One Direction’s only direction: down

On February 7, 1964 the Beatles arrived at JFK international airport, signalling the start of full-on Beatlemania in the US. Some have claimed that a new sort of modern-day Beatlemania is happening now with the arrival of the British boyband One Direction onto US soil. This is dangerous thinking. The Beatles and One Direction should not even be compared. It’s like comparing the height of the Empire State building and a bug on the sidewalks of New York, one so exceeds the other that there is no competition between the two. The reasons for this are many, but I’ll highlight only a few. First, the Beatles were an actual band, formed out of an actual love for music. One Direction, on the other hand, was formed in the seventh series of the reality TV show The X Factor after a judge suggested it. Herein lies the first difference: the Beatles came together because they had a passion for the music, while One Direction got together because it was a way to stay in a reality TV competition, where the main goal was to gain fame or wealth. These material motivators communicate that the band is not really focused on the music, but rather what the music can do for them in terms of money and notoriety. Another difference comes in the physical appearance of the band. First off, the hair. I find it hard to tolerate guys who put more time and product into their hair than I do, and from what I can see, all of the members of One Direction spend more than the required 5-10 minutes on their hair each morning. Perhaps the Beatles also spent more time on their do’s than I do, but they still pulled off the “I’m a guy, and I don’t really care that much about my hair” demeanor. The members of One Direction have perfectly styled tresses which lost the “I don’t care” feeling, and they smack of high maintenance. The clothing of both bands also has a few notable differences. The Beatles always adhered to a classic style, usually wearing well-fitting suits (at least in their early years.) One Direction clothes are a different story, of something like hipster meets mainstream . The homepage of their website looks like some weird guy’s clothing ad, perhaps with the subtitles “new for spring, soft colors for soft boys.” In the end, however, it comes back to the music. The Beatles and other notable UK bands such as U2 were formed because they wanted to spread their music and their message. One Direction formed for mostly material reasons, and this above all is why groups like the Beatles and U2 will be remembered as legends and One Direction will be remembered only as the UK’s contribution to the global melting pot of bad music.