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#ThrowbackThursday: “Story Of My Life” By One Direction

One Direction "Story Of My Life" Syco/Columbia Records
  – One Direction "Story Of My Life" Syco/Columbia Records

By Craig Clizbe

Today former One Direction member Zayn Malik released the new video for his latest single, “Let Me” from his forthcoming second solo album, coming soon from RCA Records. The track was produced by MakeYouKnowLove and Khaled Rohaim who had previously collaborated with Zayn on his 2016 debut solo single, “Pillowtalk.”  Like the majority of his solo debut, Mind Of Mine the track was co-written by Zayn, and has an alternative Pop vibe with a soulful vocal. After hearing that new track today, I felt inspired to take a look into One Direction’s discography and chose one of their tracks from the time period in which Zayn was still a member for this week’s #TBT article. It is with that in mind that I fondly look back at the story behind one of One Direction’s biggest hits “Story Of My Life.”

Coming from One Direction’s third studio album Midnight Memories, “Story Of My Life” was a milestone for the group for a variety of reasons. First, it is arguably One Direction’s biggest hit in the United States, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Adult Contemporary, and finally #1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 charts. But possibly the most significant reason why it sticks out as a milestone for the group, and a fact that made “Story Of My Life”s commercial success all the sweeter was that it was the first single releaed by One Direction that all five members collaborated on as co-writers. Today every member of 1D past and present have their hands full with creative solo music that have sounds ranging all over the musical map, but at the time to have a group formed on Simon Cowell’s X Factor write a radio single was a leap of faith to say the least. It’s a risk every pop group takes at some point in their career, but in One Direction’s case, the risk paid off in a big way.

Tim Sendra from AllMusic praised the group’s growth between albums by saying that “anyone expecting there to be any kind of drop in quality, or early warnings that the group had begun their inevitable decline, will be happily surprised that not only does the album satisfy the established quota of thrilling modern pop tracks and uplifting ballads, but also introduces some interesting new directions.”

As a result in the newly found lyrical depth, the album sold 1,096,000 copies in five weeks in the United States, making it the twelfth best-selling album of 2013 in the United States.

Midnight Memories also became the best-selling album of 2013 worldwide with sales of over four million copies in only 5 weeks

“Story Of My Life”  was co-written by all five 1D members, and their frequent collaborators Jamie Scott of Graffiti 6, as well as John Ryan and Julian Bunetta. This team proved to be a valuable part in the group’s creative development, not only because all the co-writers would come together again for the next One Direction album, 2014’s Four, but Jamie Scott, John Ryan amd Julian Bunetta would also play a significant part in helping shape the creative ideas and sounds of each member of One Direction’s solo music. (excluding Zayn)

That same team of co-writers would reunite soon after “Story Of My Life”‘s release to try and re-create the same success with 1D’s 2014 single, “Night Changes.” That would be One Direction’s last single recorded with Zayn Malik as a lead singer.

“Story Of My Life” was released as the second single from Midnight Memories on October 28, 2013. The music video for the song was another reason why it was a special moment in time for the group as well, It featured many cameos from family members of the group.The cameos included,  Zayn’s sister, Harry’s mother, Liam’s parents and sisters, Niall’s brother and Louis’s grandparents (two of whom are now deceased). So in honor of Zayn releasing a new single, and all of the members of One Direction continuing to spread their wings creatively, I am happy to share this week’s #TBT of one of the first singles they all co-wrote, “Story Of My Life.”

One Direction 

“Story Of My Life”

From Midnight Memories

Syco Music/Columbia Records

Related Media 

One Direction 

“Night Changes”

From Four 

Syco Music/Columbia Records

Zayn

“Let Me”

RCA Records

Zayn

“Pillowtalk” (explicit)

From Mind Of Mine 

RCA Records