Why I hate Metallica’s “One”

Growing up in the Netherlands there was a tradition on Good Friday. Every year on Good Friday the Dutch radio would play the ‘Top 100 of all time’, basically the greatest songs ever recorded. The majority would be rock songs.

The top 4 would always be ‘Child in Time’ by Deep Purple; ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin; ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, and ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles.

I would be totally happy with these 4 songs in the top spots, sometimes the sequence of the position would change but I didn’t care about that, because they also happened to be my favourite songs of all time. I would find it difficult enough to place them in a sequence of 1 to 4.

Then Metallica decided to release the album “… And justice for all” on the album was a track called ‘One’ of 7.27 minutes long. How dared they messing up my 4 favourite songs. Immediately after I heard the song for the 1st time, all the others were put in a shadows. Decades of finding the 4 perfect songs for me, destroyed.

Recently I went for a walk, as I would do for every walk I plug in my earplugs into the phone, select the music player, and listen to the music whilst on the walk. This time however, I was nearly home when ‘One’ came up on the player. it forced me to extend my walk by 7+ minutes. 7 minutes of missing out on a lovely cup of coffee.

That, ladies and gentleman. is why I hate ‘One’ by Metallica so much. Because the song is addictive and it is impossible not to love.

Even the video is so compelling to watch. It is intercut with scenes taken from the 1971 anti-war film ‘Johnny Got His Gun’.

In this tragic, dark, anti-war movie , a patriotic young American in WW1 is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack, played by Timothy Bottoms. Trapped in what’s left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Metallica could have taken scenes from any other war movie but no they had to choose ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ ,written and directed by Dalton Trumbo.

Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10. How did Metallica know that aside from music my other passion is History? How did they know I would be compelled to research that video? In a pre internet and Google era, that was not an easy task.

I am sorry to do this to all of you but I have no choice but to end this piece with that notorious piece pf music I hate so much, and yet I love it more then any other piece of music.

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