Many Hall & Oates songs were collaborations between Daryl Hall
and John Oates
, sometimes with input from Janna Allen and Sara Allen, but "One on One" was all Daryl Hall. In a Mix
magazine interview, he said, "That song expresses a theme I've explored in lots of my songs, the idea that I've been traveling all my life but my heart longs to stay in one place; being in one place, but wanting to be somewhere else."