008 - Meat Puppets - Concert-info". 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2012.

External linksEdit