John Harris (critic)

For other people named John Harris, see John Harris (disambiguation).

John Rhys Harris (born 1969) is a British journalist, writer, and critic. He is the author of The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock (2003), So Now Who Do We Vote For? which examined the 2005 UK general election, a 2006 behind-the-scenes look at the production of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll (2009). His articles have appeared in Q, Mojo, Rolling Stone, The Independent, the New Statesman, The Times, and The Guardian.

Early life

Harris was raised in Wilmslow in north Cheshire by a university lecturer in nuclear engineering[1] and a teacher, the daughter of a nuclear research chemist. He became fixated by pop music at an early age.

He attended the grammar, now comprehensive, Wilmslow County High School (at the same time as members of the band the Doves[2]), then went to Loreto College, Manchester, a Roman Catholic sixth form college between the University of Manchester and Old Trafford.[3] He applied to study Modern History at Keble College, Oxford, but was rejected, and claimed that his membership of left-wing organisations had not won him many favours with such a traditional and conservative college. He spent three years studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at another Oxford college, Queen's, between 1989 and 1992.

Media career

In 1991, Harris joined Melody Maker; between 1993 and the summer of 1995, he wrote for NME; and in 1995, he was named editor of Select magazine after a brief stint with Q.

In 1995, Harris resumed his career as a freelance writer, writing about pop music, politics, and a variety of other subjects. His articles have appeared in Q, Mojo, Rolling Stone, The Independent, the New Statesman, The Times, and The Guardian.

He believes Britpop was a shining moment for the UK's music industry, and possibly the end of an era, with (manufactured) music now deliberately catering for the lowest common denominator. He presented a BBC Four documentary on the musical movement, The Britpop Story.

In addition to writing, Harris often appears on television programmes concerned with late 80s/early 90s British pop music, as well as being a regular pundit on BBC Two's Newsnight Review.

Personal life

He lives in Hay on Wye, Powys, near the Wales–England border and occasionally makes guest appearances on BBC Radio Wales.



External links

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