What would the 1990’s be like without The X-Files? It was one of the best shows of the 90’s without a doubt. The popularity of the show grew by leaps and bounds and in 1998 there was a feature length film to accompany the series. The movie while decent produced a pretty damn good soundtrack featuring Filter, Foo Fighters, The Cure, Bjork, Noel Gallagher and more. The album’s producer, David Was, intended to match the film’s tone rather than using the songs as content, leading to several of the artists involved contributing material which would seem “uncharacteristically eerie” compared to their usual work. Many of the songs that appear on the soundtrack are cover versions like Filter covering Harry Nillsson’s “One.” This one in particular was deliberately constructed by Was once he realized that Duchovny had ad-libbed the song’s opening line during one of the film’s scenes. Filter’s version of “One” is striking and fits the vibe of the the film.
It’s really interesting and crazy to think that the first music video Metallica ever did was on their fourth album And Justice For All for the song “One.” I remember seeing it for the first time when I was about four years old and thinking that this was awesome. This video was without a doubt groundbreaking at the time as well as responsible for the beginning of making Metallica a household name.
The video for “One” was directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon and it debuted on MTV, January 20th, 1989. Something else that is quite interesting about this video is that there were three versions made. The first (the longest, album version) contained scenes of both the band and scenes from the film Johnny Got His Gun. The second was simply a shortened version of the first, and the third, often known as the “jammin’ version”, lacked scenes from the movie (the song and video fades at the last bridge in the third version).
“One” was the perfect song and video to really introduce Metallica to households across the world. The video to this day almost 30 years later is still impactful and chilling, which is what makes it such a great video.
Back in 2003, MTV did an ICON tribute to Metallica. Of all the performances of the evening, there was only one performance that really still stood out during that evening, and that was Korn’s version of “One.” Korn has done a bunch of covers over the years and sadly most have fallen flat, but their rendition of “One” is a highlight. Check it out!