I know you know and I think I know, One Direction should have been and gone. A manufactured boy band who hit it big and should have disappeared just as fast but are releasing their fourth album this year and if “Fireproof” -their best song since “Kiss You” is anything to go by, are not going to disappear any time soon either.
According to Billboard, the song, given away free for 24 hours on September 10th, has been a behemoth:
“Columbia says that 1.1 million downloads of “Fireproof” — which is not the lead single from FOUR — were generated in the 24-hour span, worldwide. It’s unusual for an A-list act to give away a track in this way, so there are few comparables. That said, it’s worth noting that industry sources say a typical free single of the week in the U.S. iTunes Store generates around 300,000 downloads, on average.
In addition, Twitter reports that there were 1.7 million tweets about “Fireproof” on Sept. 8 through 6 p.m. At its high point, the topic was generating 5,369 tweets per minute. All that chatter helped drive “Fireproof” to No. 1 on the realtime Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart, where it spent about eight hours locked in the top slot.
Columbia also notes that FOUR has been doing brisk business with pre-orders via the iTunes Store. It has topped 67 of the merchant’s country-specific album lists, according to the label. A year ago, when One Direction’s last album, Midnight Memories, became available to pre-order (on Sept. 9, 2013), it led 39 iTunes territories.”
Translation: they are getting bigger. In comparison, when U2 gave “Invisible” away for free it moved 300,000 downloads.
“Fireproof”, written by written by band members Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson along with John Ryan, perenial 1D songwriting collaborator Jamie Scott and Julian Bunetta, who also wrote their single “Story of My Life, this is a terrific pop ballad. Not power pop, not MOR ballad, it is a gorgeous song and a terrific melody which needs no excuses from any one.
If this is the level of songwriting we can expect from Four, 1D have managed the Taylor Swift trick and grown up without necessarily growing away from their core audience. I skipped on the Midnight Memories tour becuase I wasn’t crazy about the album, but I am crazy about this song.
Fireproof – One Direction – A-
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