Literature The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters  

Ranker Music
3.3k votes 317 voters 17.2k views 64 items

List Rules Vote for your favorite music group whose name has origins in literature, books, poetry, etc.

The best bands that are named after books span the music world with offerings from music genres like indie rock, classic rock, and even a little hip-hop. The only rule here is that these famous bands must have some kind of literary affiliation. For instance: David Bowie has a song called "1984" (based on the George Orwell book), but the band/artist name has no literary tie-in, so it doesn't count. Veruca Salt, however, is a character in a Roald Dahl book, so they're in. 

This votable list of band names with literary origins is your chance to choose the best literature related artist or band. Is a bit of Supertramp your thing? Is Modest Mouse a band you want to check out (from the library)? Do you think the liner notes for Belle & Sebastian are real page turners? Whether you're a fan of a good band with a funny book name or just a fan of literary figure names and weird bands, this list of famous bands with book names is the place to be for all the smartest band names.

This band names list exists solely to highlight literary bands, but if you're curious to see where some of the best weird band names came from, check out the greatest band name origin stories. Also, don't be surprised when you see some of these funny band names on the list of great bands with the worst names.

1
100 40
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk - The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

2
82 38
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock - The Bible

3
58 30
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music, Rock music - The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp by William Henry Davies

4
52 38
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Steppenwolf Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal - Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

5
54 43
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music - The Velvet Underground by Michael Leigh

6
63 54
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music - Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance by Irvine Welsh

7
44 35
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Steely Dan Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues - Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

8
48 41
Uriah Heep is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Uriah Heep Heavy metal, Pop rock, Progressive rock - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

9
41 39
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Thin Lizzy Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music - The Beano 

10
47 47
Veruca Salt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Veruca Salt Grunge, Power pop, Post-grunge - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

11
40 40
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Tears for Fears Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

12
31 35
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk - House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633

13
36 45
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop - Child's Reflection, Cold Play by Philip Horky

14
30 43
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Modest Mouse Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock - 'The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

15
24 34
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Mott the Hoople Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock - Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus

16
23 37
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music - The Bad Seed by William March

17
1 2
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
AlanGivens added Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

18
24 40
The Boo Radleys is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Boo Radleys Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

19
22 39
Good Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Good Charlotte Pop punk, Rock music, Dance-punk - Good Charlotte: The Girls of Good Day Orphanage by Carol Beach York

20
26 46
Of Mice & Men is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Of Mice & Men Metalcore, Post-hardcore - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

21
19 36
Marillion is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Marillion Neo-progressive rock, Acoustic music, Pop rock - The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

22
20 38
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Silverchair Synthpop, Grunge, Pop rock - The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

23
19 38
Atreyu is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Atreyu Emo, Metalcore, Screamo - The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

24
15 33
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Fall Alternative rock, Punk rock, Avant-garde - The Fall by Albert Camus

25
14 32
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heaven 17 Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

26
9 25
Soft Machine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Soft Machine Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock - The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs

27
15 36
Billy Pilgrim is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Billy Pilgrim Folk music - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

28
15 36
Primal Scream is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Primal Scream Rock music, Electronic music, House music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

29
11 29
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Art of Noise Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop - The Art of Noises by Luigi Russolo

30
12 31
Saving Abel is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Saving Abel Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock - The Bible

31
13 33
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Belle & Sebastian Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music - Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry

32
14 35
Billy Talent is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Billy Talent Pop punk, Rock music, Emo - Hard Core Logo by Michael Turner

33
14 35
Sixpence None the Richer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Sixpence None the Richer Adult album alternative, Pop music, Rock music - Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

34
15 37
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
As I Lay Dying Thrash metal, Metal, Christian hardcore - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

35
10 28
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Opeth Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal - Sunbird by William Smith

36
11 30
Amon Amarth is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Amon Amarth Melodic death metal, Viking metal, Technical death metal - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

37
11 30
Gogol Bordello is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Gogol Bordello Romani music, Gypsy punk, Punk rock - Nikolai Gogol

38
12 32
Moloko is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Moloko Nu jazz, Downtempo, Trip hop - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

39
10 29
Artful Dodger is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Artful Dodger UK Garage, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

40
11 31
Titus Andronicus is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Titus Andronicus Shoegazing, Folk rock, Punk rock - Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

41
14 37
The Devil Wears Prada is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Devil Wears Prada Christian hardcore, Metalcore, Heavy metal - The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

42
10 30
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Catch 22 Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

43
11 32
New Riders of the Purple Sage is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
New Riders of the Purple Sage Rock music, Country rock, Country - Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

44
6 22
The Libertines is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
TommyLondo29 added The Libertines Garage punk, Garage rock, Alternative rock

45
8 27
The Fugs is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Fugs Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia - The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

46
9 29
Paradise Lost is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Paradise Lost Doom metal, Death-doom, Synthpop - Paradise Lost by John Milton

47
10 31
Jonas Sees In Color is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jonas Sees In Color Pop music, Rock music, Alternative rock - The Giver by Lois Lowry

48
7 25
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Birthday Party Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock - The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

49
7 26
Guadalcanal Diary is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Guadalcanal Diary Jangle pop, Pop music - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

50
8 29
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
The Grapes of Wrath Folk rock, Alternative rock - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck