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8 Album Titles Inspired By Literature: The Roots, Iron Maiden, And More

by Joey DeGroot   Jul 20, 2014 17:09 PM EDT

I've previously written about bands that named themselves after works of literature, but some artists have chosen to boast their literary credentials in other ways. Here are eight album titles that were inspired by literary works.

1. Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

To match the whimsical nature of its early music, Pink Floyd needed an equally whimsical title for its debut album, which it found in "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," the title of a chapter in the classic children's novel The Wind in the Willows.

2. Rush - All The World's A Stage (1976)

The title of Rush's 1976 live album All The World's A Stage is taken from a famous line from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, which lyricist Neil Peart would reuse in 1981 for the song "Limelight," about the alienating life of a famous musician.

3. Iggy Pop - The Idiot (1977)

Though the simplistic and primal nature of The Stooges made it seem as if Iggy Pop had never even seen a book in his life, his 1977 solo debut The Idiot took its name from the title of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1868 novel.

4. Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)

Brian Eno began working with Talking Heads in 1978, and by 1981 Eno and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne released their first collaborative album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which took its name from a 1954 novel by Amos Tutola.

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - From Her To Eternity (1984)

For his debut album with the Bad Seeds, Nick Cave wrote the song "From Her To Eternity," which is, of course, a pun on the title of the novel From Here To Eternity by James Jones. Cave would select this song as the title track to the album.

6. Elliott Smith - Either/Or (1997)

As a student at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Elliott Smith studied philosophy, which is evident in the title for his 1997 album Either/Or, which is also the title of Søren Kierkegaard's 1843 book on existentialism.

7. The Roots - Things Fall Apart (1999)

The Roots have always been among the most conceptual and politically conscious hip-hop acts, which is likely why they chose to name their classic 1999 album Things Fall Apart, after the novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe about the European colonization of Africa.

8. Iron Maiden - Brave New World (2000)

Though a number of bands have named albums after Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel Brave New World, including Styx and Steve Miller, perhaps the most famous album with this name is Iron Maiden's from 2000, which was their first with singer Bruce Dickinson since 1993.

What other album titles were inspired by literature? Let us know in the comments section!

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