One Direction Accused of Def Leppard Ripoff on New Song

"Midnight Memories" dubbed strikingly similar to Leppard classic "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

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Young pop stars One Direction were accused of ripping off Def Leppard classic "Pour Some Sugar on Me" on the title track of their third studio effort "Midnight Memories." As the Mirror reports, the Leppard guys have even contacted their legal team to investigate the matter and see whether a suit can be filed. "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," an unnamed source said. "These cases can often take weeks to sort out because we are not talking about peanuts here - the 1D album is selling millions and if the title track goes out as a single it will generate even more money." The similarities are indeed strikingly obvious, particularly regarding the chorus chord structure. Check out both tunes below and see for yourself. One Direction were previously accused of plagiarism due to the similarities of their "Best Song Ever" hit with the Who classic "Baba O'Riley." The story even sparked rumors of 1D track being taken off YouTube, causing a fan uproar and massive bashing of the Who via Twitter.

Are there enough similarities between the tunes to call this one a ripoff? Let us know in the comments.

130 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Too many similarities. The beat, the chorus, and if Santa Claus really answers letter, Harry Style's severed arm.
    But there's one major thing they forgot that makes them different: Pour some sugar on me: Good This: Shit
    Def Leppard didn't invent two chords rest, two different chords rest. It's fairly similar yeah ("Midnight memories, ooh, in the name of love), but this does strike me as a bit of a cash grab.
    Yeah, but the whole riff is so simple. And the melody is not the same over the chorus. I am sure they did lift elements of the song, but I really doubt you can claim exclusive rights over every double strum of a power chord ever used. That said it is pretty close, but I doubt anything comes of this as far as a legal solution.
    Why so much hate on sono's comment? I don't like One D either, but he's right. First thing, beats are not exclusive, deal with it. Second, the only verses that sound alike are "Pour some sugar on me" and "Midnight memories", and both have a fairly simple structure. *Oh-oh-oh/In the name of love doesn't match the vocal contents. If this is enough to claim exclusive rights, then poor harder metal bands who go like "000-00-000-0(...)" on their breakdowns.
    It's just the combination of those two, makes it look like a steal. You could easily have the chords and some other melody line, or other chords and the same melody, but they follow eachother exactly. There's no way, whoever wrote this song, hadn't heard of Pour Some Sugar On Me. It was a mega-seller. Probably sold more than this song will. It just can't be coincidence.
    All their songs are rip-offs, they're practically a glorified x factor cover act
    It's true, every thing they've done has the intro from another song. This isnt news.
    Thanks for telling us because we haven't listened to every song that they wrote.
    Why would you listen to every song they wrote?
    Definitely some similarities to the Def Leopard song.....nothing near the note for note rip-off Cold Play did on Joe Satriani.....
    judging by the down votes it would seem the little kiddies here on UG obviously don't like hearing that their pop hero Chris Martin is a it....he been sued a few times for it.....
    I havent listened to any of the songs they wrote! Who the hell is One Direction??? lol
    Honey Badger
    Probably nobody has noticed because they're not forced to listen to One D's crap, but I work at an HMV and their song Best Song Ever is just a cheap lyrical copy of Tribute by Tenacious D. It's about them dancing to 'the best song ever' at some party, but not remembering it the next morning for some reason. So their song is about describing what it was like. Seems an awful lot like Tribute's context.
    I thought HMV went bust?
    The HMV's where I live where suppose to close down several months ago, but some company paid for their debts, or something along those lines.
    One Direction also ripped off one of The Clash's most famous songs... and judging by this article, I'm not sure if should I stay or should I go...
    Yeah they ripped off "Should I stay or Should I go" , they also ripped off "Baba OReilly" by The Who.
    Their Baba O'Riley "rip off" was far from a rip off. The rhythm of the chords was the same, but the chords weren't. Tons of bands have used the same rhythm and chords as Baba O'Riley and got away with it. Pete Townsend even said so. This song, however, is a complete rip-off.
    So what if the chords weren't the same? It's the feeling that was the same (the rhythm and it was played similarly on a piano in a similar tempo - and there were no other instruments playing at the same time and it was the intro of the song just like The Who song). But The Who guys were OK with it so so what. Lots of bands use the same rhythm/same chords but the feeling is different and that's what matters. Give me an example of another song that has that kind of piano "riff" in it.
