Song Legends {Episode 1} - One (Metallica)

Please read how this series works before continuing.

"One" is Metallica's final single from the 1988 album "...And Justice For All". It is considered by many people one of the best Metallica songs. This song was requested by Skullkid775.

The lyrics are dark and a scary representation of what war can do to people. The lyrics aren't just saying what's happening but a abstract description of pain and suffering which is much more effective emotionally. Although not entirely original and based off a book, credit to the author, this is a very good interpretation that deserves a 10.

To begin with, the guitar is slow, melodic and melancholy but as the song builds up the guitar gets heavier until what I call the gunshot part. The drums and guitar in that part sound like gunshots and it's the best and heaviest part of the song. The instruments play a big part in the song for displaying the protagonist's emotions and adding to the dark, depressing feel of the song.

James Hetfield's vocals match the feel of the song perfectly - he sings darkly, scarily and he sounds angry at what has happened to him. When it gets to the climax of the song, his angry, aggressive singing style is amazing.

As the song goes by, the character in this song's pain and suffering appears to become more and more unbearable until all he can sense is pain. The song has a clear beginning, build-up and climax which works similarly in a song as it does in maybe a film or book - it creates tension which makes the song much more interesting to listen to. This song is very dramatic and tense and the climax of the song is even more amazing thanks to having a build-up.

As it is a metal song, I can't judge it entirely on chart success so I will look at how it went down in the metal community. As I said earlier, it is widely considered one of Metallica's best songs and it is a staple of live performances. It also did do pretty well in the charts for a metal song, reaching the top 40. It was also voted Best Metal Performance in 1990.

My Opinion:
It isn't my favourite Metallica song unlike a few people I know, I'd probably choose For Whom The Bell Tolls or something like that. However this is the song that really got me into Metallica. I heard the gunshot part and I knew I was going to love Metallica.

So that's 60/60, perfect. As this is first episode it's of course at number One spot (see what I did there) and I hope you enjoyed this.


Its okay, may the Four Horsemen be four? - visitor

Sorry but I've already done Metallica but good suggestion lol - visitor

I would give this song a big fat 10/10. Probably not my most favorite Metallica song but it's one of them.
The "gunshot part". Well said! This is my favorite part of the song.
It was good you didn't forget this is a metal song and can't judge it on mainstream chart success. Smart move.
I wouldn't punish Metallica for the lyrics that are based on a book because book-based lyrics are very common in metal and overall, it's considered a good thing. At least it shows metal musicians are educated and read a lot of books :-)
Also, even though most of the metal lyrics are better than the lyrics in some other genres, lyrics aren't the focal point of the metal genre - music/instrumentation and its delivery are. Most of the metal fans listen to metal for the music and not for the lyrics. Moreover, very often you can't hear/understand the lyrics which is another sign this genre isn't about lyrics. For these reasons I wouldn't start a metal review with the lyrics.
I liked your review very much. - Metal_Treasure

I just happened to do the lyrics first, it wasn't in any particular order - visitor

Good job. Also “gunshot part”. Never thought of it like that, makes it cooler now. - Skullkid755