Did One Direction Steal New Single’s Intro from The Clash?

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Eight notes of music followed by three scratching strums: it’s perhaps one of the most recognizable song intros in rock history, from The Clash’s classic “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” And now those opening bars are at it again, in One Direction’s new single “Live While We’re Young.” The video for the song, meant to debut today, according to E!, leaked on Thursday but was taken down and replaced with the official version.

(MORE: Behind the Hype: Can One Direction Save the Boy Band?)

The two songs and videos—like the acts behind them—have almost nothing in common once they get going, but many music fans are finding them too close for comfort. NME reports that Clash fans are, well, clashing with One Direction via Twitter, making public their displeasure over what they see as a rip-off.


Another way to look at it: One Direction has joined the storied pop-music tradition of ripping off bass lines from songs with more cred. Vanilla Ice, here’s looking at you.