One (Harry Nilsson song)

One (Harry Nilsson song)
One Is the Loneliest Number redirects here. The phrase is also the title of a novel from the Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorers series.
Single by Harry Nilsson
from the album Aerial Ballet
B-side "Sister Marie"
Released 1968
Recorded 1967
Label RCA
Writer(s) Harry Nilsson
Producer Rick Jarrard
Harry Nilsson singles chronology
"Good Old Desk"
"Everybody's Talkin'"

"One" is a song written by Harry Nilsson and made famous by Three Dog Night whose cover in 1969 reached number 5 on the Billboard chart. The song is known for its opening line "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do." It appeared initially on Aerial Ballet, Nilsson's third album.

Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal. He stayed on the line listening to the "beep,beep,beep,beep..." tone, writing the song. The busy signal became the opening notes of the song.

In 1968, Al Kooper released the song on his debut album I Stand Alone.

In 1969, rock band Three Dog Night covered the song on their debut album Three Dog Night, with Chuck Negron on lead vocal. The song was released as a single and became a hit, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. That same year, the song was covered by Australian singer Johnny Farnham, reaching number 4 on the Australian charts. The song was also included in the soundtrack of House M.D.

Later cover versions

Single by Filter
from the album The X-Files: The Album
Released July 18, 1995
Format CD
Genre Alternative metal
Industrial rock
Label Reprise
Filter singles chronology
"(Can't You) Trip Like I Do"
"Welcome to the Fold"

In 1992, it was covered by the band Chainsaw Kittens on the single for the song "High in High School".

The song was covered by Aimee Mann for the 1995 Nilsson tribute album For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson. Mann's version also appears in the 1999 film Magnolia and on the film's soundtrack.

The song was also covered by the rock band Filter for the soundtrack to the 1998 film The X-Files: Fight the Future.

Dokken, a 1978 heavy metal band also covered the song in their 1999 album, Erase the Slate.

The Beta Band closed their 2001 album Hot Shots II with "Won," a hip-hop track built around extensive samples of Nilsson's song.

Mastodon recorded a cover of the song for the Army of Two trailer.

Alva Noto and Blixa Bargeld, as ANBB, covered "One" in their album Mimikry.


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