    Really? You're using "feeling" as an argument? The rhythm of the chords is the same and the tinkling backing sounds are the same, so it all sounds very similar, but it isn't a "rip-off" if it just has the same "feeling". You can't rip off the "feel" of a song or there'd be court claims on pretty much every song made in the past forty years. If it had used the same chords and melody it would have been a rip-off, but the chords are different and the melody of the vocals is not remotely alike. It sounds a bit similar, but not enough that even the Who particularly cared. As for the piano, the piano in Best Song Ever doesn't actually sound much like the riff from Baba O'Riley, it just serves the same function in the song. If you're looking for songs that sound like Baba O'Riley, Fall Out Boy's Disloyal Order is a much stronger contender.
    The "feeling" contains lots of stuff. Chords really don't make songs sound the same. It's the "feeling" - OK, chords and notes are a part of the "feeling" but you can have two songs with the same "feeling" and the only thing that separates them is the melody and chords.It's hard to define the "feeling" - and I can't do it right now. But even somebody who doesn't know anything about music could hear the similarities between Baba O'Riley and Best Song Ever. Actually I could make a song with the same melody and same chords sound pretty different - actually there are lots of pop songs that do that - for example listen to "Drive By" by Train and "Tacata" by Tacata by Tacabro. They use the same chords and same melody but they have different "feels" in them and that's why they sound different. Music is not all about notes. But yeah, it's not that big a deal because The Who didn't even care about it.
    I'm not saying that you need to have the same chords for a plagiarism case to be made, I'm simply stating that in the example of these songs, the chords are very important. Pretty much all it is is a tinkling piano/synth and three chords, so if the three chords are different that's a big difference. Best Song Ever doesn't have the drawn out intro into a lone piano line followed by an introduction of a drum beat, followed by bass and then finally guitar chords, nor are the chords the same. The pace is similar and the rhythm is the same, and the timbre is similar too. Like I said, similar, not a rip off.
    Not necessarily a Baba O'Riley rip-off, but if you watch any sports, most of the filler music (that's not part of the channel's official sports themes) is comprised of restructured versions of popular rock songs. They play Back in Black or Crazy Train, for example, but they switch the chords up and change the notes in the main riff around a little bit. They usually keep the same drum beats and maintain the structure entirely, but the progression of notes is changed around. It's painfully obvious that it's 'inspired' by the song it sounds like, but it's been changed just enough that it avoids any legal action.
    To be fair, they don't write their own songs, and I doubt they listen to Def Leppard. People should be slagging off their songwriters.
    Exactly. I think they do a bit of the songwriting, but we all know they have a team of songwriters. I'm sure 1D isn't left with a whole lot of choice in what ends up on the album. Go after the songwriters.
    I am unfortunate enough to have a younger sister who has most of One Direction's songs. Literally all of them are rip-offs. The Who, Leppard, Queen, Cyndi Lauper, The Clash, Backstreet Boys. It's all there!
    So it's not enough that they rip off The Who and then slam them by saying that they are called The Who for a reason but now they're ripping off Def Leppard as well?? Something needs to be done about this
    Glad people are noticing this, now all they need is to sue these stupid dance artists who feel like they need to borrow another song in order to get theirs to be popular. WE NEED ORIGINALITY IN THE INDUSTRY!!
    Nero Galon
    When people sample other songs in their own then i'm pretty sure they get permission before earning from it.
    There are a lot of people who don't care about their art then... But I guess if they profit from it and money comes first power to them I guess.. it just ticks me off when I hear a song on the radio and it's some new semi-talented singer singing a song that's already written/some part of the original song sampled and edited to death being played and there's some rapper asshat mumbling over the rest of the song with mindless lyrics. Anyway I just listened to the song and there were some similarities but it wasn't a straight ripoff like I originally thought.
    Electronic musicians sample other musicians, that's apart of the genre. Rock music has covers of songs, which by your definition could be considered even less original.
    Well, now I heard a One Direction song and it was pretty horrible. Thanks UG, for that.
    I want to see if they're similar... but I also don't want One Direction to get any hits from me on Youtube. Conundrums...
    Not used to songs less than 3 minutes.. 2:47 huh.. That says a lot about the audience these days..
    One of my favorite musicians makes a lot of <3 minute songs. 1D might not be the best example but there's something nice about short and sweet tracks.
    I agree. Long songs have their place but more is not always more. I think it's actually harder to write interesting short songs. Usually my songs turn out to be over 5 minutes long because I always want to add more and more stuff in them.
