One Direction is facing accusations of copyright infringement after classic rock fans noticed a striking similarity between the boy band's newest song, "Midnight Memories," and Def Leppard's 1987 party anthem, "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
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"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," a source close to the classic rock band told the Mirror U.K.
, adding that the band is reportedly considering legal action. "These cases can often take weeks to sort out because we are not talking about peanuts here — the One Direction album is selling millions and if the title track goes out as a single it will generate even more money."
Many Def Leppard fans have complained online that "Midnight Memories" has almost the same sound structure as "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
"The chorus is the same. The time signature, the notes, and the vibe are all alike," one person commented on Time.com.
But the members of Def Leppard refuted the Mirror U.K.'s claims and insisted they won't sue.
"The chords are one-four-five," Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell told Billboard
, explaining the musical similarities of both songs. "Those are the blues. You don’t get more basic than that. I think what’s more reminiscent of the Leppard thing is the production, the sound, the vocals, the reverb and the way it’s assembled.
"That is very flattering that all of a sudden these kids think it’s a cool sound. I think a lot of people of their generation aren't going to connect their music to ours."
This isn't the first time One Direction has been accused of lifting music from a classic band. Over the summer, many music critics noted the similarities between One Direction's "Best Song Ever" and The Who's "Baba O'Riley." But frontman Pete Townshend was also honored by the comparison and never pursued legal action.
"I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who,"
he wrote in a statement on the band's website back in August. "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."
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