What Is the One Direction Song ‘No Control’ Really About?
One Direction had an incredible amount of hit singles during the band’s peak between 2010 and 2015. Tracks like “What Makes You Beautiful,” “One Thing,” “Best Song Ever,” and “Drag Me Down” are singles that are a huge part of the band’s legacy. But one single became a massive phenomenon — thanks to the fans themselves. What was the song “No Control” by One Direction, and what does it mean?
One Direction released their fourth album, ‘Four,’ in 2014
After the success of Up All Night, Take Me Home, and Midnight Memories, One Direction released the fourth album — appropriately titled Four — in 2014. The album had early fan-favorites such as “Girl Almighty,” “Night Changes,” and “You and I.”
But another song took the lead to be representative of the album, at least in terms of public perception. Fans decided to self-release one of the tracks that wasn’t a single, “No Control,” in 2015. The song, which was co-written by Louis Tomlinson and features his voice prominently, became a worldwide phenomenon. The band explained how that happened and what the song means.
James Corden asked One Direction about the ‘No Control’ fan campaign
While on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015, James Corden asked the group about their song “No Control.”
“I have received so many tweets from your fans about this that I fear if I don’t ask you about it, they might kill me,” Corden joked. “I want to talk to you about your song, ‘No Control.'” He then asked Tomlinson, who was most associated with the fan-led campaign, to explain the hype around the song.
“It’s pretty incredible, actually,” Tomlinson began. “They decided that they’re gonna do a fan-release. Because this song, ‘No Control,’ was never a single that was chosen by us, so obviously it never went to radio or anything like that. They have decided — they love the song — they just want to release it off their own back.”
Corden mentioned that at the time of the interview, it was the most talked about song on the Billboard Top 100, and “A Listed” on radio stations due to the fan-led campaign.
What does ‘No Control’ by One Direction really mean?
In the interview, Corden went on to read lyrics from “No Control.”
He recited the lyrics: “‘Waking up besides you, I’m a loaded gun. I can’t contain this anymore. I’m all yours. I’ve got no control. No control. Powerless. I don’t care, it’s obvious. I just can’t get enough of you. The pedal’s down, my eyes closed. No control. Taste on my tongue, I don’t want to wash away the night before. In the heat where you lay, I could stay right here and burn in it all day.'”
While he read the lyrics of the song, Harry Styles smirked. Corden proceeded to ask the band what the song is about. Niall Horan burst out laughing.
“When you sing it, it’s a lot more subtle than that, James,” Tomlinson replied. “You’ve definitely made that sound like the sleaziest song of all time.”
Corden asked where they got the idea for the song. Tomlinson said that they “wanted to something uptempo,” hilariously avoiding describing the song’s actual inspiration.
“It’s certainly uptempo,” Corden joked. “As you wake up in the morning, and be like, ‘Wow. Here’s an idea for a song!'”