One Direction’s new song “Midnight Madness” currently sits at No. 12 on the Billboard charts. However some classic rock fans are noticing that the tracks bears a striking similarity to Def Leppard‘s classic track “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” While the sound-alike song structure might be coincidence, but according to the British tabloid Mirror UK, Def Leppard is weighing their legal options.
This is the second time in recent months that One Direction has been accused of lifting from other artists. Their “Best Song Ever” bears a distinct resemblance to The Who’s classic “Baba O’Riley.” Luckily, The Who’s frontman Pete Townsend was flattered by the attention, noting, “I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by the Who.” Townshend gave his approval to the rock newcomers, saying, “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.” The Who never pursued legal action against the band.
Def Leppard may not be so charitable, though. An unnamed source told the Mirror, “Everyone is staying silent at this stage but it’s clear the two songs sound alike – which has been enough for Def Leppard’s aides to pose questions to their legal team.” One Direction did not list Def Leppard in their album credits.
While Townsend was honored by the similarity, not everyone takes it as a compliment. Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. filed a preemptive lawsuit over their mega-hit track “Blurred Lines” after Marvin Gaye’s estate and Bridgeport music — who own the rights to a number of Funkadelic compositions — reportedly threatened a lawsuit against Thicke et al, on the grounds that “Blurred Lines” was too similar to their copyrighted material. Gaye’s children then filed a suit of their own and the two parties are still in court. Hopefully One Direction and Def Leppard won’t have to go that route.
Take a listen to the two tracks and decide for yourself.
Here’s One Direction’s “Midnight Memories”:
And here’s Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”