TREE HILL: IMPORTANCE OF SOUNDTRACK1. GAVIN DEGRAW - I DON'T WANT TO BE (LIVE)
Ah, the wisdom of Joe Davola. Joe heard Gavin first and was sure this was our
theme song. Remember, this wasn't even close to being a single at the time and
Gavin's record had been largely ignored. But Joe believed in Gavin and he was
right. The lyrical refrain is perfect: Be yourself. Believe in yourself.
Everyone has greatness within.
2. THE WRECKERS - THE GOOD KIND
Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp walked into our offices one day and played us
three songs. (Being able to type that first sentence reminds me of how much I
love my job.) The first song they played was THE GOOD KIND. Just two girls with
acoustic guitars and harmonies for miles. And it was bliss.
3. JIMMY EAT WORLD - KILL
Once in a while, you get lucky. We used KILL in the CODA of episode 203. The
moment onscreen finds Lucas helping his absentee father Dan into Dan's home. And
the lyric says "Sorry, but I just can't turn off how I feel." Dan's glance at
Lucas is priceless, but made more so by a great melody from a great song from a
great album by a great band.
4. TRAVIS - RE-OFFENDER
During our first season, ratings were initially low. But things picked up after
our first cliffhanger episode (entitled WITH ARMS OUTSTRETCHED). The CODA song
to that episode was RE-OFFENDER. When we re-launched the show in January, we
brought the song back to open the following episode. The ratings increased and
the show escaped threat of cancellation. For me, RE-OFFENDER was the soundtrack
to that success.
5. THE GET UP KIDS - OVERDUE
I initially wrote One Tree Hill as a screenplay called "an unkindness of
ravens." After meeting with the WB, I set about converting that screenplay into
a television series. At the same time, I was impatiently waiting for the new Get
Up Kids disc to drop. The night that I finished the first draft of the first
script for One Tree Hill, I heard OVERDUE for the first time. The lyrics were so
perfect for Lucas Scott (in regards to his father Dan) that I got chills. And I
still do, every time I hear this magical song. (And oddly enough, my script was
OVERDUE at the time, too.)
6. ROCK N ROLL SOLDIERS - FUNNY LITTLE FEELING
Every mix needs a song that you turn up to 11 just before you head out for the
evening. This is that song for me. And now it will forever be tied to Peyton and
Mouth getting hit in the head with fastballs (Ep. 205). What rock n roll should
be: Fast, loud and fun.
7. TYLER HILTON - GLAD (ACOUSTIC)
When we held auditions for the role of Chris, we asked each actor to bring a
guitar and play a song. After a few painful performances, we asked for half a
song. Then just a verse. Tyler auditioned last. He played one verse of GLAD and
stopped. I looked at Joe Davola and then turned to Tyler and said, "OK, you can
play the whole thing." He did. And he had the role of Chris before he got to the
8. 22-20s - SHOOT YOUR GUN
True story: Bryan Greenberg (who plays Jake) is a huge fan of Oasis. One night
in Los Angeles, he met Liam Gallagher. He asked him what music he was listening
to and in typical Liam Gallagher fashion, Liam responded, "Everything's s**t.
Except for the 22-20s." So Liam told Bryan and Bryan told me and now I'm telling
you. Go tell someone.
9. STORY OF THE YEAR - SIDEWALKS (ACOUSTIC)
When music is used best in our show, it shares an emotional tone with the
stories we tell. Often bittersweet. Sometimes difficult. But eternally hopeful.
To me, the acoustic version of SIDEWALKS somehow becomes more powerful when
stripped bare of its electricity. Somehow more honest. A bit tragic. But
optimistic. Should fit nicely in Tree Hill.
10. TYLER HILTON/BETHANY JOY LENZ - WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE
Joy had asked if Haley (her character) could sing on the show. So after we
created Tyler's character and arc, we began searching for a song that they could
do together. Having used a couple Ryan Adams songs on the show, we contacted
Ryan about writing something new. His schedule wouldn't allow it, but he
suggested WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE. Joy and Tyler agreed, and this amazing version
is a glaring example of how some people got twice as much talent as I did.
11. KEANE - EVERYBODY'S CHANGING
I was an early fan of Keane, but as season two approached, the record was still
somewhat undiscovered. EVERYBODY'S CHANGING was thematically perfect for the
character upheaval that reintroduced our audience to ONE TREE HILL- Season Two.
Like the show, the song is an interesting blend of emotions - seemingly upbeat
and hopeful, yet clearly preoccupied with an inability to change one's nature.
And happily, the world finally discovered Keane and this wonderful record.
12. BUTCH WALKER - MIXTAPE
Joe and I saw Butch Walker play live in Los Angeles during Season One. He was
thrilling - and it reminded me of how important music was to my world when I was
young. How important a mixtape could be. When you couldn't find the words to
explain it, but your favorite band could. It all seemed to matter more. In good
times and bad.
13. SHERYL CROW - THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST (ACOUSTIC)
There is something magical about flying to the set of your television show in
Wilmington, NC on Superbowl Sunday because Sheryl Crow has agreed to perform on
said show. Hard to explain that feeling. But trust me, it's kinda cool. There's
also something magical about being in the presence of a bonafide star. Talented,
gracious and classy. And the song was thematically perfect for us. As we all
know, the first cut is often the deepest. Young love is treacherous.
14. TRESPASSERS WILLIAM - LIE IN THE SOUND
This song encompasses so much of what we try to do with music on One Tree Hill.
The band is young - still a best kept secret. Someone's favorite band. The song
is epic. Heartbreaking. But at the same time, comforting. The lyrics are so true
to Nathan and Haley. The timing is cruel. I need you too much. But oh, the
payoff. To hear the person you love simply say so. And to bathe yourself in
those words. For better or worse.
There are times when I try to convey an emotion, and I'm up against all the
writers from all the worlds that came before me. And that's when songs like LIE
IN THE SOUND come to my rescue. Telling stories in ways I could never tell
alone. I give thanks to the songwriters and their songs.
And I lie in the sound.
One Tree Hill
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