A radio staple, the song garnered unprecedented critical and public acclaim due to the more serious tone and indie-pop sound. It was a top 3 single in the UK and Australia, and a top 10 single in the United States. It is considered one of One Direction's most famous and recognizable songs.
Lyrically, the song describes a bad relationship the narrator cannot leave. The phrase "story of my life" is used in everyday speech to describe a regular negative occurrence.
Written by band members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, along with Julian Bunetta, Jamie Scott, and John Ryan, the lyrics speak of a tumultuous relationship leading to lament and heartbreak.
"Story of My Life" is an acoustic folktronica song with neofolk elements. It runs for a total of four minutes and five seconds. Idolator compared the song to the works of Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons. The song is written and recorded in E-flat major. The song runs at 120 beats per minute.
Louis tweeted an unseen photo from his childhood on October 10, 2013, followed by Liam. Niall tweeted his photo next, then Harry and finally, Zayn. The official One Direction account then confirmed the new single and release date along with the hashtag "#StoryOfMyLifeSingle2". Later the same day, the single artwork was revealed.
|Released||November 03, 2013|
|VEVO views||736,424,811 (as of May 09, 2019)|
The video was accidentally uploaded to Vevo early, on November 1st. The official release of the video was on November 3, 2013 at 4pm (BWT). The video differs from the song lyrically, in that it takes the title phrase literally, rather than metaphorically. It featured each band member reliving their childhood memories, and interacting with the family members within them. Louis's scenes allude to his grandparents deaths. The video features all of One Direction's actual family members.
Fans attempted to break the record for "Most number of views in 24 hours" which was then held by Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" music video which had 19.3 million views in 24 hours. The music sharing site VEVO said that the system had crashed due to the high volume of traffic sometime in the 24 hour period and it took nearly 3 days before it was announced that Story Of My Life had received 12.5 million views in 24 hours which meant the record was still held by Miley Cyrus. They did comment that it received more views than "Best Song Ever" which had 12.3 million views in 24 hours, thus beating a personal record for One Direction.
Behind the scenes
The song premiered at 4pm on stations worldwide such as BBC Radio 1 (UK), The Hits Radio (UK), In:Demand (UK), Captial FM (UK ), The End 107.9 FM (USA), NRJ Radio (in both France and Sweden), Planet Radio (Germany), Radio Mix (Brazil), SiriusXM Hits (America ) and many others. The audio for the song was also uploaded onto the official One Direction Vevo account as well as the official One Direction Youtube account.
The song was released on Monday, October 28th to those who had either bought the EP or had pre ordered the deluxe or the normal edition of Midnight Memories. The official One Direction YouTube account released a message from the band announcing the single release. They song went straight to number 1 on iTunes in 47 countries such as the UK, US, Australia, Belgium, India, Mexico and many other places.
On October 25, 2013, the boys did interviews on various radio stations worldwide. They were as follows:
- Louis was on Swedish radio station "NJR" at 6:30am BST (7:30am CEST) and Dutch radio station "3FM" at 6:45am BST (7:45am CEST).
- Zayn was on Danish radio station "The Voice" at 3:30pm BST (4:30pm CEST) and Spanish radio station "Los 40 Principales" at 6:00pm BST (7:00pm CEST).
- Liam was on a Dutch radio station, German radio station "swr3" and UK radio station "BBC Radio 1" at 3:45pm BST.
- Niall was on French radio "NJR" and UK radio show "Capital FM" at 4pm BST.
- Harry was on Brazillian radio station "Radio Mix" and UK radio station "The Hits Radio".
- In 2014, Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) performed the song in the 2014 Glee episode "The Back-up Plan".
- In 2014, Filipino singer Timmy Pavino will cover the song on The Voice of the Philippines.
- In January 2015, Martin Sexton recorded a solo acoustic version of this from Electric Lady Studios.
- On 22 May 2015 The Offspring performed an acoustic version of "Story of My Life" for 94/7 Mobile Nation at Mississippi Studios.
- In 2015, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes covered the song, with lyric changes to reflect their relationship with David Seville, for their live stage tour Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical.
- In 2016, Sal Valetinetti covered the song on Americas Got Talent.