"One" is a song performed by thrash metal band Metallica. One of Metallica's most famous songs, "One" appeared as the fourth track of, and was released as the second single from, the band's successful 1988 album ...And Justice For All.

Metallica won their first Grammy Award in 1990 for "One", winning Best Metal Performance.

...And Justice For All was Metallica's fourth album, following Master of Puppets and the subsequent death of bass guitarist Cliff Burton. "One" was written in November, 1987 by Metallica's principal composers — rhythm guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. The song was released in 1989 as the second single taken from the album (the first being "Harvester of Sorrow").

Before any music begins, there is a series of sound effects with a battle theme for the first 17 seconds of the track; a helicopter is heard and continues slightly after the music begins. The song starts off with a clean tone guitar intro by Hetfield before Kirk Hammett comes in over the top of Hetfield with a clean-toned solo. The song speeds up after Ulrich's drums come in and continues until each chorus, when the guitars become heavy and distorted before returning to clean. There is a second solo by Hammett halfway through the song, before lyrics cut out and the song gradually gets more heavy and distorted until the "machine gun" guitar build up (played alongside two bass drums) before the final - often highly praised - guitar solo by Hammett.

"One"'s opening A-G modulation was written by Hetfield based on an idea prompted by the song "Buried Alive" by the band Venom.

"I had been fiddling around with that A-G modulation for a long time. The idea for the opening came from a Venom song called "Buried Alive". The kick drum machine-gun part near the end wasn't written with the war lyrics in mind, it just came out that way. We started that album with Mike Clink as producer. He didn't work out so well, so we got Flemming to come over and save our asses" - James Hetfield, Guitar World 1991.

"One" is a favorite of many Metallica fans, and thus is a fixture of the band's live shows. When played live, the song is usually played with guitars tuned down by one semitone (a permanent fixture of their Studio and Live work since the post-Black Album era, and is preceded by pyrotechnics and the same sounds of war such as machine guns, bombs exploding and helicopters) as heard on the recorded version. The song was also featured on S&M (Symphony & Metallica) — Metallica's album of live performances in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the late Michael Kamen.

In almost all live performances since the song's release, Hetfield replaces the line "Cut this life off from me" with "Cut this shit off from me". Also, the third time the line "hold my breath as I wish for death" is sung, James harmonizes the melody of the lyrics with the original way. Hetfield screams "No!" before the final solo and after the final line of the song. Usually after this, he screams "Please God help me!" moving into the main solo.

"One" was the first Metallica song for which a music video was created. The music video directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon debuted on MTV on January 20, 1989. The video is almost entirely in black & white, and features the band performing the song in a warehouse. It features dialogue and several scenes from the movie Johnny Got His Gun, written and directed by Dalton Trumbo, adapted from a book of the same name and authored by the director. Timothy Bottoms can be seen starring as Joe Bonham, the main character in the novel. Bonham is confined to a hospital and is sustained via a tube after suffering catastrophic injuries from a mortar shell (although a land mine is mentioned as the cause of injury in the song lyrics) during the First World War. Although he survived, the explosion caused incredible loss of limbs, including both his arms and legs, along with most of his face including his eyes, nose, ears leaving him blind, deaf, mute and almost completely immobile.

Metallica bought the rights to Johnny Got His Gun so they would be able to use it exclusively for the video for "One". Three versions of the "One" music video were made - the first (the longest) contained scenes of both the band and scenes from the movie. The second was simply a shortened version of the first and the third contained only the band performing the song (without any scenes from the movie).

Like many other music videos from the metal band, "One" puts great emphasis on the performances of the band members as musicians, with many shots of Hetfield, Newsted and Hammett's hands picking (plucking in the case of Newsted) and fretting. However, unlike (for example) glam metal music videos (such as Poison's "Nothing But A Good Time") the "One" video performance does not present their performance as a fantastic spectacle filled with bright colors, stage antics, and live excitement. Instead, the video features the band members in a typical early Metallica fashion - dressed in casual street clothes with each member's long untamed hair playing (as if in rehearsal) in some sort of warehouse, in tight formation around Ulrich's drum kit.

In the music video, it can be clearly seen that both Hetfield and Hammett are playing ESP guitars. It is also clear that Newsted is playing bass with his fingers at the start of the song, but towards the end just before the solo and during it Jason is shown to be using a pick.

Two of the three versions of the "One" music video appear on 2 of One, a VHS released on July 1, 1990.


* James Hetfield (Lead Vocals, Rhythm guitar)
* Lars Ulrich (Drums)
* Kirk Hammett (Lead guitar)
* Jason Newsted (Bass guitar)


* "One" was covered by Crematory for the Tribute To The Four Horsemen CD.
* "One" was covered by nu-metal band Korn as part of the MTV Icons Metallica tribute TV-show. This cover version is featured as a hidden track on their 2003 album Take a Look in the Mirror. However, Korn's version was shortened to a little more than 4 minutes, like most performances at "MTV Icons". Thus it lacks much of the second half of the song, including the final guitar solo.
* Apocalyptica has covered this song. It is the last track on their album Inquisition Symphony.
* Mexican-born, Dublin-based duo Rodrigo y Gabriela covered "One" on Live in Manchester and Dublin (album).

"One" was voted as the 7th of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" of all time by readers of Guitar World, placed between "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses (6th) and "Hotel California" by the Eagles (8th).

In an interview with Tenacious D, they claimed that the inspiration for the song 'Tribute' came after Jack Black played Metallica's "One" for Kyle Gass, describing it as "the best song in the world".Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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