Tomes turned tunes

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

Aus­tra’s track Fu­ture Pol­i­tics was writ­ten af­ter read­ing In­vent­ing the Fu­ture: Post-Cap­i­tal­ism in a World With­out Work by Nick Sr­nicek and Alex Wil­liams. But it’s not the only song that was in­spired by weighty, so­ci­o­log­i­cally-tinged books.

Grav­ity’s Rain­bow Klax­ons

The glow­stick-wav­ing army of now-de­funct nu-ravers Klax­ons may not have been aware that the band’s first sin­gle was based on the Thomas Pyn­chon book of the same name, which touched on racism, im­pe­ri­al­ism, weapons and re­li­gion as some of its many themes.

Sym­pa­thy for the Devil The Rolling Stones

One of the most recog­nis­able Rolling Stones songs was sparked by The Mas­ter and the Mar­garita by Mikhail Bul­gakov, an anti-Stal­in­ist tome that satirises the mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of cit­i­zens in Soviet Russia. Jag­ger’s devil plays out the open­ing of the novel where Satan dis­cusses the ex­is­tence of God with two Mosco­vians.

Thieves in the Night Black Star

Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s (above) col­lab­o­ra­tion tack­les the is­sues of racial iden­tity brought up in The Bluest Eye by Toni Mor­ri­son, in which a young black girl wishes for blue eyes. The re­sult­ing song ques­tions the choices of the op­pressed, who are “still liv­ing like men­tal slaves”.

2+2=5 Ra­dio­head

To pass re­mark on the elec­tion of Ge­orge W Bush de­spite Al Gore win­ning the pop­u­lar vote, Ra­dio­head used the for­mula in Ge­orge Or­well’s 1984 which proved truths can be dic­tated by those in power. On their cur­rent tour, Thom Yorke ded­i­cates the song to Don­ald Trump and Theresa May, sug­gest­ing lit­tle has changed since its re­lease in 2003.

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