Music Inspired by Literature

The quiz in issue 47 covered pop music and contemporary fiction.  Ten issues later TBR is taking a look at music inspired by literature. Well read musos showing off or ones with a writing block desperate for an idea have all turned to a book for inspiration.

Here are the answers. If you missed it and want to have a go, click here.

  1. Possibly not literature in the strictest sense but the Bible has been a source of musical inspiration for thousands. This Greek band took the last book to make a double album which features actress Irene Papas having what sounds like a 10-minute orgasm. Name the band.
    Aphrodite's Child

  2. Musical off-shoots based on the works of Shakespeare include the likes of Kiss Me Kate and West Side Story, but who was the first to put the bard to music back in 1690, and what was the original play?
    Henry Purcell, The Tempest

  3. Victorian Science Fiction 1: Tom Cruise played the lead in the recent Hollywood megabucks version but who was the narrator in the 1970s album version?
    Richard Burton

  1. Victorian Science Fiction 2: Long, lanky haired, grumpy Yes ex-keyboardist made several dubious concept albums but this was his only solo foray into literature. Name the book/album.
    Journey to the Centre of The Earth. (Rick Wakeman)
  1. Another artist whose output is nearly always a concept album—with even Barcelona’s Gaudi getting a look in—delved into literature twice. Edgar Alan Poe was one author and the other was?
    Isaac Asimov - Alan Parsons Project

    image of guitar with text superimposed
  1. It’s a wonder with all the reading this British band do they have time for making music. Songs and whole albums have been based on Poe, Coleridge,Sillitoe, Huxley, Tennyson, Eco and even Alistair Maclean. But don’t be critical of the finished product as you could meet a gruesome death in a device close to the band. Name the group.
    Iron Maiden
  1. Joyce, Bronte and even Steven King have all served to inspire this unique British songstress, but on which author did she base her song that had Donald Sutherland in the video?
    Peter Reich
  1. As teenagers the three John’s used to hang around together in London. Lydon and Ritchie changed their names to Rotten and Vicious and made the musical history books. The third John also changed his name and went on to make an album inspired by the poetry of William Blake. What is his stage name?
    Jah Wobble
  1. Blake’s poetry also drove Bob Dylan to create a number. Name the song.
    Nurse's Song

  1. From Bob Dylan to Dylan Thomas . . . Who was responsible for the acclaimed jazz rendition of Under Milk Wood?
    Stan Tracey
  2. another guitar with text
  1. Smells like…They said the book would be impossible to film but it was shot in Barcelona (in TBR’s neighbourhood) in 2006; first reviews are generally favourable. What was the Nirvana song based on the book?
    Scentless Apprentice
  1. Jazz music heavily influenced Jack Kerouac and in turn his writing has aided many a musician. Who is the man behind the concerto ‘Dharma at Big Sur’?
    John Adams

  2. Who, and a big Who, did an entire album inspired by a work of Ted Hughes?
    Pete Townshend
  1. What Russian author and book could possibly link the Rolling Stones with Pearl Jam and Franz Ferdinand?
    Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
  1. And what fictional character, and part of the book title, is shared by The New York Dolls and Edgar Winter?
  1. David Bowie did a song of the title of this book but this duo did a whole album that served as the film soundtrack. Very 1980s. Name the band.
  1. The Velvet Underground’s song Venus in Furs was based on Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch’s work of the same name (Venus im Pelz).  Lou Reed was later to delve back into literature to do an entire album, with a mega cast, based on a classic American poem. What was the poem?
    The Raven
  1. Rush are another band that seem to read an awful lot. Tolkien, Coleridge, Conrad, Twain, Whitman and Eliot all get a look in, but one author they used twice. Who is he?
    John Dos Passos
  1. The aforementioned John Ritchie did a spoof cover version of this classic song, but which book and author inspired the original and drove the Cure to pen ‘Killing An Arab’?
    The Stranger (l'Etranger), Albert Camus

  2. piano with book text superimposed
  1. If Toad the Wet Sprocket were to be inspired by a literary masterpiece, it would be Aristophanes' The Frogs, wouldn’t it? Wrong, they looked to Spain. Name the book.
    Don Quixote



© TBR 2007

This quiz may not be archived, reproduced or distributed further without the author's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.

June - July- August 2007 #58/59