Literature The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters  

Ranker Music
5.4k votes 511 voters 20.3k 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.
list ordered by

1
159 70
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
123 68
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock - The Bible

3
102 53
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
98 56
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
93 54
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
94 55
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
99 67
Veruca Salt is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
84 63
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
70 55
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music - The Beano 

10
72 61
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

11
65 56
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
84 84
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
55 49
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock - Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus

14
55 59
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
44 54
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music - The Bad Seed by William March

16
48 64
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
40 55
Sixpence None the Richer is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
52 76
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
31 45
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
16 22
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
AlanGivens added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

21
6 6
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
34 54
Atreyu is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Emo, Metalcore, Screamo - The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

23
34 55
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, Grunge, Pop rock - The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

24
40 66
Of Mice & Men is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Metalcore, Post-hardcore - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

25
23 39
Soft Machine is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
25 43
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop - The Art of Noises by Luigi Russolo

27
26 48
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

28
26 49
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Avant-garde - The Fall by Albert Camus

29
31 58
Marillion is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
31 58
Good Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
22 44
Artful Dodger is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
23 46
Amon Amarth is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
19 39
Guadalcanal Diary is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Pop music - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

34
25 53
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Thrash metal, Metal, Christian hardcore - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

35
18 40
The Fugs is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
22 48
Gogol Bordello is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Romani music, Gypsy punk, Punk rock - Nikolai Gogol

37
24 52
Billy Pilgrim is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Folk music - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

38
22 50
Titus Andronicus is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Shoegazing, Folk rock, Punk rock - Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

39
24 54
Primal Scream is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Electronic music, House music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

40
19 46
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Ska punk, Third-wave of ska, Ska - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

41
20 48
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music - Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry

42
15 40
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock - The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

43
15 42
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal - Sunbird by William Smith

44
2 11
Hawthorne Heights is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Kyle Hanson added Pop punk, Rock music, Emo - Nathaniel Hawthorne

45
11 36
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
windysoo68 added Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

46
20 56
The Devil Wears Prada is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Christian hardcore, Metalcore, Heavy metal - The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

47
17 50
Moloko is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Nu jazz, Downtempo, Trip hop - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

48
11 37
The Libertines is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
TommyLondo29 added Garage punk, Garage rock, Alternative rock

49
13 42
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Folk rock, Alternative rock - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

50
17 51
Billy Talent is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Pop punk, Rock music, Emo - Hard Core Logo by Michael Turner