Literary Listening: The Unofficial Crossfire Playlist

Awhile back I posted the unofficial Crossroads playlist to fill out the Kings of Chaos world and enhance the story.  Obviously I’m obligated to do the same for the sequel, and that’s what I’m about to do.  Grab the closest headphones and let’s get busy.  Again, as with Crossroads, Crossfire centers around a high-octane action story about some hardcore bikers, so naturally the soundtrack has to kick ass.  This playlist is required to tell the story in their own words – with the proper tone, of course.  So bring on the classic rock, hard rock, and heavy metal.

***Spoiler alert! If you haven’t read Crossfire, there are major spoilers below. Read ahead at your own risk!***

  1. Chapter 1: Opening – Will opens his eyes in his hospital bed and Scott strolls in wearing his vest with the “P” patch, rambling on about rebooting the club.  As soon as the words leave his mouth, the first beat for AC/DC’s “Back in Black” kicks in in all its glory.
  2. Chapters 2-7: Will’s rehab/rebuilding the club – While Will is learning how to function as a human being again, Scott pesters him incessantly about getting the club going.  Will has to keep emphasizing the need for “Patience” and who better to convey that message in music form than Guns N’ Roses?
  3. Chapter 9: Will gets his new bike – There’s only one song I could possibly use here.  “Back in the Saddle Again” by Aerosmith is simply a perfect fit.
  4. Chapter 10: Jaws & Scott show off their bikes – Scott had to endure some serious disrespect in Crossroads (and some juvenile ribbing in Crossfire) regarding his lack of a bike.  That situation is rectified rather quickly in the second installment.  Likewise, Jaws also turns up to the clubhouse with a bike that’s been hanging around his family.  When people get together with motorcycles, there’s only one option.  You gotta go for a “Ride.” The Vines song introduces this playlist to this century, but still fits nicely with the overall tone of the book and the soundtrack alike.
  5. Chapter 12: Dirty Mike’s intro – “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth might not ring any bells from the title alone.  However, one quick listen to this track and you’ll know exactly why it’s a perfect fit.  The only modification necessary is to go with the cover by Guns N’ Roses versus the original.
  6. Chapter 12: Miller’s intro – There’s a simple reaction when Will’s partner arrives to town and immediately gives Dirty Mike hell.  “Hell Yeah” by Rev Theory sums up the overall feeling in the room when Miller shows up.
  7. Chapter 14: Bruiser’s intro – “Bottom of a Bottle” by Smile Empty Soul spells it out.  “I do it for the drugs.  I do it just to feel alive.  I do it for the love, that I get from the bottom of a bottle.”  This song squeezes in Dirty Mike’s involvement in the drug ring and his love for liquor.  Couldn’t ask for more.
  8. Chapter 16: Night rider chase – This next song will be a bit of a change-up from the high energy, heavy feel of the playlist so far, but it works.  “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers is a great tune and offers a cool contrast to the tension of the high-speed chase described in this scene.
  9. Chapter 17: Second moonshine delivery – Similar to Crossroads, running illegal substances across state lines just isn’t a great situation.  There’s a lot of profit involved, but it is certainly a dirty deed.  This is where AC/DC returns with “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”.
  10. Chapter 18: Fire bombing – The story takes a brutal turn in the second half, starting right here.  “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix is relevant and also just an awesome song.
  11. Chapter 20: Owensboro meeting with the Bombers – Will and Miller travel to Owensboro, Kentucky following the arson at the Kings’ clubhouse and have a rather contentious meeting with the president of the Bluegrass Bombers.  Miller ends the conversation with an exclamation point.  “Won’t Back Down” by Fuel sends a very clear message.
  12. Chapter 22: Kayla’s overdose – Another surprise twist that leaves readers in shock.  It doesn’t take long for Kayla’s system to be overrun, but I still think “Slow Chemical” by Finger Eleven seems like a nice fit here.
  13. Chapters 25 & 26: Finale – Every story has an ultimate showdown.  This one is no different.  The face off here just happens to be an all out street fight.  I love the band Oleander, and their song “Fight” has been used as ring intro music for MMA fighters and professional wrestlers alike.  That kind of pedigree is more than enough for me!
  14. Chapter 27: Ending – Crossfire ends on a two-word bombshell from Kayla to Will.  The song title carries a tiny spoiler along with it, but what can it hurt?  “Carry on Wayward Son” kicks in right here as Will is standing motionless, shocked by the news that was just shared with him.  Only I’m not talking about the original version by Kansas.  As great as that is, the cover by The Showdown seems more fitting with the rest of this playlist.
  15. Chapter 27: Closing credits (bonus track) – Every good soundtrack has a bonus track.  While the credits are rolling, Guns N’ Roses makes another appearance on the list with “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.  Perfection.

And there it is.  14 killer songs and a bonus track for good measure.  If this doesn’t sum up the story in auditory form, then I have fallen short of my goal.  But since I made it all up, there’s really no telling, is there??  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Is this list what you heard in your head as you read the book, or did you have a different soundtrack playing?  After seeing the unofficial playlist, did I miss anything that you think should have been included?  Let me know below, and maybe I’ll have to update my list!

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