This Day in 1988: Metallica Film Their First Video
29 years ago today, Metallica filmed their first music video: the epic anti-war anthem “One.”
Written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, “One” revolves around a severely-wounded soldier whose experiences in World War I have left him with no arms, no legs, blind, and unable to either speak or move.
Shot by Bill Pope & Michael Salomon in Long Beach, CA, the video leans heavily on footage from the 1971 film Johnny Got His Gun, starring Timothy Bottoms, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, and Diane Varsi. Beyond the film clips, though, the black and white footage of the band is striking, showing them playing their hearts out.
Still cited as one of the greatest music videos of all time, “One” received enough exposure from the dramatic goings-on within the video to catapult Metallica into the top 40 for the first time in their career, with the single hitting #35 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although they wouldn’t achieve full-fledged mainstream acceptance until their self-titled album a few years later, there’s no question that “One” started them on the path in a big way.
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