(Note: This is a new edition of “Hooks and Books”, a series that once appeared on a now-defunct website.)
In this series, we explore the inspiration behind specific songs. To wit, we examine the connection between certain songs and literature. Without any further adieu, here is the latest group of hooks and books:
This Radiohead song was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. It portrays the alleged devastation caused by banana companies in a number of Latin American nations in the 1900s. The song first appeared on the band’s 1995 album The Bends.
This Deadmau5 song is named after the well-known hallucinatory drug used in the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World. It’s off the Canadian electronic music maker’s fourth studio album For Lack of a Better Name. It was released in 2009. There is also an extended mix of the song.
“Song for Clay (Disappear Here)”
This song is by the Brit band Bloc Party. It was inspired by Bret Easton Ellis’s coming of age novel Less Than Zero. The tune references the memoir’s themes of overindulgence, youth, and the author’s discussion of early MTV’s cultural pervasiveness in the 1980s. It’s included on the group’s 2006 album A Weekend in the City.
“Sympathy for the Devil”
This classic cut is by the English rock band Rolling Stones. It was co-written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was partially inspired by The Master and the Margarita by author Mikhail Bulgakov. Jagger also reported that the poet Charles Baudelaire was also a source of inspiration. The song opens the band’s 1968 vinyl Beggars Banquet.
“Thieves in the Night”
This song is by Blackstar. Blackstar is the hip-hop duo of Mos Def and Talib Kweli. The song was inspired by the book The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison published in 1970. The cut references the themes in this novel. It appears on the performing pair’s debut disc Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star which dropped in 1998.