Literature: 13 Songs Based on Books

author: jomatami date: 05/23/2014 category: features
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Literature: 13 Songs Based on Books
Among a vast array of inspirations that fueled the creation of amazing rock songs, books certainly played a major role, giving musicians cool ideas to fuse with their playing. That's what we're about to focus on here, check out the lucky 13 we rounded up below.

Iron Maiden - "Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World")

Seeing that a great number of their classic tunes was inspired by works of literature, Iron Maiden get to kick off the list. We've opted for "Brave New World," an epic tune inspired by Aldous Huxley's classic novel, but we might as well have picked "Flight of Icarus," "El Dorado," "Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Out of the Silent Planet" and many more.

Pink Floyd - "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" ("I Ching")

"I Ching" clearly served as one of the prominent inspiration sources for Pink Floyd, seeing that it has also inspired "Chapter 24" track off their debut effort.

Guns N' Roses - "November Rain" (Del James' short story "Without You")

Not exactly a book, but a work of literature nevertheless, Del James' short story "Without You" inspired GN'R for "November Rain."

Iced Earth - "Dante's Inferno" (Dante Alighieri's "Inferno")

As a band commonly inspired by literature, Iced Earth should definitely be mentioned on the list. We opted for "Dante's Inferno" as a top example.

Rick Wakeman - "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth")

We'll venture forth with a true prog titan, Rick Wakeman of Yes and his "Journey to the Centre of the Earth."

Radiohead - "2+2=5" (George Orwell's "1984")

George Orwell's "1984" inspired more than just one artist, since David Bowie has also written not one, but two tunes about the classic novel.

Anthrax - "Among the Living" (Stephen King's "The Stand")

Getting to the thrash domain, Anthrax's "Among the Living" was in fact inspired by Stephen King's "The Stand."

Metallica - "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls")

We could've used "One" as a great example of Metallica being inspired by books, but this time around we opted for "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit" (Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland")

Psychedelic and trippy, "Alice in Wonderland" was just perfect as an inspiration source back in the '60, now wasn't it?

Led Zeppelin - "No Quarter" (Tolkien's "The Hobbit")

Led Zeppelin made sure to acknowledge being Tolkien fans on several occasions in their music, one of them being the "No Quarter" track.

Rush - "Xanadu" (Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan")

They're also Tolkien fans (check "Rivendell" for more on that), but Rush drew inspiration for one of their most famous songs, the epic "Xanadu," from Coleridge's poem titled "Kubla Khan."

Symphony X - "The Odyssey" (Homer's "The Odyssey")

Going all the way to Ancient Greece to find inspiration, Symphony X delivered one of their most epic pieces based on Homer's classic.

Nirvana - "Scentless Apprentice" (Patrick Suskind's "Perfume")

We'll round it up with Kurt and co, as their "Scentless Apprentice" track was based on Patrick Suskind's "Perfume." There's also a cool movie based on that, you should check it out.


Got some other notable examples to share? Do it in the comments.
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