Best Song Ever

Album: Midnight Memories (2013)
Charted: 2 2
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  • This Ed Drewett, Wayne Hector, John Ryan and Julian Bunetta penned song served as the lead single of One Direction's third studio album. It doubled up as a promotional single for the This Is Us 3D movie about the boys. The song was released July 22, 2013.
  • English singer-songwriter Ed Drewett has had success penning songs with artists such as The Wanted ("Glad You Came") and Olly Murs ("Dear Darlin'"), but this was this first tune for One Direction to get released. He told MTV News UK's Becca Dudley: "I met them a few times as soon as they came off The X Factor. We did a couple of sessions but nothing happened with the song."

    "This time, I was just drafted in by their record label," he added." I got on the whiskey and me and my friends just came up with this song, which then happened to become their first single [from their third album]. So fantastic news for me. So I got on the whiskey again. Just the one."
  • MTV News UK asked Drewett what makes the track the 'Best Song Ever,' He jokingly replied: "We weren't bragging when we wrote it. The song was about them singing the best song ever. It is the best song ever because I wrote it and they're singing it. So that's enough."
  • Speaking with MTV News, Julian Bunetta discussed the song's resemblance to The Who's classic 1971 tune "Baba O'Riley." "It starts with a synth and 'Baba O'Riley' starts with a synth," he noted. "I mean that's a huge compliment because if that can evoke that same excitement than that's amazing but that was not the… we weren't saying 'OK, let's rip off 'Baba O'Riley'.'"

    Bunetta added: "At a certain point we recognized it had the same type of intro where there's a synth and a piano, but we really tried to make sure that there was no intellectual property stolen or anything like that."
  • The humorous accompanying music video was shot in June 2013 in Miami, Florida and directed by British TV and film director Ben Winston. It features all five band members playing alternative characters, (Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson portray bald and grey-haired movie executives, Harry Styles a hyper, nerdy marketer, Liam Payne a fey, energetic, choreographer and Zayn Malik a sexy female assistant). All five are attempting to assist One Direction with the development of their movie.

    Winston told MTV News that the video is about celebrating who the five One Direction guys are, while also paying homage to the release of This Is Us. "The film that we've made This Is Us is really the boys' story, and it's not trying to make them anything they're not. And that's what's incredible about One Direction, I think, is that they are a boy band that break all the rules and always do what they want to do," he said.
    "And part of loving One Direction is sort of understanding they are their own men and they do what they want to do at all times," he continued. "They dance if they want to dance. They'll sing the tunes [they want]. They'll dress however they want to dress and that, I guess, is sort of a part of the video."
    "Therefore they actually put the DVD into the exec's DVD [player], show them some clips [of] This Is Us and, in the end, just graffiti a picture of them looking cool, looking normal, looking how we would find them every day. And the punch line, of course, is this is us; don't try and make us anybody that we're not. We are who we are and we're never going to change for anybody."

    Winston wanted to flavor that message with some humor by doing a send-up of the studio system. "Obviously it's accompanying the film, so part of the idea, I guess, was we would take characters who they may have met in Hollywood and who they may have sort of had interactions with. Of course, it's a spoof 'cause no one at the studio working on this movie would ever act anything like that," he said. "But that was the idea behind it, really to take stereotypical characters [and play on that]."
  • The video garnered 12.3 million views on Vevo in its first 24 hours of release, breaking the previous record held by Miley Cyrus' clip for "We Can't Stop," which received 10.7 million views in its first day on the web. Miley took the record back from the boys a couple of months later when her "Wrecking Ball" video racked s up 19.3 million views in 24 hours.
  • The Who guitarist Pete Townshend brushed off unsubstantiated reports that his band wanted to sue One Direction or seek to have this song withdrawn. "No! I like the single. I like One Direction," he told Uncut magazine. "The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music – not always. "

    "I'm still writing songs that sound like 'Baba O'Riley' - or I'm trying to! It's a part of my life and a part of pop's lineage," Townshend continued.

    "One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who. I'm just relieved they're all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets."
  • This won the Song Of The Summer Award at the 2013 MTV VMAs.
  • Some of the tracks on Midnight Memories were literally created after midnight, during late-night sessions with the guys on the road. The group's 3-D movie, This Is Us, shows Zayn Malik recording parts for this song during a nighttime session. "I woke him up — they had just done two shows that day," Bunetta recalled to MTV News. "They're back on the bus; I woke him up at three in the morning or something. Zayn likes to sleep, so I had to wake him up and we just set up in the studio in the hotel room. And after we recorded 'Best Song Ever,' that was the last vocal for that."

    "But what they didn't show (on the film) was us recording 'You & I' after that cause I needed ad-libs on 'You and I,'" Bunetta continued. "If it [hadn't been] that time of night and we weren't in that moment, [because] whatever happened in that moment, was when he came with that, and he just hit that amazing high note at the end chorus. It was things like that on the fly, we had to do it, we had to go with it, and amazing stuff came out of it."
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