Literature The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters  

Ranker Music
7.5k votes 730 voters 24.8k views 66 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.
list ordered by

1
229 113
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk - The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

2
169 78
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues - Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

3
160 75
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal - Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

4
166 84
Veruca Salt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Grunge, Power pop, Post-grunge - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

5
141 74
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music - The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp by William Henry Davies

6
141 75
Uriah Heep is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heavy metal, Pop rock, Progressive rock - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

7
167 98
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock - The Bible

8
124 79
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music - The Velvet Underground by Michael Leigh

9
115 73
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music -

The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

10
106 70
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music - The Beano 

11
94 77
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Punk rock, Post-punk - House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633

12
85 68
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock - Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus

13
115 111
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music - Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance by Irvine Welsh

14
86 81
The Boo Radleys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

15
72 73
Sixpence None the Richer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Adult album alternative, Pop music, Rock music - Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

16
41 38
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
AlanGivens added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

17
64 71
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music - The Bad Seed by William March

18
70 82
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock - 'The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

19
49 62
New Riders of the Purple Sage is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Country rock, Country - Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

20
52 74
Atreyu is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Emo, Metalcore, Screamo - The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

21
21 25
Ice Nine Kills is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Pop punk, Emo, Metalcore -

after "ice-nine" from the science fiction novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

22
49 76
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, Grunge, Pop rock - The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

23
41 64
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Thrash metal, Metal, Christian hardcore - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

24
41 65
Billy Pilgrim is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Folk music - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

25
47 77
Good Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Pop punk, Rock music, Dance-punk - Good Charlotte: The Girls of Good Day Orphanage by Carol Beach York

26
39 64
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Avant-garde - The Fall by Albert Camus

27
51 85
Of Mice & Men is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Metalcore, Post-hardcore - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

28
43 72
Marillion is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Neo-progressive rock, Acoustic music, Pop rock - The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

29
60 102
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop - Child's Reflection, Cold Play by Philip Horky

30
35 59
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop - The Art of Noises by Luigi Russolo

31
37 63
Amon Amarth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Melodic death metal, Viking metal, Technical death metal - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

32
37 64
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

33
32 56
Soft Machine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock - The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs

34
31 58
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

35
24 46
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
windysoo68 added Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

36
28 54
The Fugs is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia - The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

37
27 54
Guadalcanal Diary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Pop music - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

38
30 61
Gogol Bordello is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Romani music, Gypsy punk, Punk rock - Nikolai Gogol

39
29 60
Artful Dodger is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
UK Garage, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

40
7 22
Hawthorne Heights is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Kyle Hanson added Pop punk, Rock music, Emo -

Nathaniel Hawthorne

41
22 52
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal - Sunbird by William Smith

42
27 62
Titus Andronicus is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Shoegazing, Folk rock, Punk rock - Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

43
29 66
Primal Scream is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Electronic music, House music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

44
25 59
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music - Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry

45
21 52
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock - The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

46
16 45
Shai Hulud is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Progressive metal, Mathcore, Metalcore - Dune by Frank Herbert

47
22 58
Saving Abel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock - The Bible

48
27 70
The Devil Wears Prada is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Christian hardcore, Metalcore, Heavy metal - The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

49
23 63
Moloko is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Nu jazz, Downtempo, Trip hop - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

50
18 54
Hot Water Music is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Emo, Stoner rock - Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski