Legendary British rockers The Who found themselves at the center of a Twitter firestorm after a rumor spread that the band were trying to have the One Direction track “Best Song Ever” removed from the Internet due to similarities to their 1971 hit “Baba O’Riley.”

According to NME, the controversy started when a writer on Click Music gave the One Direction song a negative review, saying "We find the 1D team resorting to plagiarism once again as the Who's 'Baba O'Riley' is sterilized and repackaged for fans who probably don't know any better."

One Direction fans promptly erupted on Twitter, feverishly defending the group using the hashtag #donttouchbestsongever. Below, check out some tweets from the "Directioners" as they vented their outrage.





































As the rumor spread that The Who would resort to legal action against One Direction, Pete Townshend was forced to issue a statement denying the claim. "No! I like the single,” the guitarist and singer said, according to Spin. “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," Townshend added. "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. I'm just relieved they're all not wearing 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 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?"  

Below is The Who's "Baba O'Riley" and One Direction's "Best Song Ever" for comparison. Do the songs sound similar? Let us know in the comments below.