1D Turns 10: Our Favorite One Direction Songs!


With One Direction celebrating their 10th anniversary, some of the Directioners here at Nerds wanted to look back at some of our favorite 1D tracks. From official singles to deluxe edition bonus tracks, we rounded up 10 songs we love by One Direction (in no particular order). See if your favorites made the list below!

“What a Feeling” (Made in the A.M.)

Starting with a softly tuned transition one could only think would come from an instrument played from the likes of a Disney film such as Aladdin, “What a Feeling” is a hidden gem (much like the co-writers who penned it, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson) found on their Made in the A.M record. They jotted down the forlorn love tale of two people who called it quits for the reason that seems to be distance, yet it hasn’t entirely faded out. It’s not only vividly portrayed through lyrics such as “What a feeling to be a king beside you” and “When the air ran out, and we both started running wild” but those two, in particular, draw a magnetism towards the talent the band is so desirably known for. It’s such a beautiful song one could only hope has an eventual reprise … one day. –Rachel

“No Control” (Four)

Not only is this song ridiculously catchy, but it is also one of the only songs to prominently feature Louis Tomlinson’s vocals. The lyrics are also more mature than what was expected of 1D at the time of its release, signaling a new era for the band. But the reason I love the song has a lot to do with the community that rallied around it. “No Control” was not an official single from Four, but Directioners felt both Tomlinson and the song were not being given the recognition they deserved. Fans pushed “No Control” to the top of the charts and convinced major radio stations to play it, leading to Tomlinson and the rest of the band praising their efforts in interviews and adding the song to the On The Road Again Tour setlist. “No Control” is one of 1D’s best songs and a great demonstration of the power of Directioners everywhere. -Jules

“She’s Not Afraid” (Take Me Home)

Any true fan of 1D knows that the deluxe editions of the band’s albums often contain amazing bonus songs. One such song is “She’s Not Afraid” from One Direction’s sophomore album Take Me Home. The whole album is pop perfection, but “She’s Not Afraid” teases a little of the rock-pop style that One Direction pivoted towards in their later releases. I always liked the song, but when I heard the band play it during the Take Me Home Tour I realized what a gem it was. Hearing the song live, with its harmonies and upbeat tempo and fun interactions between the boys, really demonstrates the chemistry that makes the band special (not to mention the song is ridiculously dance-able). -Jules

“Ready to Run” (Four)

If there was ever a song that makes you feel like you are in a coming of age film, “Ready to Run” is that song. Part of their fourth studio album and final album with all five members (who’s cutting onions?) Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne helped co-write this masterpiece that, in my opinion, is the perfect precursor to the third track on the album, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” Four showed One Direction’s maturity as a band and as artists. “Ready to Run” is definitely one of the most underrated songs on the album. -Haley

“Story of My Life” (Midnight Memories)

“Story of My Life” is such an iconic song. It dominated airwaves when it was first released as a single and still continues to do so. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and the melody just adds to that. It’s one of those songs that even if you weren’t familiar with One Direction, you probably still knew this song. Between the solo and group moments, the song just flows like waves in the ocean. It has been almost seven years since this song was first released, and it defies time. It could be released today, and I’m sure it would still reach number one status. “Story of My Life,” forever a classic. –Melanie

“Better Than Words” (Midnight Memories)

If you want an incredibly fun song, you have to listen to “Better Than Words.” The verses are made up entirely of other song titles, such as “More Than Words,” “Crazy in Love,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” While it may seem like a challenge to do so, it works perfectly, and in a way that makes absolute sense. The song was co-written by Liam, and lyrically this is one of my favorite songs. If you love music as much as I do, you will love figuring out all the references. Vocally, Harry really shines in this one as well. The song is also completely swoon-worthy, to put it mildly. All you have to do is listen to Niall’s solo (1:25-1:29) for that to be abundantly clear! –Melanie

“Wolves” (Made in the A.M.)

“Wolves” is hard to describe because it doesn’t really fit in a box. The melody feels current, while also throwing it back to a decade from the past. It’s got pop written all over it, with an underlying dance hit. However you want to describe it, I think we can all agree it is super catchy.  I love the flow of the lyrics, “In the middle of the night when the wolves come out/They head straight for your heart, like a bullet in the dark/One by one, I take them down.” You’ll want to raise the volume up on this one and sing, or howl, it loudly. –Melanie

“Clouds” (FOUR)

I know this is another song from Four, however, that album has too many hit songs on it that I simply can’t overlook it. “Clouds” is one of the most versatile songs on the entire album. Shifting away from their radio-pop style, it signaled much more of a rocker vibe that featured heavier drums and more band centric vocals that showed us a different, fresh side of them. -Haley

“Temporary Fix” (Made in the A.M.)

Honing in on their newfound rock vibe that was part of their last album, “Temporary Fix” was born. The song itself is not only a bonus track on the Deluxe Edition of the album but it is also one of the few risqué songs that the band has ever done, but it pays off. It’s an upbeat jam that will have you jumping around and bobbing your head for the entirety of the song. -Haley

“One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)” (Red Nose Day Single)

One Direction has covered some great tracks over the years, from “Teenage Dirtbag” to “Torn.” My personal favorite is the mashup of Blondie’s “One Way or Another” with The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks,” which was released in 2013 as part of Red Nose Day. Both songs are great on their own, but the mashup is amazing. The high-energy track raised £850,000 for Comic Relief just from single downloads, with the total rising to £2,000,000 when donations were accounted for. It’s one of my favorite One Direction singles and a great example of how the band could not only write their own hit tracks, but make other artists’ songs their own as well.

What other One Direction songs do you love? Let us know in the comments!

I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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