(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:
“A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun”
This one is off the album Postcards from a Young Man. It’s the 2010 release by the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. The song title was taken from a specific passage in the 1996 book Cocaine Nights by J.G. Ballard. Fittingly, the lyrics lambast technology.
“A Girl And His Cat”
This cut comes from the Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro. It’s off their 2013 double album Opposites. It was written by frontman Simon Neil. Neil, a fan of American writer Mark Z. Danielewski, drew inspiration for this song from the author’s then-upcoming book about a 12-year-old girl who finds a kitten.
“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)”
This 2013 tune is by Fergie, GoonRock, and Q-Tip. The song first appeared on the official soundtrack for the 2013 motion picture The Great Gatsby, an adaptation of the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald book of the same name. The song references the lavish parties thrown by Gatsby.
“A Skeleton in the Closet”
American thrash metal band Anthrax included this track on their 1987 album Among the Living. The band is a fan of Stephen King and this song is based on King’s novella titled Apt Pupil. It tells the tale of a kid who meets an ex-WWII Nazi and becomes a killer.
“A Spaceman Came Traveling”
Irish folk-rock giant Chris de Burgh included this cut on his second studio release Spanish Train and Other Stories which dropped in 1975. The song itself is said to have been inspired by the writings of Erich Von Däniken, whose famous book, Chariots Of The Gods, was published in the UK in 1969.