Aleister Crowley In Popular Culture In Music

Aleister Crowley In Popular Culture In Music Cover A number of rock musicians have been fascinated by the persona and ideas of Aleister Crowley, and several have made reference to him or his work in their own.

Popular music groups who have made passing references to Crowley include:

* The Beatles, who placed him among dozens of other influential figures on the cover of their concept album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

* Graham Bond, keyboard player and leader of the Graham Bond Organisation recorded Holy Magick, a "Thelemic Mass" drawn from Crowley's writings.

* Pop star Michael Jackson, whose 1991 album Dangerous featured a drawing of Crowley on the cover.

* The song Moonchild on the album In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson may be derived from the work of Crowley.

* David Bowie, whose song "Quicksand", featured on his album Hunky Dory, makes the reference "I'm closer to the Golden Dawn, immersed in Crowley's uniform of imagery..."

* Experimental group Coil, near the end of the video for their eerie, funereal remake of Tainted Love (as a metaphor for AIDS), flash the phrases LOVE IS THE LAW and LOVE UNDER WILL, from Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis, or The Book of the Law.

* Liverpool, UK grindcore band Carcass (band) repeats "Hate is the law, love under will", a slight variation on the phrase from Liber AL vel Legis in the song "Firm Hand" on the album Swansong.

* British music group Current 93, fronted by a former member of the OTO, takes their name from a mystical term referring to Thelema itself, and has drawn extensive inspiration from Crowley's writings and works.

* Polish death metal band Behemoth: a record of theirs is entitled Thelema.6.

* The British gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim, who make numerous indirect references to Crowley and to Thelema in their works, with the songs "Moonchild" and "Love Under Will" being more obvious examples. The album Elizium features a sample taken from a Phonograph cylinder of Crowley reading from one of his works.

* German pop group Alphaville, noted for mystical references of various sorts, who penned a song about Crowley's wife Rose, entitled "Red Rose", which makes coded reference to a number of Thelemic and otherwise occult ideas.

* The San Francisco-based Folk-Rock band Annwn, who have performed a similarly themed song, "The Scarlet Muse", about Leila Waddell, one of Crowley's mistresses. Some of the same performers, under the band name Nuit, have produced an album, Mother Night, based in part on Thelemic mystical concepts.

* There is a reference to the Diaries of Crowley in the song "Liezah" by The Coral.

* British rock band Manic Street Preachers feature Crowley in the video for their song You Love Us.

* American rock band Murder City Devils titled their last album "Thelema" and featured the phrase "Do what thou wilt" on the back cover of the CD case.

* Aleister Crowley also had a heavy influence on the band Tiamat, a Swedish metal group, in their album "Prey" with songs like "Light in Extention" (a direct quote from Crowley), and "The Pentagram" where Crowley was directly quoted from one of his recorded lectures.

* American progressive metal band Tool is very influenced by Crowley's works, ranging from Danny Carey's Enochian Magic Board, supposed references to Qabalah in Lateralus, and citations by Blair MacKenzie Blake on the Tool newsletter to name a few.

* Several bands have used samples of Crowley reading his own works, including British band Paradise Lost and Finnish band Babylon Whores.

* Perhaps most curiously, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page owned Crowley's Loch Ness estate, Boleskine House, from 1971 to 1992. It is also said that on some pressings of the Led Zeppelin III album, one or more Aleister Crowley quotes are inscribed into the runoff matrix of the vinyl (the space between the last groove and the label.) This may be a misinterpretation of the signatures left by master cutter George Peckham.

* The track Synchronicity II, from the album Synchronicity by The Police, is said to be partly inspired by strange events at Boleskine House while Jimmy Page was the owner.

* Crowley is the old man pictured on the cover of Led Zeppelins fourth album (IV, Zoso, Runes etc).

* Rocker and Director, Rob Zombie also used an actual recording of Crowley himself reading his poem "The Poet" in Zombie's film, House of 1000 corpses.

* Former Pantera frontman Philip Anselmo used the alias "Anton Crowley", (In reference to Anton LaVey from "Satanic Bible" fame, and Aleister Crowley), to avoid lawsuits while recording for his many side-projects.

* Brazilian rock singer Raul Seixas was influenced by Aleister Crowley. The influence extended not only to music, but also the creation of the "Alternative Society", which was to be a thelemic community. The project was considered subversive by members of the Brazilian military, which imprisoned all prospective members of the group.

* British rock band Gothick are influenced by Aleister Crowley and the OTO. Their 2005 album Abyss Walker features the tracks "In Cefalu" and "Law of the Strong" taken from Crowley's Liber Oz which includes the lyrics "Every man and woman, we are stars, we are wonders".

* 'Anti-folk' musician Kimya Dawson depicts hell as a place "where Aleister Crowley milks cows in the dairy" in the song "Velvet Rabbit"

Books You Might Enjoy:

Aleister Crowley - Rosa Inferni
Aleister Crowley - Rosa Mundi
Aleister Crowley - Poems

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