Music Monday: Songs About Books

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! You know how when you finish a book, you get that rush of joy and you just want to talk about it to everyone? Well, guess what? Rock stars get that feeling too! A great many songs have been based on books, and Scott's gathering a few to get us started. Here's the first right now:

The Cure - Killing An Arab

 

Robert Smith wasn't just content to be a man beloved by '80s high school kids. He had to go after their recommended reading as well. Albert Camus's The Stranger carries the very scene that this song attempts to recreate. To Smith's credit, he's since updated the song's name to "Killing Another" to avoid any political misuse or racism. He wasn't being mean, he just wanted to have a little book club!

Get out your library card and put on your reading glasses. See you after the jump.

You wouldn't always think it by how they act, but most musicians are actually pretty smart. And after that first million, what else is there to do but sit by the pool and read?

David Bowie - Candidate

 

Not too many people would have been brave enough to attempt a musical version of George Orwell's 1984. Poor David Bowie did, but then couldn't secure the rights, so had to abandon his dream! Thankfully, the man never wastes a thing, and he just folded the idea into Diamond Dogs. Any song off that album would probably qualify to take this spot, I just really like Candidate… and it's MY LIST!

Led Zeppelin - Ramble On

 

You could be reasonably far into this song before noticing it was set in The Lord Of The Rings. How many people had to rewind to make sure they heard the Gollum line correctly? And, for that matter, how many hard rockin' Zep fans got into The Hobbit because they heard a song like this?

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

 

Not only was this recreation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Kate's big debut on UK radio, it was also a song the next generation first heard in Vice City. So if it doesn't sound right, try to pop some popcorn and pretend it's the police firing at your stolen car. Then you'll start feeling the nostalgia.

The Normal - Warm Leatherette

 

That erotic crushing steel began life as one of JG Ballard's cars. This stripped-down electro-horror has also been covered by Grace Jones and Trent Renzor but it started out from Ballard's novel, Crash. Not the Crash that won an Academy Award, the good one.

There are still many more volumes out there, so help us build our library, and post your own book-turned-song below! Then, if you care to, hit up our Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, let us just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.