I know what you’re thinking: “Ides has lost it. The old boy’s gone senile and forgotten that he just featured Metallica in last week’s Thrashback Thursday!”
Well, fear not dear reader, there is a reason for my redundancy. I awoke this morning to see an article which pointed out that today is the 26th anniversary of the release of the video for “One.” This was such a watershed moment in the history of thrash that I felt it remiss to let it pass without acknowledging it.
“One” is the last track on the first side (anyone remember album sides?) of the record that many (myself included) consider to be Metallica’s last great work, … And Justice For All. It marks the moment that Metallica ceased to be an underground phenomenon and broke through to the mainstream, on their way to becoming the biggest metal band in the world. It was the first time that the band had made a video and the heavy rotation from MTV and other video outlets would propel the song to #35 on the Billboard charts, making it the Metallica’s first top 40 hit.
The video was shot in Long Beach, CA, and features black and white footage of the band playing live interspersed with clips from the 1971 movie Johnny Got His Gun. The song is a strong anti-war statement and clocking in at nearly 8 minutes, it would be one of the longest videos to ever find itself in mass circulation on MTV. Three different versions of the video were cut. There was the version that can be seen here below, which was the full album track spliced with the movie scenes. There was a full-length version featuring the band only and something called “the jamming version” which was anything but, cutting out just as the fast end section of the song kicked in.
Anyway, on this monumental anniversary I give you a look back at the moment when Metallica became the undisputed kings of thrash. Enjoy the full original version of “One” here below.
Interesting trivia sidenote: My son Jesse is now in a band with the son of Mike Salomon, the guy who directed this video. Small world, eh?