It’s been almost eight years since One Direction (1D) went on their indefinite hiatus, ending their reign as one of the biggest boy bands of the 2010s. In their short tenure of six years, 1D managed to rule the hearts of fans with their charming personality, charming stage presence and danceable tunes. Its music has become prominent in pop culture, and the members continue to act as pop icons even after success in their solo careers.
The band released five albums over a period of five years, with each record coming out annually in November. To celebrate the band’s history of thriving at this time of year, the following article is a ranking of every One Direction record.
Each album is ranked based on how good the record has been over the past five to 10 years, its replayability and personal enjoyment.
5. “Made in AM(2015)
In last place on this ranking is One Direction’s fifth and final record, “Made in the AM”, which One Direction planned to make as their last album, following the departure of Zayn Malik, one of the band’s five members.
The record focuses on more mature themes rather than the lovey-dovey, teen pop aspect that the band was known for in their early days. However, the songs find themselves in the same place, especially on songs like “Never Enough” and “If I Could Fly”.
The singles are less notable in comparison to the band’s discography, although “Drag Me Down” remains one of their most iconic tracks. This is just one of those records where every song sounds the same with its poppy synths, bright guitars and subtle drums. However, there are some tracks that stand out, like “Olivia”. Still, they aren’t as impressive as they used to be when they arrived in 2015. Overall, it’s an okay record, but it’s not as memorable or cohesive as the band’s other albums.
4. “Four” (2014)
Easily ranked fourth on this list is the album “Four”, which was released in 2014. The band – Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik – continues their boy band trend of becoming more mature. Look With songs like “Night Changes” and “Spaces”, the love aspect of the album is darker and more emotional than their first three records.
However, that doesn’t stop them from capturing a familiar sound, which makes an album like “Made in the AM” from standing out track-to-track. Obviously, we have hit tracks like “Steal My Girl” and “No Control” that capture the listener’s ears with their catchy pop melodies. On the other hand, songs like “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Ready to Run” failed to stick out of the pop machine of 2014. Again, “Four” holds its own with its catchy single, but the rest of the record fails to compete.
3. “all night(2011)
At number three in this ranking is One Direction’s debut record, “Up All Night”, released in 2011. Coming fresh from the stage of “The X Factor”, the teenagers of the time came together to create one of the most iconic. Records from the early 2010s. With earworm tracks like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing”, the album captured the hearts of fellow teenagers, dealing with themes of young love, heartbreak, and dumb fun with their friends.
The album is one of the most consistent One Direction records; However, it lacks a certain togetherness between the five boys that is better cemented on later records. They had not yet found their strength among each other, which is appropriate considering that Simon Cowell had put together “The X Factor” boys just a year before recording.
“Up All Night” is one of the most memorable records with a single that put the boy band at the top of the charts, but it is not included in the rest of the band’s discography.
2. “Memories of Midnight(2013)
In second place is the band’s third record, “Midnight Memories”, released in 2013. The album is arguably one of their most experimental records as it dips its toes into the “edgier” sound with pounding guitars, pounding drums and melodic synths. This pop-rock record includes hits such as “Best Song Ever,” “You and I” and “Story of My Life,” some of the band’s greatest singles.
“Midnight Memories” marks the beginning of One Direction becoming more mature sonically and lyrically. The harmonies are harmonious, and each member knows where their strengths lie and how to use them. Although the lyrics are still cheesy teen pop-esque, similar to the band’s first two records, they work well with the “rockier” instrumentals. Overall, One Direction had one of their most memorable moments in their “bad boy” era, producing an equally memorable record.
1.”Take me home(2012)
Ultimately, One Direction’s top record is their second studio album, “Take Me Home”, released in 2012. Following the success of “Up All Night”, One Direction returned to the stage with arguably one of their most famous records. While their debut introduced the world to hits like “What Makes You Beautiful” and its title track, this record followed suit with equally catchy singles like “Live While We’re Young,” “Kiss You” and “Little Things.” Solidified its stance in pop culture. ,
The album is the epitome of One Direction with its sweet lyrics, catchy melodies, and playful instrumentals. Each song is simple and instantly grabs the listener’s attention. The members have a better understanding of their vocal powers, and their harmonies are some of the best in their entire discography.
Even their lesser-known songs like “She’s Not Afraid” and “I Will” are hypnotic with their up-tempo, danceable energy. This record is simply a fun time that allows listeners to feel nostalgic for early 2010s teen pop.
This article is dedicated to my sister Regan Phillips, who is my biggest One Direction fan ever. In the whirlwind of “One Direction Infection,” she forced me to listen to every song, watch every music video, and tear out pictures of the 1D boys from magazines. I acted like I hated it at the time, but I secretly loved every moment of hanging out with my older sister. I hope she enjoys my ranking of the records that shaped both of our early teens.