    Totally agree.. Although some consider it laziness, it is actually quite difficult to condense a song..
    I think song length really has nothing to do with it. Napalm Death's first two albums features songs that wouldn't even last a minute, same with a lot of early Hardcore bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag's EPs, yet they're still awesome. I'd rather have a song that feels a bit too short than a song that feels a bit too long, but that depends entirely on the genre.
    They haven't plagiarized anything. They always pay for the license to use samples of those songs. It says right in the linear notes that samples of Baba O' Riley are used in "Best Song Ever." And obviously if Def Leppard themselves think it's cool that the songs are alike, then there's no reason for any of you to get your panties in a bunch.
    I can hear the similarities, but I don't really see the problem.. At least they're taking influences from decent bands. Didn't think the song was that bad either. Not my type of music, but I'd rather have my teenage daughter (if I had one ) listening to this than Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj.
    I went and listened to the album a few weeks ago just for the hell of it and it really wasn't that bad. Sounded like some sort of classic rock revival attempt but it was kinda enjoyable in doing so. Was bearable which is more than I can say about Minaj's recent work.
    this gets better everyday katy perry got caught pre tracking her vocals for live no one likes jb anymore now this. real music hopefully makes a comeback
    There is a big difference between a hat tip, and a rip off. This is no hat tip even though that's probably what all of these "Clash, Def Leppard, etc" are. They are just taking money from people that put the effort into writing it.
    It look pretty much like Beverly Hills from Weezer also .. I guess they both ripped Def, but its also a simple E-A-B progression ... I dont want to defend 1D but its not as this was a genius masterpiece ripped off right there, only the 3 same chords ...
    I wouldn't say this even reminds me of the Leppard song. Yeah, it has the same chords played in the same rhythm over similar kind of beat. But this song had that kind of punk vibe while the 1D song had a 80s rock vibe - the whole song had a Def Leppard vibe in it. I don't know exactly what it is that makes these songs sound different. Because this didn't remind me of the Def Leppard song that much.
    I will personaly drag EACH and every member of one direction to hell for ripping of the Beatles Abbey Road Cover And Def Lepard's Pour some sugar on me song.
    Look guys. One Direction and Justin Bieber do stuff. Lets focus on that instead of good music and musicians we actually like! Go cry me a river. These guys don't even write that stuff themselves, they just perform it (...very poorly).
    Darryl Taylor
    The "band" don't play any instruments, they didn't copy anyone's music...the producer on the other hand..
    I thankfully haven't had to play Def Lep's "Sugar" in any band for about 20 years, but IIRC, it's just a I-IV-V progression in the chorus (E-A-B). Imagine if everyone who ever used that was sued. The vocal melody does seem a bit similar at the beginning of the chorus though.
    It's not only the chord progression. It's the groove. Listen to the beginning of the chorus - exactly the same as Pour Some Sugar on Me. The rhythm, the beat, the overall feeling of the chorus. Plus the same chords. The melody is also kind of similar. Music isn't all about chords and melody of course, but the similarities weren't only in the chords. You could have changed the chords and the feeling would have been the same (that's what they did in "Best Song Ever" - the chords were different from The Who song but the feeling was the same - it had the same rhythm and in both songs it was played on piano). Though I don't see that much problem here. It's just a couple of seconds borrowed from another song - OK, it's in the chorus which is supposed to be the catchiest part of the song. But still... If it was a band that had a better reputation, people would be like "they are just playing tribute to Def Leppard". Though I think they should have changed the chorus a bit more so that it wasn't so recognizable. The song had a bit of 80s rock vibe in it. IMO it was a surprisingly good mainstream pop song. I liked the groove of the verses and the guitar riffing reminded me a bit of Led Zeppelin or something.
    I think the songwriters do this on purpose now. The regognition effect is supposed to make it sound better, but here they're just raping the original song.
    This really pisses me off. They did the same thing with Baba O' Riley.
    wtf, first they rip off The Who and now Def Leppard???? who do these lil English t***s think they are
    Honestly, as a Def Leppard fan...I don't see it. Similar chord progression, okay. But with the MULTITUDES of music out there, it's kinda hard NOT to make a song similar to one that already exists (obviously there are exceptions, but there are also a lot of coincidences). I'm just glad 1D is making decent-sounding rock-ish music rather than the bubblegummey lovey-dovey pop. The young crowds need to be exposed to some decent tunes.
