MICHAEL THORNER CONTENT DESIGN

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ONE ( U2 COVER ) 09.01.11

You can download One by U2 here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/u2/id78500

My favourite version of this song is hands down the Johnny Cash cover, not to diminish my affection for the U2 original in any way. Make no mistake. One, by U2, is a standard; perhaps more than any other song they have written.

U2 defined the era when I came of age. War (1983) was the soundtrack to my high-school years. The Unforgettable Fire (1984) (my nostalgic choice as favourite U2 album) provided the score to my art college years. Their incredible performance at Live Aid in the summer of 1985 captured the zeitgeist of a generation. And The Joshua Tree (1987) appeared just as I was about to start my illustration and design career.

Acknowledging the above, Achtung Baby (1991) is probably their finest recorded achievement, in my humble opinion.

I have a vivid and cherished dream of sharing a kiss while the song Mysterious Ways played at a house party in the fall of 1991, so I have very warm memories of listening to this album.

The ballad One was the song that has had the most legs though. And so many artists have covered it. Johnny Cash solidified its place as a standard when he did his emotive interpretation, not long before he died.

It’s a beautiful, layered composition. I dedicate my homespun “one voice, one keyboard” living room version to Toronto International Film Festival Director and CEO and über fan, Piers Handling, who has a special spot in his music collection for his U2 albums, surrounded by an awesome, impressive wall of classical music.

One might consider One as classical music, as the song is built to last, like all great music is.