Literature The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters  

Ranker Music
7.2k votes 691 voters 23.7k 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
215 110
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
159 74
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
151 72
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
161 80
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
136 73
Uriah Heep is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heavy metal, Pop rock, Progressive rock - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

6
135 73
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
159 97
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
118 77
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
110 71
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
102 67
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
83 64
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock - Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus

12
91 75
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Punk rock, Post-punk - House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633

13
83 78
The Boo Radleys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

14
105 108
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
70 70
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
63 70
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Gothic rock, Rock music - The Bad Seed by William March

17
38 36
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
AlanGivens added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

18
68 81
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
48 60
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
21 23
Ice Nine Kills is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
50 72
Atreyu is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Emo, Metalcore, Screamo - The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

22
49 74
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
40 63
Billy Pilgrim is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Folk music - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

24
46 75
Good Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
50 83
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

26
59 99
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
37 62
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Avant-garde - The Fall by Albert Camus

28
37 63
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Thrash metal, Metal, Christian hardcore - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

29
35 61
Amon Amarth is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
33 58
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
35 63
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

32
39 71
Marillion is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
30 55
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
30 56
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
27 52
Guadalcanal Diary is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Pop music - Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

36
27 53
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
29 58
Artful Dodger is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
22 45
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
windysoo68 added Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

39
28 59
Gogol Bordello is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Romani music, Gypsy punk, Punk rock - Nikolai Gogol

40
7 20
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
29 64
Primal Scream is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Rock music, Electronic music, House music - The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov

42
26 61
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
24 58
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music - Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry

44
19 50
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Gothic rock, Deathrock, Punk rock - The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

45
19 51
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal - Sunbird by William Smith

46
21 56
Saving Abel is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock - The Bible

47
18 51
Hot Water Music is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
Blues-rock, Emo, Stoner rock - Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

48
25 67
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
22 61
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
14 44
The Libertines is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters
TommyLondo29 added Garage punk, Garage rock, Alternative rock