The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Being a One Direction stan since elementary school, I feel that it is my responsibility to provide a foolproof ranking of One Direction’s hits and misses. While I could talk about their entire discography for hours, I will limit myself to explaining the top 10 and bottom 5 songs. While I know my list is correct in my heart, feel free to disagree and take the ranking quiz for yourself to see where you stand on the 1D classics: https://half-measures.tumblr.com/
THE TOP 5
- Truly, Madly, Deeply
This song is painfully underrated. If you haven’t heard “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” it may be because it was only originally released on the Target exclusive version of the sophomore album Take Me Home. However, it has since been put on Spotify for all of us to enjoy. This song was the epitome of a love song when I was 12 years old, and it still holds true today. Honestly, play this at my wedding.
Talk about a bop. When “Olivia” came out on the 4th album, I became so eager to see the direction that 1D was going with their new sound. I feel like this song showcased a lot of what was to come both in the band and in Harry Styles’ solo career as we see a 60s Beatles-esque influence coming in.
“Clouds” provides such a euphoric feeling within the first few seconds of play, which is probably why the band chose it to open up their On The Road Again Tour in 2015. The sound really builds off of “Olivia,” creating such a fun and retro vibe that 1D held onto until their end (or hiatus). The song is perfect to get you ready for any major life moment or celebration, and it has become my go-to song to pump me up for any big event.
- Rock Me
This song was quite the scandal when it was released back in 2012, as the lyrics really reminded 1D’s overbearing audience that they weren’t just a bubblegum pop boy band, but a group made up of teenage boys who wanted to branch out and have a bit of edge. The rock influences came on strong for “Rock Me,” and started a new era for the band.
- What a Feeling
The entirety of Made in the A.M. is a masterpiece, but “What a Feeling” is the grooviest song there is. It gives such a distinct image in your head while listening; making you want to put on some bell bottoms and roller skates. The mystical lyrics in the chorus, “The sky fell down, but you’ve got stars in your eyes,” really top off the song and allow you to channel all good feelings.
- Temporary Fix
Seeing how One Direction shifted from “Rock Me” to “Temporary Fix” within three years shows how much the band came into themselves both as a band and within their individual sexualities. The fast pace of Temporary Fix really draws you into the story and the song itself, making it perfect to blast with the windows down.
- I Would
There was a point in my life when I listened to “I Would” 24/7 for an entire summer, yet somehow I’m still not tired of it. There’s something about the humorous lyrics combined with Zayn’s mastery of the chorus that makes this song nearly impossible to skip for me. Also, the fact that every member gets a solo moment is more than enough to make me happy.
- You and I
A true classic, and finally the first single on this list! There are plenty of ballads that are worthy of praise in this discography, but “You and I” somehow manages to slow down time by creating tension with the instrumentals and by showing off each boy’s singing capabilities so well. (Zayn’s high note alone makes this song a 10/10)
- Summer Love
Also criminally underrated, “Summer Love” presents the story of you guessed it, a summer love. The song is so gentle, sweet, and reminiscent of “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” The lyrics and instruments touched on the youthful factor that 1D had at the time and offered a song that many of the younger fans could relate to for summer break.
- Little Things / Girl Almighty
I had two songs tied for tenth place, so I just have to include both! First, “Little Things” acts as another classic for the 1D fandom. While it is riddled with semi-problematic lyrics that take short digs at girls’ insecurities, the song holds a lot of nostalgia for fans as it has been played at every concert since its release in 2012. Despite it probably not being the best thing to listen to as a developing pre-teen girl, I love the calmness that falls over the music and the way the song was used to connect fans with the band.
In the complete other direction, “Girl Almighty” is one of the most experimental songs the band made. It’s fun, creative, and empowering to many fans. The song overall praises women just for being women, and describes them as being bright and “made of lightning.” I will always love the energy and feminine touch that this song has.
THE BOTTOM 5
When this came out as a single, I was so underwhelmed. Every time I listen to this song, I can’t help but cringe at the singing of the word “infinity.” Also in the chorus, the lyrics “how many nights does it take to count the stars? That’s the time it would take to fix my heart,” make me laugh every time. Finally, the terribly loud EDM-style break in place of a bridge really seals the deal. Something about it is so unpleasant to my ears, which is disappointing considering the rest of this album is so amazing.
- Save You Tonight
To quote the song: “you’re so overrated.” I don’t know what writers were thinking when they gave this to 1D. It was their first album, which is admittedly full of subpar songs, but this one just sucks. My favorite lyric is: “I can’t be no superman, but for you, I’ll be superhuman.” What does this even mean? The only appropriate time to play this song is in The Adventurous Adventures of One Direction.
- Stand Up
Continuing the trend, the remaining songs are all from the first album, which is no surprise. As far as “Stand Up” goes, the lyrics aren’t great, and the beat is very generic. While the bridge kinda slaps on this one, the singing does not. The boys were still fresh off of their X-Factor performance, so for that, I can cut them a little slack. Unfortunately, this song still haunts me whenever I put One Direction on shuffle.
- Na Na Na
This song has a kinda cute beachy vibe to it at times, but it’s totally ruined by the chorus and vocals. The majority of the chorus is quite literally “We’re like na, na, na, then we’re like yeah, yeah, yeah.” There’s no saving that.
- Another World
To be honest, the rankings put “Magic” as my least favorite song, but I refuse to accept that, so I will put what I feel is my least favorite: “Another World.” This song feels like two songs stitched together in the worst way possible. The beginning is way too edited and is trying so hard to be edgy. I never listen to this song, not even ironically, so for that, I give it last place.