U2 ~ "One" '92
Directed by Phil Joanou
Written by U2
Music: The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr.; Lyrics: Bono
"One" Single by U2 from the album Achtung Baby
Released: 6 March 1992
"One" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record's third single in March 1992. During the album's recording sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2's sound and the quality of their material. Tensions almost prompted the band to break up until they achieved a breakthrough by improvising "One"; the song was written after the band members found inspiration from a chord progression that guitarist The Edge composed. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, were informed by the band members' fractured relationships and the German reunification. Although the lyrics ostensibly describe "disunity", they have been interpreted in other ways.
The group filmed a third video in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience. It was directed by Rattle and Hum director Phil Joanou and was primarily filmed in early March 1992 at Nell's, a Manhattan nightclub. The video depicts Bono sitting at a table smoking a cheroot and drinking beer, interspersed with footage of the band performing in concert. While Bono was filmed, the rest of the band, along with models and transvestites, attended a party in the basement, awaiting their turns to be filmed. However, they were never called to the set and by 3 a.m., they realized that the video was to focus on Bono.
"One" was released as the album's third single in March 1992 as an AIDS benefit single, with all of the band's royalties being donated to AIDS research. The cover of the single release is a photograph by David Wojnarowicz. The photograph depicts buffaloes falling off a cliff after being chased by Native American hunters. The single's liner notes explain that Wojnarowicz "identifies himself and ourselves with the buffalo, pushed into the unknown by forces we cannot control or even understand".
The single reached number seven in the UK Singles Chart, number ten in the US Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the US Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts.
Bono – vocals, guitar.
The Edge – guitar, keyboards, vocals.
Adam Clayton – bass guitar.
Larry Mullen, Jr. – drums, percussion.
U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr.
© 1992 Island Records UK.