‘The O.C.’ Pilot’s Greatest Music Moments, From Phantom Planet to Joseph Arthur

The second Alex Greenwald’s angsty voice joins forces with the catchy chords of Phantom Planet’s “California,” you’ll be able to sense The O.C.‘s soundtrack goes to be particular. The tune, which went on to accompany the 2003 drama’s opening credit, first performs a couple of minutes into the pilot, setting the tone for among the finest TV exhibits to ever occur to music.

Over the course of its 4 seasons, The O.C. curated a soundtrack that masterfully emphasised character feelings, gave rise to influential popular culture moments, and immortalized a technology of indie bands. From repeatedly namedropping Demise Cab for Cutie and reigniting a love of combine tapes to reserving stay live shows on the The Bait Store and being so obsessive about Imogen Heap that Saturday Night time Stay needed to chime in, the collection harnessed the ability of music in methods no present had earlier than.

Almost 20 years later, The O.C. soundtrack stays in a category all its personal. So to rejoice August 5, the anniversary of the present’s premiere, we seemed again on the songs that began all of it. From mainstream 2000s hits by The All-American Rejects and Black Eyed Peas to underrated gems by Mazzy Star and Joseph Arthur, listed below are 11 of The O.C. pilot’s good music moments.


“California” (Tchad Blake Remix) – Phantom Planet

Ah, identical to Phantom Planet we’re proper again the place we began from. As famous above, The O.C. pilot units the soundtrack requirements with the 2002 tune “California.” It begins to swell after Ryan (Ben McKenzie) will get punched by his mom’s boyfriend and kicked out of the home, rides away on his bike, posts up at a payphone, and calls everybody he is aware of to discover a place to crash. Out of choices, he reaches out to his trusty lawyer Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher), who picks him up and takes him dwelling for the weekend. Because the Cali anthem blares, we see Ryan stare pensively out the passenger window. Pictures of waves, seashores, and opening credit carry the automobile to a gated group, which Sandy enters earlier than driving as much as his beautiful mansion.

The tune is a quintessential embodiment of The O.C.‘s complete vibe. It concurrently invigorates and strikes folks. It will get you excited and nostalgic. And when laid over a montage of present clips and photographs of the sunny state, it packs an ideal punch. Little question about it, “California” is among the best theme songs in TV historical past.


“Present Me” – Cham Ache

When Sandy goes inside to fill Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) in on their new home visitor, Ryan heads to the top of the driveway to smoke and has a meet cute with the Cohen’s neighbor, Marissa (Mischa Barton), who’s ready on the finish of her driveway. This scene births one in all The O.C.‘s most memorable exchanges. Marisa asks Ryan, “Who’re you?” Cigarette in mouth, he replies, “Whoever you need me to be.” SWOON! After cigarettes and small speak, Marissa’s preppy jock boyfriend Luke (Chris Carmack) rolls up in a menacingly giant black truck. It’s onerous to listen to what he’s blasting, however the fan consensus appears to be Cham Ache’s “Present Me,” an ideal monitor to tank the flirtatious temper and let everybody know he’s a tricky man.


“Candy Honey” – Barely Stoopid

The following morning Ryan and Seth (Adam Brody) have their meet cute. The 2 hit it off inside minutes and after a online game sesh Seth takes Ryan out crusing on his boat, “Summer season Breeze.” As Barely Stoopid’s 2003 tune “Candy Honey” performs and serotonin ranges skyrocket, Seth shares his dream of crusing to Tahiti and his huge crush on some of the standard ladies in class, Summer season Roberts (Rachel Bilson). The monitor’s upbeat reggae vibes paint a peaceable model of California — the calm earlier than the chaos — and symbolize the secure, sturdy basis of Ryan and Seth’s brotherhood.


“All Across the World” (Punk Debutante) – Cooler Youngsters

Our subsequent energetic music second takes place on the charity style present Marissa invited Ryan to the evening they met. Upon getting into the flowery soirée, Seth says, “Welcome to the darkish facet.” Thus begins one in all many nights spent reluctantly schmoozing at an O.C. occasion. When everybody takes their seats and the sunshine dim, Marissa thanks them for coming and the music begins. Summer season struts her stuff in a costume that screams 13 Going On 30, she later meets Marissa within the lavatory the place they secretly down some alcohol, then Marissa takes the stage wanting radiant as ever and flashes Ryan a smile (a lot to Luke’s dismay). All of the whereas, “All Round The World” is thumping within the background, giving large 2003/Lizzie McGuire Film power. The tune serves as a enjoyable, delightfully misleading shroud for the slew of non-public issues these characters are holding secret.


