Music Video Meaning


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The three video versions of the song One from U2

One of U2: this band is one of the most famous in the world and with the song One they left a great success in history. The song is part of the seventh album “Achtung Baby” from 1991. For the song there are three videos: their publication took place within six months. Do you know why? U2 were never completely satisfied. Let’s understand the reasons.

The video One from U2 in Berlin

One of the three videos takes place in the city of Berlin. The director is Anton Corbijn, who also worked with Depeche Mode, Sting, Nirvana, Metallica, Bryan Adamas, Coldplay, The Killers, Roxette.

The scenes show a sepia filter. The protagonists are U2: you see pictures of them playing in Hansa Studios and other images of them dressed up like drag queens.

The main setting is the city of Berlin with two cars, one white and one black. On the top of the two cars there are drawings. On the white car there is a nude woman, while on the black car there is a man.

Bono Vox’s father, Brendan Robert Hewson, also took part in the video, standing on top of a catapult.

The video wants to describe the difficult situation of a homosexual person, who must declare his choice to his father. The proceeds of the video went to the associations for the fight against AIDS.

But after the release of the video, the band decided to eliminate it, to prevent people from associating AIDS with homosexuality.

Only this video is now available on web, with several cut scenes, especially those of U2 dressed as drag. The screenshots of the original scenes can be seen on Pinterest or on the web.

“Buffalo” One video from U2

The second version proposes a panorama of running buffaloes, of flowers, of U2 faces and of the word “One” in various languages.

The final image is of great impact: a buffalo falls from a ravine with his other companions. The image is “Falling Buffalo”, a work by David Wojnarowicz, a well-known American homosexual photographer and painter. Wojnarowicz was an activist for the rights of people suffering from AIDS.

This video served as a backdrop for U2 concerts on the Zoo TV tour. In the video there is a strong symbolism, which people would hardly understand, especially MTV users from all over the world. In fact, the buffalo is a sacred animal only for American traditions. Thus U2 preferred to propose to MTV the version of the video by Phil Joanou.

Phil Joanou’s video One with Bono Vox at the bar

The third video shows us Bono Vox sitting in a bar, smoking a cigar and drinking. The images are intermittent, many shots are close together and blurred.

The video shows scenes of the band playing during a concert in Philadelphia. The novelty element is a woman, framed many times. This new entry gives a different meaning to the song: the lyrics describe the difficult relationship between a man and a woman, between suffering and quarrels.

The locations are two in New York: Times Square and “Nell’s” bar in the Chelsea area.

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