One Direction are like the Beatles claims Styles

"We’re like The Beatles," One Direction’s Harry Styles has declared without any obvious hint of irony. Comparing the floppy-fringed boy band with the 60s mop-tops, Styles saw a lot of similarities.

"We watched that film of The Beatles when they first touched down in America and we saw a real likeness with our personalities," Styles said. Bandmate Niall Horan concurred. "They loved having a laugh like us," he observed, as if that were not true of most lads in their early 20s.

They have half a point though. The first incarnation of The Beatles was a very conformist outfit, singing bland numbers like 'Love Me Do' and following the orders of their manager Brian Epstein with much the same commercially-minded deference that characterises One Direction’s relationship with Simon Cowell. One Direction have made rather more money than the prototype Fab Four though, amassing £100 million in just a couple of years.

The comparisons begin to falter once you look a little closer. Lennon and McCartney wrote their own material, while One Direction have a songwriting team, who aren’t always scrupulous about originality. Styles pretty much admits that One Direction’s latest single was a blatant rip-off of The Clash.

A couple of years into their career, The Beatles were also experimenting with drugs and inventing psychedelic pop. It’s vaguely possible that the One Direction boys might also grow elaborate beards, hang out with Indian gurus, smoke a lot of weed and push back the frontiers of popular music, but we’re not holding our breath.

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