Paul Lester

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Paul Lester is a British music journalist, author and broadcaster from Elstree, Hertfordshire.


He began his career as a freelance journalist, for Melody Maker in the early 1990s, as well as City Limits, 20/20, Sky Magazine and The Jewish Chronicle. He covered grunge, shoegaze, Madchester and Britpop, also spending time with bands touring the UK and internationally.[1]

In 1993, Lester became Melody Maker's features editor; then in 1997, left to join Allan Jones in launching monthly music and film magazine Uncut, remaining deputy editor until 2006.

Lester has written more than a dozen rock / pop biographies, co-authored the Virgin Encyclopedia of Albums and often appears as a radio / television music pundit. He has interviewed hundreds of thespians and musicians including Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Mick Jagger and Snoop Dogg. He has also written sleeve notes on many, including: Todd Rundgren, Hall & Oates, The Smiths and The Sex Pistols.[2]

He currently resides in Hertfordshire, from where he has been freelancing since January 2007. He contributes newspapers, including : Guardian (daily columnist of 'Critics Picks'[3] and 'New Band of the Day'[4]), The Sunday Times, the Daily Express, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman. He writes of other periodicals, including: Q (magazine), GQ, Record Collector and The Jewish Chronicle (an autobiographical column about recently remarried life, as a father of three children).[citation needed]

In July 2011, he joined digital station Amazing Radio to present a weekly show dedicated to new music.[5] The programme continues to broadcast on Thursday afternoons between 1 and 3pm, on the national Digital One network in the UK and online via and the UK RadioPlayer.

In 2018, Lester became the editor of Record Collector magazine.[citation needed]



  • Lester, Paul (1995). Oasis : the illustrated story. London: Hamlyn.
  • — (1996). Oasis : the illustrated story. New ed. London: Hamlyn.
  • Blur: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Pyramid, May 1995, ISBN 978-0-600-58689-0
  • Pulp: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Feb 1996, ISBN 978-0-600-58974-7
  • Björk: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Aug 1996, ISBN 978-0-600-59067-5
  • Spice Girls: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Feb 1997, ISBN 978-0-600-59255-6
  • Kula Shaker: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Mar 1997, ISBN 978-0-600-59270-9
  • The Prodigy: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Nov 1997, ISBN 978-0-600-59511-3
  • The Encyclopedia of Albums (co-authored with Chris Roberts) (Paperback). Dempsey Parr, 1998, ISBN 978-1-84084-031-5
  • The Verve: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn. Jun 1998, ISBN 978-0-600-59592-2
  • Robbie Williams: The Illustrated Story (Paperback). Hamlyn, Oct 1998, ISBN 978-0-600-59746-9
  • Gang of Four: Damaged Gods (Paperback). Omnibus Press, Sep 2008, ISBN 978-1-84772-245-4
  • Lowdown: The Story of Wire (Paperback). Omnibus Press, May 2009, ISBN 978-1-84772-710-7
  • Pink: Split Personality (Paperback). Omnibus Press, November 2009, ISBN 978-1-84938-060-7

Album reviews[edit]

Album title Artist Reviewed in
Sacred songs Daryl Hall Lester, Paul (December 2014). "Consecration piece". Buried Treasure. Mojo. 253 (6): 114.


In 2008, Lester won the 'Breaking Music Writer' award at the Record of The Day Awards for Music Journalism and PR [6] for his 'New Band of the Day' column in The Guardian.


  1. ^ Rock's Back Pages, writer profile
  2. ^ author profile
  3. ^ Guardian Unlimited Music, profile
  4. ^ "Guardian: New Band of the Day". Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Amazing Radio : Paul Lester". Amazing Radio. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Record of the Day - AWARDS". Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009.

External links[edit]