10 books that inspired songs…

Musicians and writers have a lot in common, they have artistic souls, pay close attention to what’s going on in the world around them, and use inspiration from other artists. If you’re still feeling inspired by the Brit awards, take a read of our list below, who knows you could be adding to it one day!

The song: All along the watchtower by Bob Dylan

The book that inspired it: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

What you create can destroy you. One freezing morning, a lone man wandering across the Arctic ice caps is rescued from starvation by a ship’s captain. That man is Victor Frankenstein and his story is one of ambition, murder and revenge. As a young scientist he pushed moral boundaries in order to cross the final scientific frontier and create life. But his unnatural creation is a monster stitched together from grave-robbed body parts who has no place in the world, and his life can only lead to tragedy.

The song: Soma by The Strokes

The book that inspired it: Brave new world by Aldous Huxley

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

The song: Ramble on by Led Zeppelin

The book that inspired it: Lord of the rings by JRR Tolkein

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as the Ring is entrusted to his care. He must leave his home and make a perilous journey across the realms of Middle-earth to the Crack of Doom, deep inside the territories of the Dark Lord. There he must destroy the Ring forever and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

The song: Breathe by U2

The book that inspired it: Ulysses by James Joyce

In a series of episodes covering the course of a single day, 16 June 1904, the novel traces the movements of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus through the streets of Dublin. Each episode has its own literary style, and the epic journey of Odysseus is only one of many correspondences that add layers of meaning to the text.

The song: White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

The book that inspired it: Alice’s adventures in wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A timeless heroine, Alice is quick witted, determined, and resourceful. In her extraordinary adventures she meets a series of unforgettable characters, from the bossy White Rabbit to the grinning Cheshire-Cat and the mad Hatter, all of whom are as famous as Alice herself.

The song: A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harem

The book that inspired it: The Canterbury tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

A group of pilgrims assembles in an inn just outside London and agree to entertain each other on the way to Canterbury by telling stories. The pilgrims come from all ranks of society, from the crusading Knight and burly Miller to the worldly Monk and lusty Wife of Bath. Their tales are as various as the tellers, including romance, bawdy comedy, beast fable, learned debate, parable, and Eastern adventure. The resulting collection gives us a set of characters so vivid that they have often been taken as portraits from real life, and a series of stories as hilarious in their comedy as they are affecting in their tragedy.

The song: Breezeblocks by Alt-J

The book that inspired it: Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins. But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet, he starts to feel lonely and realises it is time to sail home to the place where someone loves him best of all.

The song: 2+2=5 by Radiohead

The book that inspired it: 1984 by George Orwell

In a world where cheap entertainment keeps the proles ignorant but content, where a war without end is always fought and the government is always watching, can Winston possibly hold onto what he feels inside? Or will he renounce everything, accept the Party’s reality and learn to love Big Brother

The song: Ultraviolence by Lana Del Ray

The book that inspired it: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

In this nightmare vision of youth in revolt, 15 year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him – but at what cost?

The song: I Am The Walrus by The Beatles

The book that inspired it: King Lear by William Shakespeare

The ageing King Lear, tired of office, decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia; but the decision to allot their share based on the love they express for him proves to be a terrible mistake. When Cordelia refuses to take part in her father’s charade, she is banished, leaving the king dependent on her manipulative and untrustworthy sisters. In the scheming and recriminations that follow, not only does the king’s own sanity crumble, but the stability of the realm itself is also threatened. Cast out into the wilderness with a wise Fool and a cunning madman, it is only after losing what he values most that Lear understands the depth of his folly.

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