Song of the Day #3,640: ‘Drag Me Down’ – One Direction

My last One Direction selection is the third from 2015’s Made in the A.M., not just the band’s final album but their first after the departure of Zayn Malik. Malik released a successful solo album titled Mind of Mine in 2016 and placed a handful of singles on the charts.

I don’t see any drop-off without Malik — in fact, I’d call Made in the A.M. the band’s best album. Of course, I can’t tell any of these guys apart in the first place so I’m probably not the best judge.

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Song of the Day #3,639: ‘Olivia’ – One Direction

My next One Direction song, like the last one, comes from the band’s final album, Made in the A.M. In fact, all five of this week’s selections appear on the band’s last two albums. This is a band that got better and better as they went.

‘Olivia’ is a straight-up homage to the British Invasion, with a melody and production that would have felt at home on any Beatles album.

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Song of the Day #3,638: ‘What a Feeling’ – One Direction

When I asked my daughter Sophia to name her favorite One Direction song, she thought for a second and replied, ‘What a Feeling.’ I thanked her and withdrew, having decided on my Song of the Day for today, her 16th birthday.

Later she asked me why I wanted to know, and when I told her, she bristled, saying something along the lines of “Wait, that might not be the song I want to define me.”

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Song of the Day #3,637: ‘Fireproof’ – One DIrection

Like yesterday’s song, today’s track comes from One Direction’s fourth album, Four. That album also features ‘Night Changes’ and ‘Steal My Girl,’ meaning it more than qualifies for my “at least three great songs” rule. I’ll have to listen to the whole thing one of these days.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that a lot of One Direction songs, at least from their later efforts, owe a debt to Fleetwood Mac. Indeed, Harry Styles covers the band in his solo concert.

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Song of the Day #3,636: ‘Fool’s Gold’ – One Direction

In honor of my daughter Sophia’s 16th birthday, which falls in the middle of this week, I’m offering up five songs by one of her favorite bands, One Direction.

Sophia has many favorite artists, some of which are my favorites too, but this is one that I would almost certainly have never heard in depth were it not for her. And as I’ve discovered, that would have been a shame.

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Song of the Day #3,635: ‘I’ll Be Home’ – Harry Nilsson

Before I get to my random SOTD, let me wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dear father and to all fathers across the land.

Harry Nilsson was a moderately successful singer-songwriter with five studio albums under his belt in 1970, when he decided to record an album of songs written by Randy Newman.

At the time, Newman was a prolific writer of songs for other people but had released only one album — a major flop — under his own name. He was nothing close to a household name, which made Nilsson Sings Newman a bizarre detour for the ascendant Nilsson.

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