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John Aizlewood

John Aizlewood

John Aizlewood is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster – and is one of Britain's leading music writers. He currently writes on music for MojoQ and Classic Rock. He has interviewed almost every major pop star of the past three decades, including Kurt Cobain, Fugees, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Enya, Kate Bush, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red, Mark E. Smith, Frankie Valli, Iron Maiden, Kylie Minogue, Depeche Mode, Celine Dion, Chris Cornell, Joe Strummer, Take That, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Cranberries, Blur, Iron Maiden, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, the Cure, Sting and a host of others.

He has been a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Independent On Sunday, London Evening Standard, Four-Four-Two, Football 365, Radio Times, Champions, Melody Maker, Sounds, Select, Tracks, Insight, FHM, Arena, Supply Management amongst many others. He also wrote the acclaimed sleevenotes to the chart-topping re-issue of George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1.

He regularly appears as a critic on television and is currently starring in his seventh series of Sky Arts's Discovering Music. He has regularly appeared on all the BBC's national radio networks and scripted episodes of Top Of The Pops II and two series of Sky's The Pop Years. He reviews music and sport books for the i. His own books include Love Is The Drug (1994), Playing At Home (1998) and Radiohead: Life In A Glasshouse (2020)

He has written on sport, chiefly football, for over 20 years for newspapers including The Independent/Independent On Sunday, Sunday Times/Times and Daily Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph, plus magazines including Four Four Two, Champions and Saga. He has reported from every Premier League ground and has interviewed countless sporting icons from Harry Kane and Jordan Pickford and Adam Peaty to Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Tai Woffinden.

John Aizlewood online

41 articles

By artist | By date

List of articles in the library by date

The Beastie Boys: The Nature of the Beastie Boy

Interview by John Aizlewood, No. 1, 7 March 1987

Mad, bad and dangerous to know, it's THE BEASTIE BOYS! Loud, obnoxious, snotty and very very funny. ...

Sly & Robbie: Popstars and the Strange Things They Own: Sly & Robbie

Interview by John Aizlewood, No. 1, 25 July 1987

"MUSIC IS with us all the time. We don't take holidays. I even dream about music." ...

T'Pau: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, No. 1, 9 January 1988

HAMMERSMITH IN THEIR HAND? ...

Was (Not Was): Spies Like Us

Interview by John Aizlewood, No. 1, 27 February 1988

Was (Not Was), as we all knew, are spies in the house of love, but did you know Don Was is a CIA spy? Or ...

Giant Sand: Swerve

Review by John Aizlewood, Select, December 1990

HOWE GELB is the caretaker of a small desert motel near the Joshua Tree National Park in America's still Wild West. Every few months he ...

Neal Casal: Borderline, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 25 September 2000

IT IS HARD not to sympathise with Neal Casal: he is surely doing this for love, not money. After seven mostly impressive albums in five ...

Allison Moorer: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 16 October 2000

SHE MAY BE TRADITIONAL down to her oft-repeated felicitations to "y'all", but Alabama's Allison Moorer is hardly a typical country woman, and not solely because ...

Eileen Rose: Spitz, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 19 October 2000

ANOTHER WEEK, another female singer trying to merge Alanis Morissette's lyrical convolutions, Sheryl Crow's tuneful rock chickery and that hint of kookiness Jewel embraces with ...

Cousteau: Cousteau

Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 20 October 2000

WE HAVE BEEN THIS WAY BEFORE. Many times in fact, since 1967, when Scott Walker discovered Jacques Brel and embarked upon a most contrary solo ...

Wondermints: Borderline, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 17 November 2000

IN THE MOMENTARY SILENCE following 'Global Village Idiot''s harmonic but angular climax, some wag shouts "Surf's Up!" It's part request, part comment and everyone in ...

The Frank and Walters: Glass

Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 12 January 2001

IT IS HARDLY giving away state secrets to acknowledge that things are not going well for Cork's Frank and Walters. When their 1992 debut Trains, ...

Ani DiFranco: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 1 February 2001

WITHOUT A HINT OF MAINSTREAM chart or media attention over a decade-long career, without a new record to promote and without any discernible music industry ...

The Eagles: Eagles: Earls Court, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 12 June 2001

WITH MANY tickets costing £60, an official baseball top going for a mere £70 and queues of more than 30 minutes to enter Earls Court, ...

Primal Scream: Astoria, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 14 August 2001

HAVING LONG AGO meandered woozily across the line between inexorably naff and insufferably hip, Primal Scream find themselves approaching another musical crossroads. ...

Ben Christophers: Spitz, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 6 September 2001

TIMES ARE TOUGH right now for the musical descendants of Jeff and Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin and Talk Talk in their noodly period. Always on ...

The Residents: Royal Festival Hall, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 18 September 2001

"YOU'RE NOT the real Residents!" shouts a heckler. He may or may not have a point – there is no way of telling. Since 1972, ...

Harold Budd, Bill Laswell, Jah Wobble: Jah Wobble's Solaris: Ocean, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 23 October 2001

NEVER AFRAID of embracing the cerebral, Jah Wobble's latest group project, Solaris, is inspired by Stanislaw Lem's 1961 science fiction novel and, especially, Andrei Tarkovsky's ...

