One Direction ranks high in the hearts and minds of many excited young girls. All eyes are upon Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson. It was the same 50 years ago when young girls were afflicted with Beatlemania. John, Paul, George, and Ringo were so hot they drove girls to near madness. Many say 1D are the next Beatles, but that does sound a bit presumptuous. When fans look at the entire body of Beatles music in hindsight, it is easy to say there is no comparison.
One Direction may stack up a little better when only considering the music of the early years of Beatlemania. In evaluating Styles, Malik, Tomlinson, Horan, and Payne, potential has to be considered. What will they do together or individually in the next 50 years?The Beatles were together from 1960 to 1970. Then they broke up never to reunite as a band. What would have happened if they had just taken a break, gone in their own separate directions, and then reunited, taking all that great experience with them?
What if The Beatles made their solo albums during a break? John could have recorded an album or two with Yoko. Paul could have still made all that beautiful music with Linda. Ringo could have tried acting, and George Harrison might have spent enough time in an ashram to become an amazing Yogi. Those are the kinds of things they did after they broke up. What would their music have been like if they had done all that and then reunited? We will never know, but watching Harry, Liam, Zayn, Niall, and Louis might give us a clue.
One Direction members are working hard to become more than just another boy band. There has been a lot of speculation about the breakup or hiatus, but perhaps it is a much-needed time to recharge and find their true direction. They are discovering the best direction for their music. Clearly, they don't feel they can continue to make album after album without broadening their horizons.
The Beatles started, much like One Direction, not so far from mainstream. Their best work, their defining work, was yet to come. It was not until 1965 that they grew into the truly innovative musicians who revolutionized music. One Direction is only five years old, and this break is coming at a time when each wants to grow as a musician.
Is Harry Styles Endorsed By Beatles Legends Paul McCartney and Ringo Star?
Harry Styles doesn't smell bad, Ringo Starr recently confirmed in response to a hack of his Twitter Account. That is a relief, but what else do Ringo and Paul say about Harry Styles? Ringo Starr has spent a bit of time with Harry, and Paul McCartney is Harry's ultimate hero.
One Direction exists in a different time than the Beatles. Ringo Starr told Entertainment Tonight that young bands like 1D are under a lot more pressure now than the Beatles were in their time.
"They are under a lot of pressure, the kids out there today. We were under a lot of pressure but compared to them, we were on holiday. And we could go on holiday and it was fine. And we always went together, that was mad too. We always shared a room in a hotel and we always went on holiday in at least twos. But I think the pressure now is because you cannot move. Somebody is on the phone, they're photographing you and filming you and anything that happens and you've got that 30-mile radius here that are always outside everywhere. The pressure's more now."
One Direction members are trying things on their own for a while. Although Ringo Starr officially advised against the hiatus, he does understand why they need a break. The last five years have been intense. Now, between Zayn Malik's absence and Harry's restless desire to make a solo album and try acting, it just makes sense to take a break. The rest of the band, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan, admitted they were just tired and would not mind at least a little rest. Not a breakup -- just a chance to recharge and assess where they have been and where they might be going.
Ringo Starr commented on the departure of Zayn Malik.
"I don't think this will stop One Direction. They're just going in another direction. The right direction."
Paul McCartney has always been a 1D supporter. Years ago, in 2013, he wished them well in an interview with the Liverpool Echo.
"There are so many bands who all get called 'the next Beatles'. Suddenly it puts an awful lot of pressure on them to be the next Beatles... because suddenly you've got to live up to all the things that we did and it was a different time. So let's just call them 'the next terrific band.' They're doing well in America. It's good. Good luck lads."
Paul was right of course. They have done well, and they were under an awful lot of pressure. Are they the next Beatles? Will they even get back together?
Harry Styles On Being Like The Beatles
One Direction crooner Harry Styles modestly explained similarities in his often misquoted quote, which made him sound rather egocentric. What he actually said to the Independent is quite humble and fair, at least for now.
"Stepping off the plane, the girls, the madness, it was exactly the same as when we got there - just 50 years earlier. But none of us think we're in the same league as them music-wise. We'd be total fools if we did. Fame-wise it's probably even bigger, but we don't stand anywhere near them in terms of music."
One Direction music is nowhere near what the Beatles were doing in 1970, musically speaking. Styles knows this, but only five years into it, 1D is not doing so badly. Harry needs to give himself time. He wants more than anything to become the next Paul McCartney, and in time, it might be possible. Better yet, he might become the best possible Harry Styles. The band clearly needs to hone their craft if they plan to up their game, and they can't do that on the schedule they have been living with for the last five years.
One Direction members are free to experiment, find new styles and, unlike the Beatles, reunite with new developments in music.
[Photos by Jason Merritt and Central Press/Getty Images]