The first single from One Direction's second album sees the quintet teaming up again with songwriters Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk. The trio penned the boy band's first two US hit singles, "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing." The press release describes the song as "pop perfection," before adding it's, "an immediate, energy packed song mixing rock undertones with smooth harmonies, about living for the moment." "Live While We're Young" was released on September 30, 2012.
The song was made available for pre-order at midnight on 24 August 2012, through the iTunes Store. It became the fastest-selling pre-order single in history, topping the advance sales charts in 40 countries, including the UK, Australia, Brazil, France and Spain.
The song's music video was filmed on August 23 and 24, 2012 during a couple of unseasonably chilly days in a Kentish field in southeast England. Following on online leak on September 20 of an unauthorized, poor quality version of the clip, Syco/Columbia brought forward the premiere of the single by four days.
The song's music video achieved 8.24 million views during its first 24 hours of being online. In doing so One Direction surpassed the previous VEVO record held by Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend," which claimed 8 million views within its first day.
Justin reclaimed the record a month later when his clip for "Beauty And a Beat" racked up 10.6 million views in its first 24 hours.
The song's opening musical structure is reminiscent of the beginning of the legendary punk band Clash's classic track "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?." Harry Styles admitted to the Associated Press the boys were aware of the similarities when they recorded the track. "It's a bit like the first single ("What Makes You Beautiful") where the opening riff sounds similar to a certain film ("Summer Nights" from Grease)," he explained. "It's kind of on purpose though, it's a great riff."
Niall Horan told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS-FM show that One Direction came up with the album's title themselves. "We thought about it for a while," he said. "Because we all would do a lot of traveling around the world and we get to see a lot of cool places, but the main thing is there's no place like home. It's always kind of nice to go home."
The song's #3 debut on the Hot 100 was the highest ever bow by a UK group in the history of the chart. Of all UK acts, only Elton John's arrival in 1997 at #1 with "Candle In The Wind 1997" outdid its entry.