It started in the ’60s with Frankie & Annette in a series of beach movies. The standard was set in ’73 with a soundtrack of teenage doo-wap hits from the 1950’s jukebox in American Graffiti. It was perfected in the ’80s with John Hughes oeuvre of soundtracks that embraced, and made the careers of, new wave tracks so underground that MTV was hardly even playing them — when MTV played everything they could get their hands on.
It became an industry in the ’90s when everything from Clueless to Cruel Intentions required a soundtrack album release, to varying degrees of sales success. Today the Twilight franchise are the sales leaders in teen movie soundtracks, achieving multi-platinum success.
Most movies, teen or not, license pre-recorded songs, perhaps save a lead single that will be unique to the soundtrack. Or they did, until the Twilight franchise upped the ante with the soundtrack to its second film, New Moon, by filling half of it it out with new songs commissioned and composed specifically for the film.The Hunger Games is doubling down on Twilight’s bet, and doing it while creating a 100% original album soundtrack with music that does not score the movie, except a songs by the Arcade Fire and Taylor Swift with the Civil Wars.