Music played such a vital role in Season of the Serpent.
From the mid 70s to the early 80s some pretty amazing rock n' roll was produced: progressive, art-rock, heavy metal, early punk and electronic, rivaling the creative explosion of the 1960s. The lyrics often defied a simple narrative interpretation. They were abstract, slightly paranoid, otherworldly, and very often metaphysical. Interrupted by long instrumentals, this music was a sensory carnival for the ears, usually best enjoyed ... stoned. So many songs from the era collectively inspired this story that they almost form a natural soundtrack.
Originally, I wanted to open each act of the book with select lyrics from a particular song. Unfortunately, the headache and expense of securing the rights to use all those lyrics was simply too much to deal with. A shared playlist seems like a much better idea any way.
For Book One, I narrowed the list down to 19 songs. If you listen carefully, these songs will narrate Paul's journey, from the innocent optimism of "The Voice" when he first arrives on campus, to his complex friendship with Eric in "Tom Sawyer." The final song, "Suddenly Last Summer" by The Motels, sums up Paul's emotional journey by the end of Book One, the summer of 1983.
For Book Two, I selected 20 songs, breaking my own rule - picking songs exclusively from the musical era of the novel. I included two current hits, which seemed particularly appropriate. The first - a cover of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Kendra Morris. The second - "Seven Devils" by Florence + The Machine, for reasons which will become obvious to the reader. I also selected several songs from later in the 80's to express a particular theme of the plot. You may wish to pay particular attention to the lyrics of the last song, "Keep It Dark," by Genesis.