The boys in One Direction are once again being accused of ripping off a classic rock hit in one of their songs. This time, there are allegations that 1D borrowed a bit of Def Leppard's 1987 hit "Pour Some Sugar On Me" for the chorus of "Midnight Memories," the title track from their latest album.
If a new song is heavily inspired by or samples an old hit, often the original songwriters receive a credit. "Midnight Memories" is credited to 1D's Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson and three other collaborators, but no members of Def Leppard, a fact that led the band to consult their lawyers, a source recently told the U.K.'s Mirror.
"Music lawyers will routinely scour hits like this one to see if there is any evidence that a band has either copied or cleverly mimicked a Def Leppard song," the source said. "These cases can often take weeks to sort out because we are not talking about peanuts here — the 1D album is selling millions and if the title track goes out as a single it will generate even more money."
The source added, "Everyone is staying silent at this stage but it’s clear the two songs sound alike — which has been enough for Def Leppard's aides to pose questions to their legal team."
And Def Lep's lawyers aren't the only ones that have noted the similarity. In a Dec. 13 review for Entertainment Weekly, critic Nick Catucci wrote, "The title track sounds like Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar on Me,' criminally de-boogied; pounding sports-arena beats and guitar riffs a centerfold short of raunchy dominate."
The isn't the first time this year that 1D has been accused of nicking a rock classic. Back in summer, there were accusations that their "Best Song Ever" ripped of a part of the Who's "Baba O'Riley," but Who main man Pete Townshend let them off the hook, saying it was all "part of pop's lineage," and giving the band his approval. "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," Townshend added.
So do you think One Direction are blatant song thieves or proud practitioners of pop tradition of borrowing from the past, as Townshend suggests?