Tag Archives: Story Of My Life

TOP TEN: A New Direction

The Zayn event.

The Zayn event.

Yesterday, it was announced that Zayn Malik would be leaving the hugely successful boy band One Direction, which brings the act down to a quartet for the remainder of their current tour and forthcoming fifth studio album, which is expected out in the later part of the year. In a statement, Malik said, in part, that he is exiting to be “a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” He also wishes his four bandmates well: “I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.” Of course, this led to immediate speculation that Malik could pursue a solo career and that the group of four could split entirely at some point, but let’s take the wait and see approach with those two thoughts. This is still fresh.

As a quintet, One Direction launched over a dozen singles into the top 40 on various charts around the world, including on my own chart. Though the future isn’t entirely clear, for the current time, these are the top ten songs (so far) from the former X Factor contestants on my top 40:

*** Rankings are based on year-end point totals from 2011 onward; “Night Changes” total is as of the chart dated March 22, 2015

10. “Kiss You”
Album: Take Me Home (2012)
Peak: #9

09. “Best Song Ever”
Album: Midnight Memories (2013)
Peak: #10

08. “Gotta Be You”
Album: Up All Night (2012, U.S. release)
Peak: #11

07. “Little Things”
Album: Take Me Home (2012)
Peak: #10

06. “Steal My Girl”
Album: FOUR (2014)
Peak: #7

05. “Live While We’re Young”
Album: Take Me Home (2012)
Peak: #2

04. “Night Changes”
Album: FOUR (2014)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

03. “One Thing”
Album: Up All Night (2012, U.S. release)
Peak: #5

02. “Story Of My Life”
Album: Midnight Memories (2013)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

01. “What Makes You Beautiful”
Album: Up All Night (2012, U.S. release)
Peak: #3 for two weeks

What’s your favorite song from the band? Let me know! Follow the blog by clicking below and/or click the “Get Social!” page link at the top to find PGTC on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and more.

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ALBUM REVIEW: One Direction – Midnight Memories

Read up on this "Story".

Set adrift on Memory hits.

“I don’t know how else to sum it up/’Cause words ain’t good enough,” sing the members of One Direction on closer “Better Than Words”, the perfect way to describe their fandom. From sold out concerts to social media, the Directioners go all out to support their boys. So, here it is that the guys are delivering their third album, Midnight Memories, due to be released on November 25. Like their previous two albums, this packs some major pop goodies, but also delivers when it comes to their growth both lyrically and musically. 11 of the 14 tracks on this effort have at least one member co-writing, which is a major jump from 2012’s Take Me Home, and with new producers on hand like Ryan Bunetta and even Jacknife Lee, the results are effortless and the right Direction for the five lads to take their sound.

From start to finish, this is a really solid album, beginning with the two singles: the light and fun “Best Song Ever” and the more serious and folk-driven “Story Of My Life”, their current hit. “Story”, particularly, seems to be doing a good job of converting those unsure of the band’s future into believers again, with a great lyric (led by Jamie Scott of Graffiti6 at the helm) and a pretty arrangement. From there is the electro-pop influenced “Diana”, in which the boys go after a pretty Miss who seems to have trouble in love (“I never would mistreat you/I’m not a criminal”) and needs someone by her side. Then, it’s back to the partying with the anthemic title track, a melodic ode to Def Leppard‘s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, which rocks out hard and brings the fun. It could possibly be the “Rock Me” of this particular era.

Track five, the softer ballad “You And I”, shines with a lyric about being so faithful to your significant other that “not even the Gods above/Could separate the two of us.” Yes, maybe it’s a little cliché, but for the time being, it works. Following that is “Don’t Forget Where You Belong”, which appears to be a fan favorite at the moment, at least from what I’ve read around. It’s another lighter composition, an anthem about hometown pride and not feeling lonely when you’re far from home. The mood picks up from there with the solid “Strong”, which ironically enough reminds me a bit “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, especially in those small guitar bits. “Happily” also, well, happily chugs along, with a folk-influenced pop sound and an explosive chorus that ranks among my favorites on the album.

One of the missteps on this album is “Right Now”, a Ryan Tedder co-write, which sounds like a sloppy leftover from Maroon 5‘s Overexposed. It doesn’t sound out-of-place, but it’s not great. The tide immediately turns with “Little Black Dress”, a guitar-infested little number which brings the heat in these boys and their object of desire with calls of “I wanna see the way you move for me.” Highlight “Through The Dark”, track 11, goes back to the folk but does it well, probably the best out of those genre tracks on here. This, again, finds itself a safe lyrical place about being there for someone: “When the night is coming down on you/We will find a way/Through the dark.” The next song over, “Something Great”, another folk track co-written by Gary Lightbody of the band Snow Patrol, pales in comparison to it.

Ending it off are “Little White Lies”, a catchy pop song that verges into dubstep territory for an edgier feeling and the aforementioned “Better Than Words”, another pop-oriented track that hits all the right notes. Out of the four bonus songs on the deluxe edition, the best by far is “Why Don’t We Go There?”, an energetic pop/rock thumper with a suggestive lyric that also keeps it on the clean side. This should’ve been on the standard set, replacing one the slower songs. “Does He Know?” is a nod to early 80’s Rick Springfield, while “Alive” also sticks out as another track straight out of the hair metal era. It’s not as natural as some of the other stadium rockers on the standard edition, but still manages to go hard. “Half A Heart”, the final track here, is one of the weaker ballads of the bunch; it was rightly demoted.

