500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Writers: Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.
Producers: Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois
Released: Nov. '91, Island
20 weeks; No. 10
Achtung Baby was the album on which U2 traded in a decade of earnestness for irony, but the new approach resulted in their most moving single ever. "One" was spun off from another song, "Mysterious Ways," when the Edge came up with two ideas for the bridge, and Bono so liked one of them that he wrote a new set of lyrics. Though some hear it as a love song, the words are full of hurt and ambiguity. "People have told me they play it at their wedding," the Edge said. "And I think, 'Have you listened to the lyrics? It's not that kind of a song.'"
Appears on: Achtung Baby (Island)