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One Direction Accused of Ripping Off the Clash in ‘Live While We’re Young’ Intro

One Direction the Clash
Christopher Polk / Unimedia, Getty Images

One Direction made fangirls happier than ever when their video for ‘Live While We’re Young’ leaked, but they also got some other people really P.O.ed — namely, fans of classic punk outfit the Clash.

The ‘X Factor U.K.’ alums are being accused of ripping off Joe Strummer and Co.’s ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go.’

While the introductory riffs do sound very similar, it’s not as obviously derivative as, say, Vanilla Ice’s sample of David Bowie and Queen‘s ‘Under Pressure.’ Fans of the Clash took to Twitter to denounce 1D, writing, “Oh no. One Direction have nicked the intro to Should I Stay Or Should I Go by the Clash. Sacrilege” and “One Direction clearly tried ripping off the Clash with the intro to their new song.”

Thing is, One Direction didn’t actually pen the tune. Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk are all listed as the track’s songwriters (per The Hollywood Reporter). It’s the same team who wrote the bubblegum staples ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and ‘One Thing,’ so it’s only natural that the group would want to work with the hitmakers again. And based on their youth and pop nature, we highly doubt that 1D would intentionally rip off the ‘London Calling’ crooners. You can listen to both tracks below and decide for yourself!

In any case, the controversy isn’t hurting 1D’s sales. The single already broke records for the fastest selling preorder in history, and it’s so catchy that once it’s actually on sale, we’re sure it’ll sell even more copies. And uh, that video of the boys in sopping wet T-shirts? We’ll take it, thanks.

And there’s an added benefit to the similarity between the riffs: Perhaps younger fans will be exposed to the Clash, whom they may not have heard of before One Direction were accused of snagging their riff. A silver lining to every cloud, right?

Next: See One Direction Swim With Dolphins!

Watch the Clash ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ Video

Watch the One Direction ‘Live While We’re Young’ Video

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