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One of Us (Joan Osborne song)

"One of Us" is a song written by Eric Bazilian (of the Hooters) and originally released by Joan Osborne. Released in March 1995 on the album Relish and produced by Rick Chertoff, it became a chart hit in November of that year, peaking at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning three Grammy nominations. The song was also a major success worldwide, topping the charts of Australia, Canada, Flemish Belgium, and Sweden, reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart, and becoming a top 20 hit in at least 12 other counties.

"One of Us"
JoanOsbourneOneOfUsCDSingleCover.jpg
Single by Joan Osborne
from the album Relish
B-side"Dracula Moon, Crazy Baby (live)"
ReleasedFebruary 21, 1995
December 28, 1995 (re-release)
Recorded
Genre
Length5:21
Label
Songwriter(s)Eric Bazilian
Producer(s)Rick Chertoff
Audio sample
"One of Us"

The song is the theme song for the American television series Joan of Arcadia.

Contents

HistoryEdit

In an interview, Bazilian said, "I wrote ['One of Us'] one night — the quickest song I ever wrote — to impress a girl. Which worked, because we're married and have two kids. But we were in the middle of writing Joan's album, which was a group effort with Rick Chertoff and Joan and Rob and I, and I did a demo of 'One of Us,' this wacky little demo which I ended up putting as a hidden track on the CD of my first solo record, and I played [it] for them. And it really hadn't even occurred to me that it was something that Joan might do, but Rick, in his wisdom, asked Joan if she thought she could sing it. And I think it was better that he asked it that way rather than 'Do you want to sing it?' Because the answer to that might not have been yes. But she definitely said she could sing it, and we did a little live demo of a guitar and her singing it. And when I got into my car and popped the cassette in, I started practicing the Grammy speech that I should've gotten to give."[1]

LyricsEdit

The song deals with various aspects of belief in God by asking questions inviting the listener to consider how they might relate to God, such as "Would you call [God's name] to his face?" or "Would you want to see [God's face] if seeing meant that you would have to believe in things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets?"

The album version starts off with the first four lines of a recording titled "The Aeroplane Ride", made on October 27, 1937 by American folklorist Alan Lomax and his wife Elizabeth for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress, with Mrs. Nell Hampton of Salyersville, Kentucky singing a variation of the 1928 John S. McConnell hymn "Heavenly Aeroplane".[2][3]

Music videoEdit

Directed by Mark Seliger and Fred Woodward, the video was mainly shot on Coney Island, with various attractions like rollercoasters, ferris wheels and the New York Aquarium shown, interchanged with the vintage-looking shots in sepia and Joan singing in front of the camera.

Critical receptionEdit

Roch Parisien called the song "a simple, direct statement of faith, honest and unadorned, one framed in a near-perfect chorus and delectable Neil Young-ish guitar riff."[4] In 2007, the song was ranked at number 54 on "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s"[5] and number 10 on the network's 40 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the '90s.

Track listingsEdit

  1. "One of Us" (single edit) – 5:05

CD single – France

  1. "One of Us" (edit) – 4:16
  2. "One of Us" (album version) – 5:21

CD single – US

  1. "One of Us" (album version) – 5:21
  2. "Dracula Moon" – 6:21

CD maxi single – Europe

  1. "One of Us" (edit) – 4:16
  2. "Dracula Moon" – 6:21
  3. "One of Us" (album version) – 5:21
  4. "Crazy Baby" (live from Fox Theatre) – 8:06

PersonnelEdit

AccoladesEdit

The song received Grammy nominations in 1996 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year.

Charts and certificationsEdit

Appearances in other mediaEdit

Cover versions and parodiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Will Harris (February 25, 2008). "Popdose Interview: Eric Bazilian of the Hooters".
  2. ^ "The aeroplane ride / Nell Hampton [sound recording]" Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress [1]
  3. ^ A sample of the recording "The Airplane Ride" by Nell Hampton from the album "The Gospel Ship" (New World Records)[2]
  4. ^ Roch Parisien. "Joan Osborne - Relish - Review".
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Songs of the '90s". Blog.vh1.com. 2007-12-13. Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Joan Osborne – One of Us". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Joan Osborne – One of Us" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Joan Osborne – One of Us" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Joan Osborne – One of Us" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2878." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2945." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 2845." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  13. ^ "Top 10 Czech Republic" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  14. ^ Billboard April 27, 1996. Billboard. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Joan Osborne: One of Us" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  16. ^ "Lescharts.com – Joan Osborne – One of Us" (in French). Les classement single.
  17. ^ "Musicline.de – Osborne,Joan Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Nr. 156: Vikuna 10.2. - 16.2. '96" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir. February 10, 1996. p. 26. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – One of Us". Irish Singles Chart.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 13, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Joan Osborne – One of Us" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Joan Osborne – One of Us". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Joan Osborne – One of Us". VG-lista.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Joan Osborne – One of Us". Singles Top 100.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  28. ^ "Joan Osborne Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Joan Osborne Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Joan Osborne Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Joan Osborne Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "Joan Osborne Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  33. ^ 1996 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved September 5, 2008)
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1996" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  35. ^ "Rapports annuels 1996" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  36. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  37. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  38. ^ "RPM Year End Alternative Top 50". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  39. ^ 1996 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com Archived 2009-01-24 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved April 20, 2010)
  40. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  41. ^ "Single top 100 over 1996" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  42. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  43. ^ "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  44. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 1996". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  45. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  46. ^ "American single certifications – Joan Osborne – One of Us". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 24, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  47. ^ What if God Smoked Cannabis? | The Bob Rivers Show
  48. ^ The Not Al Page Archived August 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  49. ^ What If God ... by JayGilbert | Jay Gilbert | Free Listening on SoundCloud
  50. ^ Malkin, Mark (September 29, 2010). "Hallelujah? Glee Has a Spiritual Awakening". E! Online. E!. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  51. ^ "STOPPOK - Ergebnisse". Stoppok.de. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2012-08-29.

External linksEdit