Anti-war anthems don’t come much more harrowing or hard-hitting than Metallica epic One, the …And Justice For All – era single for which the San Franciscan quartet shot their first ever video, intercutting performance footage with none-more-bleak scenes from the film Johnny Got His Gun, based on the 1939 novel of the same name written by Dalton Trumbo.
“Obviously it’s not the most jolly and uplifting video you’ll see,” drummer Lars Ulrich later noted, an understatement if ever there was one.
Still, as dark and traumatising as the One video, and the battlefield terrors-evoking song itself undoubtedly are, most of us can recognise that James Hetfield’s band were serving up some seriously sombre moods with their 1988 classic. Precious few of us, therefore, would listen to the 7 minute 27 seconds masterpiece and think, ‘Yeah, this is cool and all, but is there a way for One to sound… sunnier and a bit more jaunty.’
In fact, we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that only one man alive would entertain such a twisted idea. And that man, dear friends, is mash-up maverick Bill McClintock, who has an unerring gift of creating gold from his sonic subversion, fashioning mutant creations which, in less en lightened times, could reasonably have seen him accused of witchcraft. Just saying…
So, yeah, “more jaunty”… why not smash One into, oh, let’s say, Men At Work’s 1981 global smash Down Under, and then stitch on Judas Priest’s Painkiller solo, just for a giggle, eh? That would be fun, wouldn’t it?
Would it though, Bill, would it really? Let’s have a listen, shall we?
Oh, FFS… yes, okay, you win, again.
The man is a menace, frankly, and we have all sorts of respect for that.
Louder Sound – Hear Metallica’s horrifying anti-war epic One transformed into a fabulously inappropriate sun-kissed new wave bop
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November 16, 2022