It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized being cool was all about being confident in your own skin. Looking back now, I realize I should have just owned being a fantasy nerd, because I was hardly alone. If I’d just opened my eyes (and ears), I would have seen that even rock stars—arguably the coolest people on the planet—love fantasy books too.
So, as a public service to other fantasy fans who are self-conscious about their reading habits, here are 8 songs inspired by fantasy novels to prove to everyone that fantasy rocks.
2) When it comes to pure rock awesomeness, sometimes the performance is more important than who wrote the song. Bob Dylan wrote “All Along the Watch Tower,” but Jimi Hendrix made it. While the same is not exactly true with this next song, if anyone could put more emotion into “The Battle of Evermore” than Led Zeppelin (the band that wrote it, again inspired by Tolkien), it has to be the Lovemongers, the side band of Heart founders Ann and Nancy Wilson. Here’s a live version from 1992.
4) Well before Moorcock collaborated with Blue Oyster Cult, he was a big part of Hawkwind, a psychedelic rock band that’s been around since 1969, and featured rock legend Lemmy (of Motorhead fame). The entire Hawkwind album Warrior on the Edge of Time is loosely based on the Elric saga. Here’s the single from the album, “Kings of Speed.”
8) And last but not least, I have to include Metallica’s “Call of the Ktulu,” based off of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “Call of the Cthulhu.” Sure, it’s a bit of a stretch calling Lovecraft’s work straight fantasy as opposed to horror, but come on, it’s Metallica and H.P. Lovecraft, and this instrumental song completely embodies the horror of seeing the great Old One himself.
I know I just touched the surface of fantasy-inspired rock, so please share your favorite songs in the comments below.