One [Official] From the album “…And Justice For All” Director: Bill Pope and Michael Salomon Filmed in December 1988 in Long Beach, CA Video Premiere Date: January 22, 1989 © 1989 Metallica
“One” is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third and final single from their fourth studio album, …And Justice for All (1988). Written by band members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, “One” is an anti-war song that portrays a World War I soldier who is severely wounded — arms and legs blown off by a landmine, blind and unable to speak or move — begging God to take his life as he feels constant pain. His only hope is to devise a way to communicate with the hospital staff. In the music video, he jolts in the hospital bed, spelling “Kill me” in Morse code. Production of the song was done by the band alongside Flemming Rasmussen. The song was the band’s first top 40 hit single in the U.S., reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a number one hit in Finland.
A video for the song was introduced in January 1989 on MTV. Shot in black and white by director Michael Salomon, the video’s story is intercut with scenes taken from the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun. Due to routinely being required to pay royalty fees to continue showing the music video, Metallica bought the rights to the film. The video was ranked at number one on MTV soon after its introduction.