One (Harry Nilsson song)
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"One" is a song written by Harry Nilsson and made famous by Three Dog Night whose recording reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and number four in Canada. The song is known for its opening line "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do". 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.
|Single by Harry Nilsson|
|from the album Aerial Ballet|
|Harry Nilsson singles chronology|
In 1968, Al Kooper released the song on his debut album I Stand Alone. In 1969, the song was recorded by Australian pop singer Johnny Farnham, reaching number four on the Go-Set National Top 40 Chart.
|Single by Three Dog Night|
|from the album Three Dog Night|
|Three Dog Night singles chronology|
Three Dog Night versionEdit
"One" was released as the second single from Three Dog Night's eponymous first album. It was a major North American hit and became their first of seven gold records over the next five years.
- John Farnham, released as a double-sided single with "Mr. Whippy" in 1969.
- Mike Melvoin released an instrumental arrangement of "One" on his 1970 album The Plastic Cow Goes Moooooog.
- The New Seekers released a version on the 1971 album Beautiful People.
- In 1992, it was recorded by the band Chainsaw Kittens on the single for the song "High in High School".
- The song was recorded 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 recorded by the rock band Filter for the soundtrack to the 1998 film The X-Files: Fight the Future. There is also a scene in the movie where Mulder says to a bartender (played by an uncredited Glenne Headly), "You know, one is the loneliest number."
- Dokken included the song on 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.
- Alva Noto and Blixa Bargeld, working together for their ANBB project, included a version of this song on their 2010 album Mimikry.
- Mastodon recorded an arrangement of the song for the Army of Two trailer.
- Electric Six recorded a cover version of the song for use in the trailer for Army of Two, but their version was rejected in favour of the Mastodon version. It was subsequently included on their 2015 complilation album Mimicry and Memories.
- In 1995, the song was sung briefly on The Drew Carey Show at the Warsaw Pub between both Carey and his boss, Mr. Bell, in the first-season episode "Nature Abhors a Vacuum".
- The 1999 film Magnolia, by Paul Thomas Anderson, uses this song for its intro.
- This song was used in a 2002 episode of the animated comedy series Family Guy called "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows".
- This song was quoted by Robert Barone in an episode[which?] of Everybody Loves Raymond.
- In Disney's Recess: School's Out (2001), the song is also played.
- The song was sung by Nathan Lane and was featured on the soundtrack Stuart Little 2 in 2002.
- In 2004, the song appears in the third episode of House ("Occam's Razor"). Dr. House references the song's opening line during a discussion with his team, and the song later plays over the episode's last scene.
- Also in 2004, the song is briefly sung by Donkey in the film Shrek 2.
- The Muppets and Jimmy Fallon performed an impromptu rendition of the song on the set of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon while rehearsing for the 2009 Christmas performance.
- In 2013, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic created a video using "One" to promote their US Open final match.
- In 2013, Lisa Simpson sang the song at the beginning of episode 536 of The Simpsons, dated November 24, 2013.
- The Three Dog Night version of "One" was used in a winter of 2012-13 ad campaign for Ahold's Stop & Shop, Giant of Landover, Giant of Carlisle, and Martin's supermarket chains.
- In 2014, the Three Dog Night cover of the song appeared in the teaser trailer for season five of the American crime drama Boardwalk Empire.
- In October 2016, an original version recorded by Harry Nilsson was used in Masters of Sex TV series (season four, called "Coats or Keys").
- Also in October 2016, the Harry version was used in The Blacklist TV series (episode 6, season four, called "The Thrushes").
- The Three Dog Night version appeared in the 2016 video game Mafia 3.
- In February 2017, the song was featured in The Lego Batman Movie.
- Three Dog Night's version appears in a 2017 TV commercial for OraVet animal dental hygiene.
- "Playlist: Best Harry Nilsson songs for what would be his 75th birthday". Azcentral.com. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- "One (song by Three Dog Night) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- Nimmervoll, Ed (13 September 1969). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- "Final track listing for Mimicry and Memories". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Review of "One" on allmusic.com