If you have a Twitter account – or any access to the internet – you’ll know that there’s a nasty fight going on between One Direction and The Wanted. More specifically, between Zayn Malik and The Wanted. Other than throwing some amazing digs at one another (‘chlamydia boy’, anyone?), the fight seems to revolve around the issue of which group is ‘better’.
Look, there’s only two says to settle this. Either the two groups get their dicks out and measure, or I decide which is better based on a variety of all-important categories. I’m going to go for the latter, as the former requires way too much work. Plus, I don’t have a tape measure handy.
Whatever way you look at it, 2012 was a great year for boybands. The Wanted and One Direction both managed to break the US market, something which is rarely achieved by British artists whose names aren’t Adele.
The Wanted’s summer anthem ‘Glad You Came’ managed to grab the #3 spot on the Billboard chart, aided by a version of the song being featured on that low-quality piece of shit show Glee. Their self-titled EP, featuring songs from both of their UK releases, got to #7 on the album chart. Not too shabby, eh?
Well, pretty shabby if you compare it to 1D’s US domination. ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ peaked at #4, while ‘Live While We’re Young’ equaled The Wanted’s single chart high of #3. Their albums, however, have fared much better. Up All Night got to #1, making One Direction the first UK group to top the US chart with a debut release. Their sophomore album Take Me Home also hit the top spot last month, with first-week sales of 540,000.
This round goes to … One Direction. They kind of blew The Wanted out of the water. However, the latter have yet to release an LP in the US, so they could still end up squashing their rivals. 1-0
Now, this is purely subjective obviously. People are entitles to like whatever music they want to like, and my taste may be different to yours. But I have it on good authority that I am an excellent judge of pop music. Several anonymous internet people have told me so. Basically, my taste is definitely better than yours.
For no other reason than to research this piece, I have listened to all of the releases from both groups. Though they both put out fairly harmless pop music, there are differences in their songs. One Direction have a fairly innocent, bubblegum sound; with melodies of teenage love and unrequited attraction. The Wanted, on the other hand, will sing about anything, as long as they have a trashy club beat. Even their ballads sound like rejected David Guetta tracks.
When The Wanted smash it, they fucking smash it. Their singles have a head-invading property that seems to be unmatched in the modern era. Especially ‘Lose My Mind’. And ‘Lightening’. On the other hand, the majority of their album tracks sound like shit. Seriously, without knowing that ‘Gold Forever’ came at the end of Battleground, I would’ve turned it off and killed myself by track 4.
One Direction are the opposite: their albums – especially Take Me Home – are full of strong tunes, with very few duds to speak of. Practically every one of their songs is single material. That’s why this round is going to them. 2-0
In this online world, you can’t be famous without having a ravenous online fanbase who defend you ‘til the end by threatening anyone who dares question your quality. Bieber and GaGa started it, and now everyone has followed suits. You aren’t shit unless someone has sent a death threat to defend your honor.
One Direction fans call themselves Directioners, while fans of The Wanted don’t seem to have an umbrella term for themselves. Some identify as ‘Prisoners’, while others say they are part of ‘The Wanted Family’. Either way, you’ve got to be pretty sad with your existence by solely identifying yourself by clinging to a pop culture phenomenon.
It’s pretty hilarious to see fans of the groups going at each other. They are like protestors fighting for an important cause, only more impassioned. Instead of rallying for peace in the Middle East conflict though, they are more concerned with the perceived silliness of Zayn Malik’s hairstyle.
Twitter followers are an easy indication of popularity (@rosssemple). I know that, whenever I lose a follower or two, I go into a deep depression that takes days to recover from. So which group has more followers? The Wanted’s account has 1.6 million followers, while 1D’s has 8.2 million. Quite the disparity.
And the winner is …
One Direction. It isn’t really a contest. They are beloved the world over, make music that is more popular and arguably better. That’s not to say that The Wanted should be worrying any time soon. Being just behind the biggest group on the planet isn’t a terrible place to be. I’m sure that they enjoy it.