WootBot


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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.



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chicken0102


quality posts: 41 Private Messages chicken0102

"The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" performed by Leonard Nimoy

LarryLars


quality posts: 65 Private Messages LarryLars

The Hobbit
Leonard Nimoy - "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"


!

Have you checked your Private Messages lately?

mossygreen


quality posts: 71 Private Messages mossygreen

I assume that Marc Almond read Numbers by John Rechy and was inspired by it to write a song with an almost entirely different story/message, rather than found something else entitled "Numbers" to inspire him.


I can't say for sure that J. G. Thirlwell read The Family by Ed Sanders and then wrote "DI-19026," but when I read it, I thought, hey, this is the direct inspiration for "DI-19026" (Lydia Lunch probably recommended it). So, right or wrong, I'm including it.


Bonus: Syd Barrett thinks stories are nice in general, on an ALBUM named after a chapter in a children's book:

LarryLars


quality posts: 65 Private Messages LarryLars

The Alan Parsons Project - "Breakdown"
from the album "I Robot" which is based on several Isaac Asimov's stories.


!

Have you checked your Private Messages lately?

tjamil


quality posts: 26 Private Messages tjamil

Pearl Jam's album Yield was inspired by the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. According to the author, Do the Evolution is the song that epitomizes the book.

mossygreen


quality posts: 71 Private Messages mossygreen
LarryLars wrote:The Alan Parsons Project - "Breakdown"
from the album "I Robot" which is based on several Isaac Asimov's stories.


I see your Asimov and raise you POE:


Actually, you made the right choice.

CatCK


quality posts: 50 Private Messages CatCK

How about a song about the writer of those books?

"Paperback Writer" by The Beatles

CatCK


quality posts: 50 Private Messages CatCK

From Kenny Loggins

"House at Pooh Corner"/"Return to Pooh Corner"



hot72chev


quality posts: 11 Private Messages hot72chev

1957, The Monotones, Book of Love


1983, Elvis Costello, Every Day I Write the Book


2010, Kenny Chesney, Hemingway's Whiskey

cjhughes


quality posts: 24 Private Messages cjhughes

Tom Joad by Woody Guthrie, from Dust Bowl Ballads - the entire story of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath in under 7 minutes.

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle,
I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H.G. Wells
Woot:40(Babies on Cribs:7) Kids:0 Wine:1 Shirt:7 Sellout:4 Home:1 Moofi: 2

CatCK


quality posts: 50 Private Messages CatCK
LarryLars wrote:The Hobbit
Leonard Nimoy - "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"



This just made my day.

Moueska


quality posts: 54 Private Messages Moueska

OH. DUH.

Hank Green and "Harry and the Potters" both to Fan songs for Rowling's epic series. I don't really listen to the second group, but being a lifelong Nerdfighter, I couldn't avoid the work of Hank Green:

"Accio Deathly Hallows"
"Book Eight"

I could get into the whole discography, but I really shouldn't.

My favorite series is Redwall, so here - have a whole album:
Not that you get to actually listen to them, but I'm sure they can be tracked down

One could argue that every single musical based on a book is about a book but none so much as "Cats". Why?

There's very little paraphrasing in Cats. There's almost no actual attempt at a storyline. It's back-to-back dressed-up poetry from T.S. Eliot's Poetry. It's pure, beautiful, but lonely in its translation to music. Even Mister Mistoffolees' and Rum Tum Tugger are still isolated in their individual songs, despite the direction and action in the playbook. (Don't get me wrong, it's a FUN musical to watch. But the plot IS extremely loose.)

"My Fair Lady" and "Les Miserables", when compared to "Cats", actually have a GREAT deal of paraphrasing. Don't even get me started about how far Disney goes from canon.

OH! BUT! The first half of "Into the Woods" is pretty close to the original fairy tales in its telling, so I'll give it a pass. (I can't speak to the second half. "A slotted spoon holds no soup!")

OH! Jonathan Coulton wrote a song that has openly been adopted as the promo theme for "Redshirts" titled... "Redshirts". (The novel comes highly recommended for anyone who's sat through any portion of any of the Star Trek series. Ever.)

mossygreen


quality posts: 71 Private Messages mossygreen
LarryLars wrote:The Hobbit
Leonard Nimoy - "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"


I... don't understand. I thought "FRODO LIVES" was something made up by the authors of Bored of the Rings. I was naive.

mossygreen


quality posts: 71 Private Messages mossygreen
Moueska wrote:Don't even get me started about how far Disney goes from canon.


Disney can go to hell. I will never forgive them for Mary Poppins.

CowboyDann


quality posts: 716 Private Messages CowboyDann

Slint - Good Morning Captain

based on a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


Fun Fact: The Band Name Modest mouse came from a story by Virginia Woolf - The Mark on the Wall

I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises. They are not thoughts directly praising oneself; that is the beauty of them; they are thoughts like this:

strawhousepig


quality posts: 60 Private Messages strawhousepig

A few from Maiden.





emorrica


quality posts: 2 Private Messages emorrica

Wasn't sure how/where to request this, but could we get a Music Monday about leaving the nest (or music for empty nesters)?

pmillsrulz


quality posts: 6 Private Messages pmillsrulz

My favorite song about a book is this one. And I believe everyone should be familiar with it.



Also, have a lovely week, woot friends!