This was built around a bass riff Roger Waters played through an echo unit. They worked off that for the rest of the song.
At the time, Pink Floyd was intrigued by minimalist composers who were experimenting with electronic patterns. They used a pattern this type of pattern throughout the song.
Dave Gilmour called this "The most collaborative effort of anything we ever did." In later years, the band didn't collaborate on songs nearly as much.
The only vocal is the line, "One of these days I'm gonna cut you up into little pieces." It was spoken by drummer Nick Mason, and was digitally warped to give it an evil sound to it. Nick Mason said he liked how it sounded when it was all finished up.
Pink Floyd performed this on their video and album recorded live at Pompeii. (thanks, charlie - Thomaston, DC, for above 2)
When they started recording this album, they put down 24 pieces of music with no idea how it would develop. The working title was "Nothing, Parts 1-24."
The spoken threat is reportedly aimed at Sir Jimmy Young, the Radio 2 DJ. (thanks, Phil - Niagara Falls, Canada)
Dave Gilmour in Guitar World February 1993: "'One of these Days' evolved from some of my experiments with the Binson [an Italian made delay unit], as did 'Echoes' [also from Meddle]. One day, Roger decided to take some of the techniques that I was developing and try them out himself on bass. And he came up with that basic riff that we all worked on and turned into 'One of These Days.' For the middle section, another piece of technology came into play: an H&H amp with vibrato. I set the vibrato to more or less the same tempo as the delay. But the delay was in 3/4 increments of the beat and the vibrato went with the beat. I just played the bass through it and made up that little section, which we then stuck on to a bit of tape and edited in. The tape splices were then camouflaged with cymbal crashes."
Guitar World asked Gilmour about playing bass on "One Of These Days." Gilmour replied: "The opening section is me and Roger. On 'One of these Days,' for some reason, we decided to do a double track of the bass. You can actually hear it if you listen in stereo. The first bass is me. A bar later, Roger joins in on the other side of the stereo picture. We didn't have a spare set of strings for the spare bass guitar, so the second bass is very dull sounding. [laughs] We sent a roadie out to buy some strings, but he wandered off to see his girlfriend instead."