This was the first video Metallica made. As part of their us-against-the-world ethos, they distanced themselves from MTV, which ignored metal until 1987 when the network gave it 90 minutes every week on Headbangers Ball
. Directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon, the "One" video looked nothing like what was in hot rotation on MTV. Morbid and sepia-toned, it runs 7:44 with disturbing images from the film Johnny Got His Gun
. Metallica did give in by making a video, but they did it on their terms. The MTV presence helped them reach an audience far larger than any metal band had before.
Lars Ulrich was especially skeptical after Salomon showed him an early version of the video. "More than half of that first version was the film, and dialogue," the director remembered to Metal Hammer
, "and Lars said, 'this is our first video, and you're covering up all our music!' He was freaked out. We went back and forth for a month before we agreed on the right balance."