Should there have been a few more uptempo records rather than a few of the clunkier songs on the album and Midnight Memories would’ve been my favorite album from the band; alas, I think Up All Night still does it for me best, but this can take second place on the list. The major 80’s influence is a big draw on this one; as carbon copy as some of these songs may be, you can’t help but like them and dance along. I don’t know if that necessarily gives them a free pass with the rest of the world, but hey, let’s celebrate this achievement for the moment. Look for #1 placement around the globe during the next few weeks as this one is going to be a winner with the kids for the holidays. Get the wrapping paper and bows ready. In short, One Direction is here to stay and those good Memories will keep on coming in 2014.

Listen to Midnight Memories on SoundCloud/Tumblr. (It’s all over there.) / Pre-order Midnight Memories on iTunes.

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Storybook Children: Tales Of The Top 10 Titles

Read all about 'em.

Read all about ’em.

If you’ve taken a peek at iTunes in the last day or two, you’ve probably noticed that the new One Direction single, “Story Of My Life”, is absolutely dominating the sales charts. (I covered the premiere last Friday.) With two versions of the song up for sale, there’s no doubt that it has the makings of another top ten smash on the Hot 100 for the boys. Where it actually debuts, however, will be a mystery until next week’s revelation of the chart. Until then, it’s time to open the chart files to the chapter on sensational stories that sizzled on the music surveys. From country to rock to pop, they’re all page turners indeed. Read on:

“My True Story”, The Jive Five (#3, 1961)
The quintet from Brooklyn formed in the 50’s with that smooth a cappella sound. In addition to hitting #3 on the Hot 100, this debut single also topped the R&B charts for three weeks. The soul group charted on the Hot 100 a handful of times, but only made the top 40 one other time with 1965’s “I’m A Happy Man”, which went to #26. After their hit days were over, they notably worked with Nickelodeon on a ad campaign in the 80’s and they still occasionally perform today under a different formation.

“Love Story (Where Do I Begin)”, Andy Williams (#9, 1971)
First screened in December 1970, the movie Love Story, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, became an instant success and grossed over $100 million at the U.S. box office. The theme from it became the last top ten single on the pop survey for the then 43-year-old Williams, his first in nearly a decade. The singer and television host passed away last year at the age of 84. Two instrumental versions of the same song charted concurrently with the Williams version, which you can listen to below.

“Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)”, Nine Days (#6, 2000)
Led by singer and guitarist John Hampson, the five-man band out of Long Island struck gold in 2000 with this catchy number and parent album The Madding Crowd. The group would chart again later that year with “If I Am”, which made the top 40 at a few radio formats, but barely edged into the top 70 on the Hot 100. After a shelved followup album with 550 Music (which was eventually released digitally), the band’s recorded on and off together independently, last putting out an EP earlier this year.

“Love Story”, Taylor Swift (#4, 2008)
She’s still on top after all these years, selling out worldwide tours and making lots of money. This was Swift’s first and only song to top both Billboard’s pop and country airplay charts (although she also pulled off the trick on Mediabase with “You Belong With Me”) and remains one of her more enduring songs in terms of radio presence today. She’s currently racking airplay at the mainstream formats with “Everything Has Changed”, a duet with Ed Sheeran, and at country stations with a solo song, “Red”.

Ah, but in the library of love songs and lyrical masterpieces, there are other top 40 stories from over the decades:
“(Theme From) Love Story”, Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (#13, 1971)
“The Story Of My Love”, Paul Anka (#16, 1971)
“Neverending Story”, Limahl (#17, 1985)
“The Story In Your Eyes”, The Moody Blues (#23, 1971)
“Both Sides Of The Story”, Phil Collins (#25, 1993)
“The Story Of My Love”, Conway Twitty (#28, 1959)
“(Theme From) Love Story”, Francis Lai & His Orchestra (#31, 1971)

…and if you really want to dig deep into depths of the dramatic, check out these two hits that pre-dated the Hot 100 (then the Billboard Top 100): “A Story Untold” by The Crew Cuts (#16, 1955) and “The Story Of My Life” by Marty Robbins (#15, 1958).

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SINGLE PREMIERE: One Direction – “Story Of My Life” (+ Lyrics)

Read up on this "Story".

Read up on this “Story”.

“Story Of My Life” serves as the second single from One Direction‘s forthcoming album, Midnight Memories, due in November. The song was co-written by Jamie Scott of duo Graffiti6. “Story” will be premiering around 11:00 AM Eastern.

Listen to “Story Of My Life”. / View the lyric sheet.

“STORY OF MY LIFE”

[Verse 1]
Written in these walls
Are the stories that I can’t explain
I leave my heart open
But it stays right here empty for days
She told me in the morning
She don’t feel the same about us in her bones
It seems to me that when I die
These words will be written on my stone

[Bridge]
And I’ll be gone gone tonight
The ground beneath my feet is open wide
The way that I been holdin’ on too tight
With nothing in between

[Chorus]
The story of my life, I take her home
I drive all night to keep her warm
And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)
The story of my life, I give her hope
I spend her love until she’s broke
Inside the story of my life (the story of, the story of)

[Verse 2]
Written on these walls
Are the colors that I can’t change
Leave my heart open
But it stays right here in its cage

[Bridge]
And I’ll be gone gone tonight
The ground beneath my feet is open wide
The way that I been holdin’ on too tight
With nothing in between

[Chorus]
The story of my life, I take her home
I drive all night to keep her warm
And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)
The story of my life, I give her hope
I spend her love until she’s broke
Inside the story of my life (the story of, the story of)

[Middle 8]
And I been waiting for this time to come around
But baby running after you is like chasing the clouds

[Chorus]
The story of my life, I take her home
I drive all night to keep her warm
And time is frozen
The story of my life, I give her hope (give her hope)
I spend her love until she’s broke (until she’s broke inside)
Inside the story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life (x3)

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