And Finally

The Who not suing One Direction, fans now up in arms about Channel 4 documentary instead

By | Published on Friday 16 August 2013

One Direction

Well, here’s a big fuss about nothing. One Direction fans, as they so often are, were up in arms yesterday over the ‘news’ that The Who were suing One Direction. This was sparked, seemingly, because one reviewer suggested that 1D’s ‘Best Song Ever’ sounds quite similar to The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’.

Presumably already angered by said reviewers’ suggestion that Trading Standards should be called about the ‘Best Song Ever’, 1D fans somehow read the ‘Baba O’Riley’ comparison, and immediately assumed that meant an old band they’d never heard of were going to try and stop them and anyone and everyone from listening to the ‘Best Song Ever’. Even though the similarities between ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Best Song Ever’ had been noted before without any litigation following, and that time by the song’s producer Julian Bunetta.

Asked about the similarities between the two songs by MTV, he said: “Well I mean it starts with a synth and ‘Baba O’Riley’ starts with a synth. I mean [that comparison is] a huge compliment because if that can evoke that same excitement than that’s amazing but that was not the… we weren’t saying ‘OK, let’s rip off ‘Baba O’Riley”. At a certain point we recognised it had the same type of intro where there’s a synth and a piano, but we really tried to make sure that there was no intellectual property stolen or anything like that”.

Getting the other side of the story, Uncut got on the phone to The Who’s guitarist Pete Townshend, who laughed off any suggestion that they might be about to sue. He said: “No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we’ve all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don’t mean great music – not always. I’m still writing songs that sound like ‘Baba O’Riley’ – or I’m trying to!”

He continued: “It’s a part of my life and a part of pop’s lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who. I’m just relieved they’re all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman once the leader of Guess Who, who told me that he not only copied ‘Baba O Riley’ for their hit ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’, but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?”

Whether any 1D fan would be bothered to read to the end of that statement I don’t know, but it matters not. The group’s fans have already forgotten about their Who feud, and are instead up in arms (spurred on by the group’s Liam Payne) about the previously reported Channel 4 documentary all about them, which aired last night.

Apparently they’re not happy that it claimed that they have a tendency to be quite obsessive and over the top. Some have chosen to prove that this is not the case by sending death threats to the makers of the film and fans featured in it.

Being a One Direction fan sounds exhausting.