Delirious?: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 7 December 2001

DELIRIOUS?'s defining moment occurs at the close of their set. 'I'm Not Ashamed' is a Green Day-style, punky rock song. Singer Martin Smith, a slender, ...

Marti Pellow: Wembley Arena, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 17 December 2001

HARDLY THE most hospitable venue at the best of times, a third-full Wembley Arena is a depressing place indeed. Such is Marti Pellow's lot post- ...

The Du-Tels: Gods, monsters and us

Interview by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 18 December 2001

THEY FOUGHT with Beefheart, lost Jeff Buckley and grew used to obscurity. But the Du-Tels just keep on going. ...

Indigo Girls: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 1 February 2002

AMY RAY AND EMILY SALIERS can't quite remember the last time they played London. It may have been six years, or seven. Whatever, they tell ...

Sam Moore: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 15 February 2002

OF THE MYRIAD SAD SIGHTS on the live circuit, none is more distressing than the wobbly of voice and stomach soul veteran vainly trying to ...

Josh Rouse: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 28 February 2002

NASHVILLE-BASED JOSH ROUSE is not one to bare his soul. "People often ask me what this or that song means," he mutters, before stepping into ...

India.Arie: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 12 April 2002

IN 1997, Erykah Badu's emergence briefly heralded a flurry of female acoustic soul singers. They dressed badly, enjoyed the smell of incense on stage and ...

Half Japanese, Teenage Fanclub: Teenage Fanclub/Jad Fair: Barbican, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 25 April 2002

"IS THIS A JOKE?" shouts a disgruntled heckler midway through this unsatisfying evening. "Get off". It doesn't seem to be a joke. The Barbican's Only ...

Kosheen: Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 2 May 2002

THE BRISTOL REVOLUTION of Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky seems almost a fiction of folk memory in these backwards-looking days of the Strokes and the ...

Lauryn Hill: MTV Unplugged

Review by John Aizlewood, Blender, July 2002

IT SOUNDS LIKE either madness or genius, and it's actually a bit of both. As her follow-up to 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which ...

Sleater-Kinney: One Beat

Review by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 16 August 2002

THE RATHER inglorious tradition of shouty punk women began with the Slits, but trio Sleater-Kinney take their cue from long-forgotten compatriots Ut, whose celebration of ...

Ken Boothe: Everything I Own: The Best of Ken Boothe (Trojan)

Review by John Aizlewood, Q, September 2003

The soul-kissed voice of '70s reggae lovingly collected. ...

Jimmy Webb: The man who made the whole world sing

Interview by John Aizlewood, The Evening Standard, 6 May 2005

Jimmy Webb, composer of classics such as 'Wichita Lineman' and 'Up, Up and Away', is about to step up to the mike for two rare ...

Adele, Duffy: Adele and Duffy are products of the age of X Factor

Comment by John Aizlewood, The Guardian, 4 January 2008

You can thank Simon Cowell for the results of the BBC's The Sound of 2008 poll. ...

Example: Playing in the Shadows

Review by John Aizlewood, bbc.co.uk, 5 September 2011

A third album which should establish Example as a chart-topper for the long haul. ...

Smoke Fairies: Blood Speaks

Review by John Aizlewood, bbc.co.uk, 21 May 2012

There’s much to adore from the bluesy folk duo on this second set. ...

Joss Stone: The Soul Sessions Vol 2

Review by John Aizlewood, bbc.co.uk, 13 July 2012

Stone returns to her covers comfort zone, with excellent results. Joss Stone was only 16 years old when she debuted with The Soul Sessions in 2003. ...

INXS: Kick 25

Review by John Aizlewood, bbc.co.uk, 24 September 2012

For a moment, INXS were peerless. This is that moment. ...

Depeche Mode: Palma Violets: 180

Review by John Aizlewood, bbc.co.uk, 23 February 2013

South London quartet's debut suggests they've the potential to be unstoppable. ...

Justin Bieber: O2, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Evening Standard, 12 October 2016

WHEN JUSTIN BIEBER most recently played the O2 in 2013, he arrived two hours late, broke the hearts of his young audience and was shoddiness ...

Warpaint: Roundhouse, London

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Evening Standard, 28 October 2016

OVER THE COURSE of three albums, Los Angeles-based Warpaint have risen from strugglers (albeit well connected strugglers — bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg's sister is actress ...

Rag'n'Bone Man: Electric, Brixton

Live Review by John Aizlewood, The Evening Standard, 25 November 2016

FAR FROM slender, festooned with tattoos which suggest he's spent the past few years at her majesty's pleasure, the wrong side of 30 and blessed ...

Dirty Projectors: 5EPs (Domino)

Review by John Aizlewood, MOJO, January 2021

This year's five extended plays, gathered together. ...

(British) Sea Power: Sea Power: Everything Was Forever (Rough Trade)

Review by John Aizlewood, MOJO, March 2022

First album since they were British Sea Power. Their seventh in all.  ...

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