On Nov. 23, 2013, One Direction ran the gamut between humor and seriousness during a marathon seven-hour “1D Day” Webcast from YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles to promote One Direction’s third album, “Midnight Memories,” which is due for a worldwide release on Nov. 25, 2013.
Meanwhile, One Direction’s “Strong” (released on Nov. 22, 2013), one of the songs on “Midnight Memories,” debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes songs charts in several countries, including the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Spain, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Denmark and Finland.
One Direction has taken extraordinary steps not to release advance copies of the “Midnight Memories” album to the media, but “Midnight Memories” was leaked online anyway a week before its official release. (Leaks like this are usually done by insiders who work for the record company or the artist, not by journalists.)
The first two singles from “Midnight Memories” — “Best Song Ever” and “Story of My Life” — were Top 10 hits in several countries.
All the songs released so far from “Midnight Memories” — “Best Song Ever,” “Story of My Life,” “Diana,” “Midnight Memories” and “Strong” — have hit No. 1 on iTunes in several countries.
Even though “Midnight Memories” is not being released to the media in advance, One Direction did grant one journalist (The Sun’s head of showbiz Dan Wootton) an official listen of the “Midnight Memories” album before its release. In an article published on Nov. 17, 2013, Wootton described the super-secret lengths he had to go through to listen to the album, as if it were some kind of undercover operation for the government. Wootton also has a very detailed, exclusive review of the album, which he calls a “one of the best boy band albums ever.”
Wootton had this to say about One Direction’s “Strong” song: “One of the album’s darker songs is a chance for Zayn to show off how deep his voice can go. The ballad also features great Killers-style instrumentation. Louis co-wrote the track so girlfriend Eleanor Calder will take heart with lines like: “I’m sorry if I say I need ya. When I’m not with you I’m weaker. Is that so wrong?”
During 1D Day, the members of One Direction (Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan) were interviewed and did a number of amusing stunts. The members of One Direction originally auditioned as solo contestants on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010 but they were rejected by the show as solo singers and then put together in a group by Simon Cowell and other “X Factor” decision makers. One Direction came in third place on the show and has since gone on to become the world’s biggest-selling “X Factor” act. One Direction is signed to Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Cowell and Sony Music.
Here are highlights of 1D Day. (Click on the links to watch the videos.)
- 1D Day introduction
- Piers Morgan stopped by to do a brief interview with One Direction, but the members of the group kept joking during the interview, so all attempts at doing a serious interview were foiled.
- BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Millls stopped by when there was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records to build the most toilet rolls stacked in the fastest period of time.
- There was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records of one man pulling a bus full of people in 30 meters in the shortest amount of time. In this case, the bus was a One Direction buss filled with fans, but the attempt to break the record failed.
- One Direction met five supposed look-alikes (called Wrong Direction), who talked about their experiences being mistaken for the members of One Direction. (The “look-alikes” actually didn’t look much like their real-life counterparts.)
- There was prerecorded footage shown of One Direction doing fitness workouts. This includes lots of shirtless moments.
- One Direction performed an acoustic version of “Story of My Life,” the second single from “Midnight Memories.”
- Piers Morgan did another interview with One Direction.
- Styles and Payne did some magic tricks with magician Dynamo.
- Styles did a cook-off to show his culinary skills.
- There was footage shown of Payne surfing in Australia.
- Styles and Payne did some mock modeling of clothes and were later joined by Cindy Crawford.
- Horan dyed his hair lilac.
- Tomlinson and Horan interviewed Tomlinson’s close friend Stan Lucas about his experiences teaching people how to sing at Milkshake City in London.
- There was some prerecorded footage shown of One Direction doing some goofy dancing.
- Horan and Tomlinson interviewed the members of McFly, who are songwriting collaboraters with One Direction.
- There was some prerecorded footage of Malik showing some of his art skills by by doing graffiti art.
- There was some prerecorded footage of Tomlinson playing soccer in Melbourne, Australia.
- There was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records to burst the most number of balloons by sitting on them in 30 seconds.
- Payne did a wrestling match with pro wrestler Kurt Angle.
- In prerecorded footage, a One Direction fan went back to Horan’s hometown of Mullingar, Ireland, to interview people who knew him before he was famous, including family members and a school principal.
- Styles made pottery for charity.
- Tomlinson and Malik interviewed Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy by satellite.
- There was prerecorded footage of One Direction in Japan.
- Tomlinson and Malik did some ninja antics.
- Tomlinson and Malik did some Bollywood dancing.
- One Direction did an acoustic version of “Little Things,” the second single from One Direction’s “Take Me Home” album.
- Simon Cowell and One Direction talked about he put the group together on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010. Cowell said it was all his idea and that it took him about 10 minutes to decide which solo contestants he wanted to put in a group. According to Cowell he didn’t consider any other singers to be in the group except the five who are the members of One Direction. Later in the segment, One Direction presented Cowell and his pregnant girlfriend Lauren Silverman with five baby onesies as a gift. Each of the onesies had the face of each the guys of One Direction on the front of the outfit.