John Harris (critic)
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.
Harris was raised in Wilmslow in north Cheshire by a university lecturer in nuclear engineering and a teacher, the daughter of a nuclear research chemist. He became fixated by pop music at an early age.
He attended the comprehensive Wilmslow County High School (at the same time as members of the band the Doves), then went to Loreto College, Manchester, a Roman Catholic sixth form college between the University of Manchester and Old Trafford. 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.
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.
- The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock was published in May 2003, by Fourth Estate. The following year this was re-released as Britpop: Cool Britania and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock by Da Capo Press.
- So Now Who Do We Vote For? examined the 2005 UK general election, 2005, by John Faber.
- The Dark Side of the Moon: The Making Of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece
- Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll: The Ultimate Guide to the Music, the Myths and the Madness was published in October 2009, by Sphere.
- Official Site
- So Now Who Do We Vote For? blog
- John Harris at Comment is Free (The Guardian)
- Newsnight Review