    Nero Galon
    I heard it in the background, I thought someone on the X Factor was covering a Def Leppard song it sounded so alike and I was shocked when I discovered it was 1D's new song.
    I think the problem is, that they've been accused at least 3 times so far for "copying" other songs. So more similarities are bound to be made. I haven't heard the song, so I don't know if there is any similarity. But it honestly wouldn't surprise me after the The Who and The Clash incidents.
    It's not only the chords. It's the groove. Listen to the background instruments in the beginning of the chorus. They play exactly the same thing as in the Leppard song's chorus. Why is everybody always talking about chords? The rest of the song isn't similar to the Leppard song, it's just the beginning of the chorus - but that's a very recognizable part.
    I think it sounds like 'I believe in a thing called love' in the verse. And of course def lep in the chorus. I still like the song though
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . . HA!!! Plagiarizing Def Leppard, that should be about rock bottom.
    The only similarity I see is in the line "midnight memories" everything else is just the beat sounding sorta' the same... But like some people stated (and I know some people are going to down vote my comment because of what I'm going to say) writing a decent song that doesn't share a similarity to an already existing song is just impossible today. Believe me I've tried. I once came up with a nice little tune, I hummed it all the way home so I wouldn't forget it then I realized I basically just hummed the chorus of a song (I don't really remember witch one it was) just in a faster tempo. It happens and you don't even realize it sometimes... Not that I'm sticking up for them, I just thought I'd add my 2cents.
    This is not a rip off. You guys need ears. Having similarities in a song doesn't make it a rip off.
    Ripping off bands doesn't make you a bad artist either. Look at bands like Led Zeppelin.. I'm not comparing LZ and 1D btw I just think people are overreacting a bit.
    A lot of music history consisted of sharing and ripping ideas. Early days of rock and its predecessors were greatly aided by that. The idea of legally owning a melody and not letting anyone else use it is pretty recent.
    Yeah, Zeppelin ripped off a lot of people haha. Sometimes not even giving credit for using a song. IIRC, didn't they use the original track of Bring It On Home for their version, then not credit the original artist at all?
    The main 12-bar bit was a (correct me if I'm wrong) Sonny Boy Williamson song, and the rocky bit in the middle I THINK was original. Don't quote me on that though.
    The Clash, The Who... now Def Leppard? Even the bands they are ripping off are getting crappy.
    They seem to be doing that quite a bit. But didn't The Offspring rip off Def Leppard for Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
    They did, they used the exact same intro as Rock of Ages, which is why I have no respect for them either.
    Outside of the "gloota-gleeben-gloten-gloden" thing, the songs are entirely different, but yes they have the same intro bit which I'm sure Def Lep sampled from somewhere but both acts are amazing and it matters not.
    Both bands are amazing, but Rock of Ages is miles and miles ahead of Pretty Fly. Probably the worst song on a otherwise completely killer album.
    Do you have no respect for Primus because they "stole" the intro to YYZ? What a stupid reason to lose respect for a band
    First The Who and now Def Leppard. Though they are the same chords and similar melodies but I don't think Def Leppard can will if they sue, it's not the exact same.
    I think they just so suck bad that they end up sounding fake and lame beyond belief. I cannot believe anyone actually listens to them. They'll go away in a few years, talentless "bands" like them don't last.
    The chorus of their song definitely sounds very similar to the Def Leppard song as far as the chord structure and rhythm go. However without listening to them back to back like I just did I would not really associate the 2 songs together. Just my opinion but I think the Def Leppard song is much more sophisticated as far as the instrumentation goes. The 1D song is fairly simplistic.
    I don't hear Def LEppard'S greatness in One direction's song! sorry!
    This article just made a load of people listen to a One Direction song... Ultimate Guitar you manipulative bastards!
    Not again... First The Clash, then Grease, then The Who, and now Def Leppard (not to mention destroying a Blondie song).
    Let's not forget, besides this chorus and The Who, their first song "That What Makes You Beautiful" also ripped off the opening of "Summer Nights" from Grease. That's one that seems to get overlooked.
    as much as they both kinda suck (one direction being the worst, def leppard actually write their own music) the one direction is a blatant rip off and they obviously didnt ask for permission otherwise fdef leppard wouldnt be taking out a lawsuit
    Cherry Pie - WARRANT = Pour Some Sugar On Me - DEF LEPPARD. Same 'feel' throughout entire song! Especially the verse!