A definitive ranking of the 1D boys’ singles

Harry’s is a tune, let’s be honest

It’s been over a year since 1D went on hiatus, and while our broken hearts may need more time to heal, they’ve all been busy moving on to bigger and better things. Harry Styles is rumoured to have dated basically every single, relatively-famous woman in the world, Liam Payne has had a child (and named him Bear) with Cheryl Cole (Tweedy? Fernandez-Versini?), and Louis and Zayn have fought on social media like two thirteen-year-old girls who have just found out they’re dating the same lad.

I can’t handle the drama. But, to give them credit, they’ve also each released a debut single as solo acts, and so, to aid in your procrastination, I present a definitive ranking of the 1D boys’ singles.

Niall Horan: This Town

He tried his best, but Niall’s first single, This Town, released last September, was about as memorable as the guy that beat One Direction on X Factor. Yeah, don’t deny it, you can’t remember his name either. It sounds like a shit Justin Bieber song, he hasn’t done anything even vaguely controversial with his year off, and I can’t get behind anyone that gets regularly confused for Ellen DeGeneres despite being worth over fifty-one million pounds.

Niall’s debut single appears to be a reflection of his post-1D life – boring, predictable, and lacking the spectacle that I want to see from the rich and famous. Better luck with the next one, babe.

Liam Payne: Strip That Down

Liam’s offering, the most recent of the bunch, is the kind of song that you’ll whine about when it starts being overplayed on every radio station, but you know you’ll go wild for at Fruity after a couple of VK’s. It’s so bad that it might be a little bit good. My main issue with it is the unnecessary shade thrown in the pre-chorus: ‘I used to be in 1D (now I’m free)’. I asked for drama, Liam, not for you to be a little bitch about the thing that got you that hot girlfriend and massive bank balance.

Other than that, the single is just a tiny bit too cringe to get a higher ranking in my books. With lyrics like ‘I just wanna have fun (and get rowdy) / One Coke and Bacardi (sippin’ lightly)’, it’s just a bit hard to take him seriously. We all know you spend your spare time changing nappies, who are you trying to kid?

Louis Tomlinson: Just Hold On

This one might be a little bit blasphemous, because Louis Tomlinson went to my sixth form and is basically a hometown hero (if your best mate’s mum’s friend’s daughter’s teacher’s niece doesn’t have a juicy, totally made-up story about how she shagged him in Year 11, are you really from Doncaster?), but Louis’ single Just Hold On is good, but not great. It sounds like every other DJ-influenced song in the charts, and while the lyrics are nowhere near Liam’s level of cringe, it still falls short of being an actual banger. I’d whack this one on a pres playlist, but I wouldn’t let them play it at my funeral.


You have to admit, you were shook to the core when a newly-blond Zayn emerged out of nowhere with this belter in tow. I can almost forgive his transgressions (I’m partial to a bit of Perrie Edwards, and he didn’t really need to start beef with Louis on Twitter that one time) because he killed the game with this first single. It’s almost confusing, given that he was one of those 1D members that never got solo lines, so some people, myself included, might have assumed that the man couldn’t sing. But here it is, solid proof. Not only is Zayn Malik certifiably peng, but he’s also provided vast improvement for every Spotify playlist you will ever make.

Harry Styles: Sign of the Times

Oh baby, I was not ready for Harry Styles to release this song. He was always the favourite, even you Liam girls can admit that, and this song is the definition of a classy first single. There are no sly digs at his former bandmates, he doesn’t talk about sippin’ Bacardi or his sick Ferrari, and it’s basically a lyrical masterpiece. Sign of the Times is perfect for any situation – a break-up, a dramatic tabletop solo at pres, sitting in the bath with a nice glass of red, frantic revision in Laidlaw at four AM when your exam is at nine. It has potential beyond our wildest dreams.

Plus, Harry can sing higher than me, which I think is an impressive, mention-worthy feat, and he also happens to be really, really, really good-looking. The album art is gorgeous, as well. Everything just works. We’re on to a massive winner. Harry Styles 4 PM.

So there you have it: my take on one of the most important issues facing our generation. This is just a brief overview, however, and we here at The Tab are big fans of settling disputes as pressing as this. Agree? Disagree? Just really fancy Harry Styles and want to boost his ranking in this extremely crucial poll? Fantastic.