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The Music of 'The O.C.': 10 Years Later

by Annie Zaleski

The Music of 'The O.C.': 10 Years Later


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On March 30, 2004, Music from The O.C.: Mix 1 -- the first carefully curated snapshot of music from the then-new TV series -- hit stores. A decade later, the album feels both prescient and of its time; still-innovating artists (indie soul men Spoon, artsy garage-boogie bard Joseph Arthur, psych rockers The Dandy Warhols) mingle with buzzy acts of yore (Brit-rock hopes Doves, folktronica artist Jem, power-pop sweethearts The 88). However, the tunes in this collection were a microcosm of the soapy teen drama's hip soundtrack and uncanny knack for elevating the profile of new bands.

During its three-and-a-half-year run, the show gave airtime to well-scrubbed power-pop artists (OK Go, Rooney, theme-song-writers Phantom Planet), indie darlings (Rilo Kiley, Rogue Wave) and snappy British acts (Franz Ferdinand, South, The Cribs). Plus, like its spirit animal Beverly Hills 90210, The O.C. had its own cool-kid rock club, The Bait Shop, which drew performances from heavyweights such as Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers and Modest Mouse. But in the end, The O.C.'s legacy remains strong because it cherry-picked great songs as well as great artists; although Dios Malos, The Perishers and The Go Find aren't household names (and never were), the tunes they placed on the show hold up today.

Get nostalgic for Seth Cohen's oh-so-sensitive record collection with this look back at music that made The O.C. great.

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