Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 February 2015

Sue One Direction? No, say The Who

Pete Townshend says he has no problem with One Direction's hit Best Song Ever
Pete Townshend says he has no problem with One Direction's hit Best Song Ever

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has laughed off reports that the rockers are suing One Direction after fans said the boyband's new single, Best Song Ever, ripped off their 1971 song Baba O'Riley.

One critic, writing on, said the One Direction single was a "sterilised and repackaged" version of The Who's original.

Thousands of One Direction fans took to Twitter to defend them after rumours spread that The Who were considering taking legal action, but Townshend said it was not true.

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! 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?"

The boyband, who were brought together on The X Factor, will be in London next week for the premiere of their new film One Direction: This Is Us.

The film, made by Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock, follows their life on the road during their rise to worldwide fame.

They have topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming the first British act to top the Billboard chart with their debut album.

The five - Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson - made chart history again after scoring the fastest-selling track by a non-US artist when Live While We're Young sold 341,000 copies in a week.

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