“One” – U2 / Johnny Cash

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I’m not a huge fan of U2, but “One” from 1992′s “Achtung Baby” is one for the ages. An almost perfect song / performance and easily one of my top 20 favorite songs of all-time. The song was ostensibly written about the band’s struggles during a particularly down period, but it’s far more universal than that. It’s so expertly written, it speaks for any number of troubled relationships where all sides have reached a point where breaking up is the only option given all the past hurt that has been aired … yet … there’s also a chance of redemption … though it’s difficult to see through all the past drama. An incredibly complex song that still continues to blow me away.

As great as U2′s version is, Johnny Cash’s cover tops it. It may even be better than his legendary cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt.” Breathtaking, emotional, brilliant stuff.

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“One” – Aimee Mann

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Another terrific Aimee Mann cover … this time of Harry Nilsson’s “One” which Three Dog Night turned into a big hit during the early 1970s. Mann’s version was brilliantly used over the opening of P.T. Anderson’s 1999 masterpiece “Magnolia.” I like this version WAAAAY better than Three Dog Night’s cover, which is the best known version.