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Music / The One (Album)

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When chances breathe between the silence
Where sex and love no longer gel
There's a hungry road I can only hope's
Gonna eat me up inside
There's a drifting spirit coming clean
In the eye of a lifelong fire
Tell Monday I'll be around next week
I'm running ahead of my days
In the shotgun chance that scattered us
I've seen the error of my ways
"Runaway Train"

The One is the twenty-third studio album recorded by English pop rock musician Elton John. It was released through Rocket Records in the United Kingdom, and MCA Records in the United States, on 22 June 1992.

After trying and failing to go sober on his own after producing Sleeping with the Past, Elton finally went into rehab in 1990 to deal with decades of substance abuse and bulimia. As he battled his demons, others he supported were losing their battles. Ryan White, an American HIV patient whose struggle was supported by many celebrities, died of AIDS in April 1990.

The other shoe dropped in November 1991, when one of Elton's friends, fellow English musician Freddie Mercury, also died of AIDS.

Shortly after the latter, Bernie Taupin faxed Elton some song lyrics.

Originally titled "Song for 1992", it became "The Last Song", a ballad about a father making peace with his gay son, who was dying of AIDS.

The album in general was more somber than recent works, but still had plenty of warmth to it. It was well-received, again hitting #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It was stymied at #2 in the United Kingdom, stopped for three weeks by the same album, a greatest hits album by Lionel Richie. It would go double-Platinum in the US, and Gold in the UK.

Four songs were released from the album: the Title Track, "Runaway Train", "The Last Song", and "Simple Life". All four would be Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, with three hits each on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and on the UK pop chart. The Title Track would peak at #10 in the UK and #9 in the US.

"Runaway Train", a duet with Eric Clapton, would be featured on the soundtrack for the 1992 film Lethal Weapon 3.

The album was remastered in 1998, with two bonus tracks added.


  1. "Simple Life" (6:25)
  2. "The One" (5:53)
  3. "Sweat It Out" (6:38)
  4. "Runaway Train" (5:23)
  5. "Whitewash County" (5:30)
  6. "The North" (5:15)
  7. "When a Woman Doesn't Want You" (4:56)
  8. "Emily" (4:58)
  9. "On Dark Street" (4:43)
  10. "Understanding Women" (5:03)
  11. "The Last Song" (3:21)

Bonus tracks from the 1998 remaster

  1. "Suit of Wolves" (5:37)
  2. "Fat Boys and Ugly Girls" (4:13)

"We're gonna get back to the simple tropes again:"

  • And Starring: David Gilmour provided guitar work for "Understanding Women"
  • Face on the Cover: The artwork around Elton's portrait for the cover was designed by fashion designer Gianni Versace.
  • Grief Song: "The Last Song"
  • I Have No Son!: Averted in "The Last Song". While the subject and his father were estranged—ostensibly, because the son was gay—the father came back when he was needed most, and they came to an understanding.
    I can't believe you love me
    I never thought you'd come
    I guess I misjudged love between a father and his son
  • Let's Duet: With Eric Clapton for "Runaway Train"