Should We Hate One Direction? Featured

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Now there are split opinions around the world in regards to pop icons One Direction and it is certainly a topic which I have noticed has sparked considerable debate as to whether to love or hate them. However, should we hate them just because they are huge global super-stars who reached where they are through a television programme which has also been a graveyard for musicians in the past and also produce (debatable) shitty mainstream music? Or, should we respect them for how they have played the beast that is the Music Industry and through an incredibly tactical and talented management team (amongst other factors) have become - what some would argue - is the modern day equivalent of the Beatles?


Before I enter into the heart of this shit storm of a discussion, it is worth noting that I myself am not a fan of One Direction's music and certainly struggle to understand the hype surrounding the band on social media EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY - but hey, maybe I'm just getting old.


The reason for me writing this article, is due to a discussion I had with two friends of mine at the pub the other night, which when discussing the band and the success they hold, led me to compare them to a modern day equivalent of the Beatles. This consequently sent one of my friends (for the sake of this, we will call him Teddy) into a fit of rage, exclaiming 'How on earth can you say you are a fan of the Beatles when you compare them to such a 'SHIT' modern day equivalent? My answer is simple. Musicians and bands are businesses and One Direction - as The Beatles did in the mid-60's - tops the lot in terms of success.


I could sit here all day listing off all of the things I love about The Beatles, however I could only name the things I like about One Direction on one finger. So, how are they the modern day equivalent I hear you say? The answer is simple: I am not their target market and the music industry has changed. Mainstream artists don't have to play instruments the way they used to to make it big nowadays, and consequently bands such as The Beatles are now seen as 'vintage' and it's cool to like them. That, as well as the fact that musically I do - whisper it - have a lot of respect for them.


So here are a few reasons why to hate One Direction - as found on the wonderful internet:

  • Their music is cheesy
  • Their music is shit
  • They came to fame through X Factor so didn't have to earn their fans
  • They have made a lot of money
  • It was never their intention to be in a band
  • Most people only like them for their looks
  • For more information; Mrshateonedirection is willing to explain


If you listen to all of One Direction's songs, I can guarantee you that 99% of them are about Love and living life to the full - aka, the sort of shit that pre-teen and teenage girls lap up. Coincidentally, this is who they are trying to target. Front that with some stereotypically 'good looking' young lads and add a manufactured catchy beat behind it and I can guarantee that you will have at least some major record labels sniffing about .


They are NOT trying to target the mid-20-year-old lad's or even a teenage lad, who loves a good rave and is also partial to a solid guitar riff. The same was with The Beatles back in the 60's. You never saw lads waiting for them to arrive at an airport, crying if they got a glance at their idols; no, it was teenage girls or even women in some cases, and this is my point as to where the two bands are similar. They both were trying to appeal to the masses, or those who stand to be more dedicated than others: TEENAGERS that have hormones flying around 24/7.


Yes we can dislike a certain genre of music, or the music that a band produces, but should we actively hate them and rubbish them at every opportunity on the internet just because our identity is more hidden than if we were to scream through their letterbox just how shit their music is and that they are the worst thing to happen to the music industry since the cheeky girls? No we should not.


Personally I respect One Direction as a business, but merely dislike them because of how much I have to hear about them on a daily basis. They have penetrated a market better than almost every band out there and and are now reaping the rewards for it. I am not a fan of their music and although I might find myself humming along when a catchy song of theirs inevitably comes on every ten minutes on Radio 1, I am sure as hell not going to listen to it by choice, let alone buy a record.


So in my opinion, yes: One Direction ARE the modern day equivalent of The Beatles in respects to their popularity and the market they appeal to/or appealed to at the time. Should we hate them for what they are, what they do and what they have achieved? No I don't think we should. However, we are all entitled to our own opinion. How you get your opinion across on the other hand, is a different matter. 


Tim McGlashan

Director and Senior Music Critic for and a Graduate in Business Management from Leeds Metropolitan University. MASSIVE MUSIC JUNKIE!


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