If you need proof, just check out the stirring opening piano bit on "Steal My Girl," the first single from Four. Maybe it didn't sound familiar to you, but ask anyone who was alive in the 1980s and they might casually say, "Oh yeah, that's totally the opening riff to Journey's killer road anthem "Faithfully"! Why? Because it is really similar.
And that's not the first time the guys have worn their influences on their sleeves. In fact, they've kind of made a habit of paying homage to their arena-rocking heroes in the coolest way possible, including getting some comparisons to Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles on the Four track "Fireproof."
They dialed the homages back a bit on the new album, on which the the guys have songwriting input on all but two tracks. But if you need further proof that they've always loved them some classic rock (or at least their songwriting partners do), check out these 11 times 1D sounded just like other songs you're totally going to add to your Spotify playlist:
1. Epic Journey
Never heard Journey's 1983 ballad "Faithfully"? Check it out and all of a sudden those first few notes of "Steal My Girl" might seem vaguely familiar.
2. Steal My ... Riff?
Journey fans weren't the only ones saying, "Hey, wait a minute..." when "Steal My Girl" came out. Punk-poppers New Found Glory (and Paramore's Hayley Williams) also thought they heard something that they recognized, namely the piano bit from their song "It's Not Your Fault."
3. Rock Me
When you aim for stadium-rocking dominance, you could do way worse than one of Britain's all-time crowd-pleasing giants: Queen. So put "We Will Rock You" side-by-side with 1D's 2012 Dr. Luke-produced banger "Rock Me" and well...
4. Who ARE You?
Speaking of gigantic riffs, no one could deny that 2013's smash "Best Song Ever" was a big, bold, beautiful homage to the Who's "Baba O'Riley."
5. This Means War
It's one of the most ironic tributes in pop/rock history. "Live While We're Young" liberally employs the iconic muted guitar strumming from the Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" one of the biggest (and only) pop hits from the legendary punk band that lived to smash the system.
6. Sweet As Sugar
If you're gonna borrow, borrow from the best. And when it came to the single "Midnight Memories," it seems like 1D's team aimed for the greatest pop metal band in England's history, Def Leppard. Specifically, their cheese-tastic 1987 anthem "Pour Some Sugar On Me."
7. Gotta Be The Verve
It's ironic that The Verve, who had to give up nearly every penny of their royalties for their smash 1997 hit "Bittersweet Symphony" to the Rolling Stones because of a prominent sample, helped inspire 1D's "Gotta Be You." Check out the opening string section and those violins and those drums and, well, decide for yourself.
1D Also Really, Really Love Pop, DUH!
8. I Will Always Love ... Someone Else?
This one just confuses us. While the title of one of the songs from Four is exactly the same as Whitney Houston's 1988 hit single, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," it is, oddly, not a cover of that amazing ballad. But even stranger, it kind of sounds like ex-Go Go's singer Belinda Carlisle's single from that year, "Heaven is a Place on Earth."
9. You Know What's Beautiful? 'Summer Nights'
If your mom doesn't have a vinyl copy of the soundtrack to "Grease" somewhere in the attic, then she's definitely saved "Summer Nights," because, of course she has. Which is why she probably did a double take when she heard the 1D smash "What Makes You Beautiful."
10. What Makes You 'Strong'
Your mom also obvi loves Kelly Clarkson. Try listening to "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and then, real quick, put on 2013's "Strong." Sound familiar?
11. I Wish You Wouldn't Leave
Pink is a chart-topper of the highest order. Let's call this one a case of game recognizing game. And that might explain why 1D's "I Wish" is a very sweet nod to Pink's 2009 acoustic ballad "Please Don't Leave Me."