Pete Townshend

The boy band's latest single has attracted criticism on the internet from people saying it sounds too close to The Who's track 'Baba O'Reilly', but 60s rocker Pete doesn't think that matters.

He said in a statement: "No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music - not always.

"I'm still writing songs that sound like 'Baba O'Riley' - or I'm trying to! It's a part of my life and a part of pop's lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who."

Pete - who's band were an integral part of the Mod movement in the 60s - added that in his long career he's only ever been flattered when other people's songs have been influenced by his own and welcomes the tributes.

He wrote: "I'm just relieved [One Direction are] not wearing [Mod clothes like] boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets.

"The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman once the leader of [The] Guess Who who told me that he not only copied 'Baba O Riley' for their hit 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet', but he even called his band after us.

"Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?"

Despite Pete's claims, Randy actually recorded 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' with his later band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

One Direction - singers Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson - released 'Best Song Ever' on July 22.