Culture The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters  

Ranker Music
10.2k votes 885 voters 26.3k 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.
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list ordered by

1
252 199
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
108 65
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal
Sunbird by William Smith

3
190 168
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
191 178
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock
The Bible

5
172 166
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

6
180 178
Veruca Salt is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
159 157
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
155 165
Uriah Heep is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heavy metal, Pop rock, Progressive rock
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

9
123 128
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
138 168
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
The Velvet Underground by Michael Leigh

11
127 160
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

12
120 151
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
The Beano 

13
134 188
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
107 148
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Punk rock, Post-punk
House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633

15
95 135
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock
Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus

16
90 141
The Boo Radleys is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

17
82 135
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
77 129
Sixpence None the Richer is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
47 77
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
AlanGivens added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

20
73 123
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music
The Bad Seed by William March

21
61 103
New Riders of the Purple Sage is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
52 91
Marillion is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
56 99
Good Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
59 106
Atreyu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Emo, Metalcore, Screamo
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

25
60 108
Of Mice & Men is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Metalcore, Post-hardcore
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck