- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (26 Feb. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007134738
- ISBN-13: 978-0007134731
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock Paperback – 26 Feb 2010
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‘THE LAST PARTY is a title that deserves to stick around the book charts.' Mark Lawson, Guardian
'THE LAST PARTY is that rare thing, a book principally about rock musicians that is a compulsive page-turner.’ The Sunday Times
'Compelling … it reminds us what a corrosive and mean place the pop world can be.' Mojo
'A fine, bittersweet read.' Q Magazine
'The loveliest -- and certainly the most human -- book about pop music I've ever read ...A delightful and humane soap opera, a real page-turner, full of rounded and entirely recognisable characters. 'Jon Ronson, Daily TelegraphTHE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF BRITPOP -- BLUR, OASIS, ELASTICA, SUEDE & TONY BLAIRBeginning in 1994 and closing in the first months of 1998, the UK passed through a cultural moment as distinct and as celebrated as any since the war. Founded on rock music, celebrity, boom-time economics and fleeting political optimism -- this was 'Cool Britannia'. Records sold in their millions, a new celebrity elite emerged and Tony Blair's Labour Party found itself, at long last, returned to government. Drawing on interviews from all the major bands -- including Oasis, Blur, Elastica and Suede -- from music journalists, record executives and those close to government, The Last Party charts the rise and fall of the Britpop movement. John Harris was there; and in this gripping new book he argues that the high point of British music's cultural impact also signalled its effective demise -- If rock stars were now friends of the government, then how could they continue to matter?Britpop in numbers:*There were an astonishing 2.6 million ticket applications for the Oasis gig at Knebworth in 1996. 1 in 24 of the British public wanted to see them play. In the end the band played to 250,000 fans across two nights with a guest list that ran to 7,000. *'Definitely, Maybe', Oasis's debut album, went straight to No 1, selling 100,000 copies in 4 days and outselling the Three Tenors in second place by a factor of 50%*On its first day in the shops Oasis's second album, 'What's The Story, Morning Glory', was selling at a rate of 2 copies a minute through HMV's London stores.; By 1997 Creation Records (which had been founded 12 years earlier with a bank loan of GBP1,000 by an ex-British Rail Clerk Alan McGee) announced a turnover of GBP36million thanks almost entirely to one band: Oasis. See all Product description
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Well-researched, and equally well written in the style of novel, the book takes into account the origins of Britpop and all of the early Manchester based bands, before moving onto it's heyday in the '90s, and it's eventual drug-fuelled demise. All of this is tide together nicely with an insight into New Labour, providing a intelligent look at the role in which politics played within this movement, and how our sneaky British politicians cared very little about either the bands or their music, but were still happy to use them to further their political ambitions.
With a wealth of very interesting, and often hilarious anecdotes heavily involving the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Oasis' Gallagher brothers and Blur's mastermind Damon Alban, and many others key-players, I found this to be one very tasty read. Rest ensured though, whilst there are plenty of tawdry tales of the musicians' lifestyles and antics which were fuelled on drink, drugs and excess, John Harris has put together his book with the use of quality writing, and as such, attention is also given to lots of other interesting aspects of the era. I do genuinely think this is the best book of it's kind that we're likely to get, and it is a real authority of the history of Britpop.
From the moment I laid my hands on it, this was one chunky paperback that I couldn't out down, and I'll never part with my copy, because I know that I'll want to read it all again. 'The Last Party' contains two inserts of black and white photographs, including many excellent posed, and unstaged pictures of the bands. A handy and extensive index can be found at the back.
Sadly I never got far enough to read about any music; reading the incessant anti Tory agenda encouraged me to wiz it in the bin and go do the washing up.
Thatcher was bad, we get it. If I’d wanted to read pages dwelling on that I’d dig out a politics book. Rubbish.
It takes a dispassionate observer like John Harris to open our eyes. Yes, there was some good stuff from Pulp, Swiiide and Elastica and (at a push) Blur, but we choose to blot out the horrors of Ocean Colour Scene, Kula Shaker and (AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!) Menswear.
It is impossible to read this without regular spasms of embarrassment.
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I've just read `The Last Party' and as somebody who lived through the `Britpop' years in their...Read more