Albums and songs named after classic movies

15 April 2022, 19:00

Spartacus the movie and Spartacus the album
Spartacus the movie and Spartacus the album. Picture: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Which album was named after a Kirk Douglas movie? Who released a pair of albums that took their titles from movies starring the Marx Brothers? And have you ever actually seen Wonderwall?

  1. The Farm - Spartacus

    The Liverpool band's 1991 debut album was apparently inspired by the football/pub banter routine of standing up and declaring "I'm Spartacus!", in the same way as Kirk Douglas's fellow slaves do in the 1960 Stanley Kubrick movie. The Farm really should have named ALL their albums Spartacus to keep the joke going...

  2. Queen - A Night At The Opera

    Roger Taylor claimed that the band caught the 1935 Marx Brothers comedy on TV while they were recording their fourth album in Wales. When the 1976 sequel came along, it seemed only natural to name it after the Brother's next movie, A Day At The Races.

    A Night At The Opera poster, 1935
    A Night At The Opera poster, 1935. Picture: LMPC via Getty Images
  3. Oasis - Wonderwall

    Noel Gallagher is a massive Beatles fan and this much-loved song is a tip of the hat to George Harrison's first solo album from 1968 - it was the soundtrack to a British psychedelic comedy starring Jane Birkin,

  4. The Jam - That's Entertainment

    Paul Weller's slice of everyday life is given an ironic title, taken from the hugely-successful 1974 compilation film which showcases the golden age of the Hollywood musical.

    That's Entertainment poster, 1974
    That's Entertainment poster, 1974. Picture: LMPC via Getty Images/Getty Images
  5. Iggy Pop - Lust For Life

    Another Kirk Douglas reference: The Ig's 1977 masterpiece took its title from Kirk's 1956 turn as the artist Vincent Van Gogh, itself taken from a biography written in 1934. Lana Del Rey has recently used the title for one of her own albums.

  6. Suede - Dog Man Star

    Suede's second album was named after a 1964 experimental film by the artist Stan Brakhage, named Dog Star Man.

    Suede - Dog Man Star album cover
    Suede - Dog Man Star album cover. Picture: Press
  7. Primal Scream - Vanishing Point

    The Scream's 1997 album took its title from a groovy 1971 film about an ex-cop who has to deliver a very nice sports car to the other side of the US by a certain time. The lead character is called Kowalski, which is the name of one of the songs on the LP.

  8. Metallica - ...And Justice For All

    The title to Metallica's breakthrough album is taken from the final line of the American Pledge Of Allegiance, but it's also the name of a 1979 courtroom drama starring Al Pacino, in which he memorably states: "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order!"

    Metallica - ...And Justice For All album cover
    Metallica - ...And Justice For All album cover. Picture: Press
  9. Gorillaz - Dirty Harry

    Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's cartoon crew named this song after the sardonic detective played by Clint Eastwood in the 1971 movie or the same name.

  10. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Holy Mountain

    Alejandro Jodorowsky followed up his cult midnight movie hit El Topo with this surrealist fantasy in 1973 - which also gave name to Noel Gallagher's 2017 banger.

  11. New Order - Thieves Like Us

    Joy Division had played a former cinema during their one and only European tour in January 1980 and had nicked a load of posters from the venue. These movie images later adorned New Order's rehearsal room and gave titles to some of their songs: In A Lonely Place was one, and the 1974 Robert Altman drama Thieves Like Us was another.

  12. Editors - Papillon

    It means "butterfly" in French, of course, but the word is also inextricably linked to the 1973 true-life prison drama starring Dustin Hoffman.

    Papillon poster, 1973
    Papillon poster, 1973. Picture: Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images


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