Entering the Videodrome #1 – Metallica’s “One”

There is something to be said about having a great music video for a song. Especially evident when MTV was more prominent and today where YouTube is an everyday task for some, a creative or engrossing music video creates a buzz around a song or musician and it can become something that everybody talks about for a period of time. An example of this is the video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that was a television event (like a lot of Jackson’s big budget videos) and essentially is more iconic than the song itself. Even in the modern day, Miley Cyrus’ video for “Wrecking Ball” was more (in)famous than the song which for the life of me I cannot recollect. 

This series will look at some of the more intriguing and interest music videos that have been released over the years. It’ll be a mix of really well known ones and others that are less mainstream and a little more left field. 

Metallica – One

From one of the band’s best and more experimental albums “…And Justice For All“, One is a particularly bleak song that’s lyrics are directly inspired by Dalton Trumbo anti-war novel “Johnny Got His Gun“. It’s one of my personal favourite Metallica songs due to the absolutely ferocity of Lars’ drumming and the fact that, lyrically, it’s probably one of the stronger songs they’ve written.

To accompany the song, the music video uses a slew of scenes from the film version of Trumbo’s novel and effectively tells the story of the novel within 7 minutes. The film scenes add an even more disturbing and unsettling feeling to an already downbeat song, especially with Johnny’s monologue playing throughout. The ending with Johnny finally coming to terms with his fate and weakly repeating the line “S.O.S. Help. Me” is difficult to forget.

Metallica had a few other really good videos, in particular the nightmarish video for “Enter Sandman” which may be a little more of an iconic and broader televised Metallica music video. In my opinion, their best video was their first and most haunting.

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