It’s no secret that the titular single from One Direction’s platinum-selling Midnight Memories album strongly evokes Def Leppard classic “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Our own reviewer wrote of the LP, “Maybe Louis Tomlinson — whose name dominates the credits — has a hair-metal playlist in which Def Leppard dominates.” And when “Midnight Memories” came out, British tabloid Mirror UK started a rumor that the English rock giants were suing their boyish countrymen.
That wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. TMZ spotted drummer Rick Allen doing a little New Year’s shopping and asked the one-armed skinsman about the trumped-up drama. “I see the similarity,” he said cheerily, “but those three chords have been used for decades. It’s not new. And if anything, we felt as if it’s a huge compliment. It’s nice that their fans can see kind of where they may have been influenced.”
Seen below, Allen echoed his bandmates’ previously publicized stance: “There’s no point in taking any action. If we were to take action against them, I’m sure there’s a hundred different bands that would take action against us, you know, where we borrowed it from … [Suing] never came into our minds at all. If anything, we were like, ‘Wow, this far into our career, this is just a huge compliment.’ It was them paying homage to Def Leppard in their own way.”
In December, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell said the same to Billboard, acknowledging a structural similarity, pointing out the universality of the chords (“Those are the blues”), and claiming to be flattered at the end of the day. “Midnight Memories” also owes a bit to “My Generation” by the Who, who came up initially in reference to One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” allegedly ripping off the former’s 1971 hit “Baba O’Riley.”
Interestingly, Who boss Pete Townshed also brushed off suggestions that he sue by mentioning blues chords and thanking 1D for reminding the world about his work: “I like One Direction. [Those] 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 … I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who.”
Is a conspiracy of quietly cut checks and non-disclosure agreements afoot? Here’s Allen: