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One
One (single)
All other versions.
One (Vertigo - METDJ 512)
Vertigo - METDJ 512
One (Elektra - PR 8044-2)
Elektra - PR 8044-2
One (Vertigo - 874 095-1)
Vertigo - 874 095-1
One (Sony – 23DP 5438)
Sony – 23DP 5438
One (Sony - XDSP 93114)
Sony - XDSP 93114
2 of One (video)
VHS
From the Album ...and Justice for All
Released 10th January 1989
Lenght 5:03 (edit)
7:23 (LP)
Label Elektra (USA)
Vertigo (Europe)
Chronology
Previous Single
Eye of the Beholder
Next Single
Stone Cold Crazy

One was released as the third and final single from their fourth album ...and Justice for All. "One" was also the band's first Top 40 hit single, reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is one of the band's most popular songs and has remained a permanent live staple since the release of the album, making this the most played song from the album ...and Justice for All. Like "Fade to Black", and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (song)|Welcome Home (Sanitarium)]]", the song starts off slow and clean, but as the song goes on, becomes heavier and faster, leading up to a tapping solo by Kirk Hammett, and a dual guitar section by Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield.

Concept

The song's theme and lyrics are based on Dalton Trumbo's 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun, telling the tale of a soldier whose body is severely damaged by a mortar shell. His arms, legs, eyes, mouth, nose and ears are gone and he is unable to see, speak, smell, or hear. His mind functions perfectly, however, leaving him trapped inside his own body. Trumbo directed the movie adaptation in 1971, from which the footage for the "One" music video is taken.

Tracklisting

Vertigo - 836 062-2

No. Title Composer Length
1. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:26
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton 4:48
3. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 6:06
Total length:
18:20

Vertigo - 874 066-7

No. Title Composer Length
1. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:24
2. Seek and Destroy (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 8:42
Total length:
16:06

Vertigo - METDJ 512

No. Title Composer Length
1. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:24
2. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:24
Total length:
14:48

Elektra - 69329

No. Title Composer Length
1. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:24
2. The Prince (Diamond Head Cover) Sean Harris, Brian Tatler 4:26
Total length:
11:50

Elektra - PR 8044-2

No. Title Composer Length
1. One (Single Version) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 5:03
2. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:23
Total length:
12:27

Vertigo - 874 095-1

No. Title Composer Length
1. One (Demo Version) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:03
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton 4:48
3. Creeping Death (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, Kirk Hammett 8:00
Total length:
19:51

Sony - 23DP 5438

No. Title Composer Length
1. One James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:24
2. Breadfan (Budgie Cover) Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge, Ray Phillips 5:43
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton 4:48
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (Live 5.02.1989 in Dallas, The United States) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 6:06
5. One (Demo Version) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:04
Total length:
31:05

Sony - XDSP 93114

No. Title Composer Length
1. One (Single Version) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 4:58
2. Breadfan (Budgie Cover) Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge, Ray Phillips 5:44
Total length:
10:42

2 of One

This video release included an interview with drummer Lars Ulrich, who gives a background of guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield’s idea of a “living consciousness” of a person trapped in their own body during the recording of their third album of Master of Puppets. The idea was brought up again during ...and Justice for All, which the band was then told about and showed a copy of the movie of Johnny Got His Gun.

Ulrich also explained how they wanted the video to be low lit and not shot in front of a bunch of fans, just the band playing along to the song, which ended up being shot in a warehouse. He also told of the shortened version of the song (where two minutes of it were cut out) and how the band didn’t really feel it was a good version, as well as a "jammin'" version of the video was also made, which did not include the clips from the movie (which is also included on the tape). The rest of the tape has the long version of "One" with the movie clips and the shortened Jammin’ Version.

Tracklisting

No. Title Composer Length
1. Interview with Lars Ulrich (by Steve Goldmann) 5:43
2. One (Video) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 7:46
3. One (Jamming Version) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 5:27
Total length:
18:56

Trivia

Ulrich was interviewed in a hotel lobby at the time the video was shot, which was revealed at one point during the interview when he was interrupted by an offscreen ringing phone. He insisted that the shot be left as part of the footage though, saying “this is casual”.

Personnel

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