Show of hands: Who, at one point or another, had a Music From The O.C. CD?
I sure did. In fact, I had four (there were a total of six released over the run of the show from 2003-07, including a Chrismukkah one). The O.C. introduced so many indie bands -- like Death Cab for Cutie, Rooney and more -- to a young, mainstream audience. It started out as a behind-the-scenes thing: Creator Josh Schwartz liked the music, so he put it on the show.
When the dramedy took off, people started noticing the tracks being played behind the (sexy, cool, nerdy) action, so it got written into the show. Seth Cohen started dropping references to Death Cab in his fast-paced monologues, and after that it wasn't long before Seth, Summer, Ryan, and Marrissa headed off to a Rooney show midway through season one...with special guest stars Rooney!