Celebrating 10 Years of One Direction and Their Diverse Sound

By Rachael Gerron
Web Content Contributor

Waking up on July 22 to the notification that One Direction had tweeted was definitely the most exciting moment of my quarantine so far. The account tweeted, “Tomorrow! You and me got a whole lot of history #10Yearsof1D.”

I’m not a doctor, but I would say that my brain probably released enough serotonin in that moment to last me the rest of the year. 

That’s right, as of July 23, 2020, One Direction is officially 10 years old! I’ve never really felt old enough to warrant reminiscing on “simpler times,” but I have to say, it really was nice when the only pandemic consuming our lives was the “One Direction infection,” (yes, that really was the catchphrase for their rising global popularity). 

I was lucky enough to be a Directioner in their prime, but I realize that a lot of people may be new to their music due to the popularity of their solo projects. Ironically, they all went in very different directions with their music as individuals and have grown their own fan bases apart from loyal Directioners.

Their music still has an overall pop sound but they also incorporate other sounds such as R&B, classic rock, psychedelic rock, and even soft rock. 

Because of this, I thought it would be cool to make playlists to show new fans, and even critics, how diverse their music actually was. In a recent article reflecting on the band’s music, Rolling Stone Magazine called One Direction “One of the Great Rock Bands of the 21st Century.” 

As I read the replies to this tweet, I soon found that rock fans really didn’t like that description of the band. And of course, to someone who has only heard “What Makes You Beautiful,” that might seem like a far stretch.

But One Direction’s music has had rock influences on every album. They even performed their song, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” with Ronnie Wood, guitarist of the Rolling Stones in 2014. Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac are close friends of Harry Styles, and Nicks has performed live with Harry several times.

These collaborations are a result of their rock sound, and I definitely think One Direction is responsible for reviving rock music and drawing a new audience to those old sounds.

To better showcase their diversity, I broke their discography down into playlists for different moods, genres and decades. These playlists include acoustic and live versions of songs, which were released in celebration of 10 years; as well as some of the member’s solo songs that fit the vibe of the playlists. Of course, this also creates easy access for die-hard Directioners to reminisce in celebration of a decade of our favorite boy band. 

One Direction isn’t for everyone, but before you go another decade of writing them off as a cheesy boy band, try listening to these playlists! 

Soft Rock 1D Playlist 

Classic Rock 1D Playlist

80’s Pop 1D Playlist

90’s 00’s 1D Playlist

Slow Jams 1D Playlist

Featured image by Rachael Gerron.

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