“Swing, Swing” – The All-American Rejects

The video above packs three pilot music moments into one. The primary contains a monitor from All-American Rejects, as a result of what would a teen present within the 2000s be with no little AAR? As Ryan and Seth are about to move dwelling from the style present, Summer season invitations Ryan to an afterparty at Holly’s seashore home. The boys determine to test it out (in hopes of getting some high quality time with Marissa and Summer season) and the band’s breezy 2002 heartbreak monitor, “Swing, Swing,” performs as they hop at the back of Summer season’s experience. The tune lets viewers know these guys are versatile! They float! They swing, swing, rattling it! And in addition, they’re about to have their hearts crushed by love.


“Arms Up” – Black Eyed Peas

Picture: Hulu

As soon as they arrive on the celebration, “Arms Up,” the primary monitor off of Black Eyed Peas’ 2003 album Elephunk, units the scene and the musical period. Ryan and Seth survey the room, clocking medication, make-out periods, ingesting, and extra Orange County drama ready to occur. As a callback to Seth’s style present quote, Ryan turns to him and says, “Welcome to the darkish facet,” earlier than the evening really begins. We see Marissa sneaking additional booze into her cup, Summer season drooling over Ryan, and Luke about to cheat. The celebration is a recipe for catastrophe, one solely emphasised by this dramatic, horn-heavy banger.


“I am A Participant” – The Ok.G.B. 

Picture: Hulu

Subsequent up? Marissa and Ryan lastly steal some alone time. As The Ok.G.B.’s 2001 monitor “I’m A Participant” blasts within the background, Marissa asks Ryan what he thinks of Newport and he responds, “I feel I can get in much less bother the place I’m from.” The frisky tune units the temper, and flirts and questionable life decisions begin flying. Seth’s ingesting beer whereas a wasted Summer season hits on Ryan. After seeing them collectively, Seth assumes the worst and tells Ryan off in entrance of the entire celebration. They begin preventing and Seth screams, “Why don’t you simply return to Chino? I’m certain there’s a very nice automobile you may steal.” This prompts one in all Summer season’s most well-known traces — “Chino? Ew!” — and turns all eyes on Ryan. A scandalous tune for a scandalous second.


“Let It Roll” – Most Roach

After his battle with Ryan, Seth wanders the seashore alone and a bunch of fellows begin roughing him up. Ryan runs to the rescue and when Luke asks him if he has an issue, Ryan boldly replies, “You inform me.” The group begins throwing punches as this adrenaline-pumping tune will get louder. It’s one in all many battle scenes within the present, however it’s particularly important as a result of it ends with Luke saying the collection’ most iconic line: “Welcome to the OC, bitch.”


“Into Mud” – Mazzy Star

After three high-energy celebration songs the present transitions to one in all its greatest tear-jerkers, a 1993 throwback from Mazzy Star. When Marissa’s buddies depart her mendacity unconscious in her driveway, Ryan goes over to attempt to discover her keys and convey her inside. The gradual, foreboding monitor first performs as he carries her to the pool home and gently tucks her into mattress, then once more in Season 1, Episode 7, “The Escape,” when Ryan finds Marissa handed out in an alley in Tijuana and carries her identical to he did within the pilot. The solemn tune is among the most memorable songs related to the couple, and a crushing cowl by Ashtar Command seems on the finish of Season 4, Episode 6 “The Chrismukk-huh?” when Ryan reads a letter from Marissa and says goodbye.


“Honey and the Moon” – Joseph Arthur

Every time I consider The O.C.‘s soundtrack, Joseph Arthur’s 2002 single “Honey and the Moon” — a tune that was within the script earlier than the ending was even written — is among the first songs to spring to thoughts. Kirsten asks Sandy to take Ryan again dwelling to his mother after studying he and Seth obtained drunk and had been in a battle, so earlier than the pilot ends, we watch Ryan depart the Cohens’ home behind. Because the guitar performs, we see Ryan face (black eye and all) staring in deep contemplation out Sandy’s passenger window but once more. The automobile backs down driveway, revealing Marissa, who’s standing on the finish of her driveway watching them drive away. Ryan stares at her, a darkish determine backlit by a burning sundown, and she or he stares again. We see his bike protruding of trunk because the automobile strikes ahead, and Ryan turns round to catch one final glimpse of Marissa via the rear window.

Arthur’s fragile voice says all that must be communicated on this dialogue-free scene. The lyrics and power completely seize the advanced relationship these two broken souls type on the present, and it marks one of many present’s most iconic music moments. We see a remaining shot of Marissa standing drenched in orange, sun-flared mild earlier than Luke’s truck pulls up and Ryan and Sandy make their option to Chino. Although a part of me needs they introduced “Honey and the Moon” again for this finale scene, I like considering the tune couldn’t exist in Marissa’s absence.


Finish Credit – Christopher Tyng

Whereas The O.C.‘s soundtrack was legendary, the present’s splendid rating additionally helped the present depart a long-lasting impression. From stirring finish credit score songs to dozens of suspenseful, inquisitive, transitionary tracks through the years, composer Christopher Tyng made music magic on the collection from 2003 to 2005. After Tyng, composer Richard Marvin took over for the ultimate two seasons.


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